Hastur!

So I have been granted the privilege of becoming a Dreamer, or whatever. And I do not mean I have plans and aspirations. I am a Dreamer with a capital D, a privilege granted to me by Hali, the undying necromancer from planet whatever who came to me in a dream.

At first, I thought it was all just a dream. Everything was dreamy and cloudy with gusts of snow and ash swirling around in fantastic spirals that both obscured the senses and titillated the spirit, drawing forth the images of long-forgotten half-intuitions about the world, visages of True Gods and the clockwork of the ever-turning spheres of the spirit world. But then all that blew over and I saw a great cold-swept room. Like a throne room in a European castle, except for some scary statues that were not human. Ancient horrors that dwell behind our eyeballs, fear and flight being the natural reactions to the mere recollection of them.

In this great big hall, I saw the apparition of an old alchemist who introduced himself as Hali. He told me I possessed a rare talent of Dreamscaping or Dreamtravel, or whatever, which meant my mind could explore realities hidden from the eyes of mankind. I called his bullshit but he insisted on proving it was true which he did, over the next five nights and in a very convoluted way. I am not going to bore you with the details, suffice it to say, he was telling the truth, and I was actually travelling through time and space in my sleep. Weird, right?

So anyway, he explained he hailed from a distant planet whose name I forgot, and that he had an important message for me which would alter my destiny. I asked him how come he looked human if he was an alien and how come could aliens be humans and what are the odds of evolution on a distant planet have “accidentally” (I know evolution is not an accident, but it “kind of” is) lead to creating an identical organism. He told me his ancestors were born on Earth and transported to this faraway star system. I asked him to go on.

He told me the universe was full of unfathomable intelligence so alien, that any glimpse into its workings, even if just a look at their architecture, was sure to drive a man mad. I asked him how come we spoke the same language, and he told me he was using telepathy, and I said okay, but then I asked how this communication worked. Energy can travel at the speed of light, if he was in a different star system, it would take his “telepathic messages” AT LEAST a few years to reach me and my response would take another few years to reach him. That is if his planet was orbiting the nearest star, whose name I could not recall at the time. He said we were talking DESPITE time and space, across centuries and endless vastness of an empty, unforgiving cosmos. I said that was very convenient.

He rolleth his eyes at me and transported me to the even vaster hall of Carcosa where the King in Yellow dwelleth in his monstrous throne. A cage was hung up high over the stone floor in which the Demented Pope of The Sea of Steam was imprisoned, treated as an oracle plaything by the king himself. Hali, my wizard companion, explained that the king was plotting to reclaim his dominion over the planet Earth again and that his emissaries would infiltrate the governments to make people worship the king as they did millennia ago. I asked what was the problem with that and I said people had always worshiped gods and there was no way of knowing which were “true gods” and which were not, and who is to say it is worse to worship this King in Yellow dude than it is a magic carpenter or a camel salesman from the Middle East.

Hali seemed baffled at my words and proceeded to warning me that once the king’s reign of minds was established, he could unleash the horrors or Yog-Sothoth and the Abominable Snowmen upon our world. I rolled my eyes loudly and then nodded my head in defeat, knowing Hali would go to great BORING lenghts to prove to me he was telling the truth, so I just agreed to listen to what my part in it was.

He said we could not do anything, for the king’s machinations were much more than any of us or all of us together. So I asked him what the point of it all was. He made me swear I would not reveal any of this to anybody on Earth to preserve their peace and serenity while they can still have any. I sighed at that nonsense and swore, double-swore, cross my heart and hope to die.

Except I did not keep my word, and I am revealing it all to you. Writing this from my boring cubicle at a boring ass job, seemingly indistinguishable from other boring shlobs like me, and yet imbued with the great power of Dreamvision, or whatever. Oh reader, across the vastness of the Internet and the sea of time, be warned. There is a darkness stirring millions of light years away and it wants to use us to its cruel ends. And possibly make us slaves and/or food for awesome space monsters.

No Way to Break Up

I was having lunch with my girlfriend.

“You’re always mean to me,” she said. “Why do you always make fun of me?”

“I guess I am tired of you. Maybe we should take a break.”

“Yeah, I need a break from you too,” she said.

“Fine, then it’s settled.”

That night, she showed up at my place as if nothing really happened. She brought a bottle of wine. I did sleep with her, but I could not help but wonder if she thought I was kidding about taking that break.

Late at night, I was watching her sleep. She was like a warm little ball of coziness.

“Oh, well,” I said to myself.

Contractors

I got my mom a new house. Well, it was pretty old, but it was new to her. She moved in happily, and I hired a young girl called Nadia to be her nurse. My mom was not well anymore.

But then, there were some repairs to be done, so I hired some contractors and my mom complained about them.

“I woke up this morning, and my head was covered in that foam they use to fill the crawlspaces. Some pieces of it were stapled to my head, actually. I got most of it off, but I could not get rid of that muffled feeling all day.”

“They started a fire, burnt the whole kitchen, and rebuilt it. Now the kettle tastes like plastic. It’s fake. I always made sure to get that real kettle, but I guess they don’t make them anymore, so the contractors had to buy a plastic one.”

“Some of them have been having sex with Nadia. The poor thing is pregnant and has been hiding that from me, but I know. She should stop lifting heavy things, it’s bad for the baby.”

“They keep moving my room and I cannot find it anymore.”

I always nodded and tried to console her. Poor mom, she was not well.

I slipped the contractors some extra cash each week, just to come up with crazy shenanigans, but after that last one, I asked them to bring my mom’s room back.

Pairs of Things

I was walking through the park, wearing my Sunday suit and a hat. I managed to get the hang of it by now. That is walking with only one arm and one leg. I used a special crutch.

I walked past the swan pond, past the playground, and into a nice shaded path. There were boulders on one side of the path and a dinosaur skeleton on the other. I stopped to look at the skeleton.

One of the many men in lab coats that worked at the park approached me.

“Sir, would you like to hear about the great old animal, whose bones are on display?”

“No, thanks,” I said politely. “Sorry.”

“That’s okay,” said the man in the lab coat, “Would you like to win a free five-dollar gift card for the food court?”

“Sure,” I said out of guilt.

“Great,” said the man and got a piece of paper out of his pocket. “Ah, this is a military question,” he said, “Are you a military man?”

“Was for 27 years,” I said.

He eyed my missing arm and leg. “Right,” he said. “The questions is: name four pairs of things in the military.”

“Officer and private,” I said right away.

“Good, go on.”

“Attacker and defender.”

“Yes, it’s on the list.”

“Inspector and inspected.”

“Good, good.”

“Aaaaand…” I thought and thought and thought. “I don’t know any more,” I said, “Sorry.”

“That’s okay,” said the man in the lab coat. “But tell you what, I can still give you the three-dollar consolation prize. Would you like that?”

“Sure.”

“What’s the name of the great old animal.”

“It’s a dinosaur.”

“Congratulations!” said the man.

I was so happy, I hopped up and down, up and down.

The Surgeons

Every night I go to bed, the surgeons drag me out. One of them grabs me by the leg and pulls me away from, my wife, my family. I cannot do anything because I am already under light anesthesia.

In a long hospital hallway, they put me in a wheelchair and wheel me into an operating room. They strap me to a operating table and this is where it used to end. I used to wake up in my bed, not remembering the rest. But over time, I guess I got used to the drug and it does not put me completely out or give me amnesia. I remember.

My father is there, even though he is dead during the day. And he asks the surgeons what is wrong with me. And they say that is what they want to find out. Then they cut me open and pull my insides out and look at them. I can tell there is something wrong with them, they are rotten and covered in pus. And dirty from all the times they got them out and put them back in. But they do not seem to notice. I do not think highly of surgeons or their skills, I think they are a bunch of hacks. I am just worried that if they do not find something soon, the drug will no longer work at all, and I will start feeling the pain.

Then my wife comes to pick me up. Sometimes they make her wait until they stitch me up. She does not ask if they fixed me already, she does not care.

In the morning, at breakfast, we do not talk about it. She acts as if it never happened.

Erica Sawdust

People travel from all over the state to see Erica Sawdust’s garage. They have never even dreamed of having their cars repaired here, the lines are a few years long. In fact, it is not clear who gets their cars repaired and how they achieve this privilege. It is not about money or fame, that is certain. For example, Matt Damon wanted to get one of his expensive cars looked at once, but Erica’s front desk girl, Lucy, refused him, no matter how much money he threw at her.

So, people travel just to see the garage. There are hundreds of cars parked around the garage all the time, creating a makeshift town in the middle of the desert. There are facilities as well, and music, and merchants.

Sometimes, if you are lucky, you can get all the way to the front and see Erica at work. Maybe welding with sparks all around her sturdy frame, or maybe just walking by the garage door with a giant wrench over her shoulder. She is a blonde, but some people swear she is a redhead. She usually wears a pony tail, although some claimed to have seen her with braids. Some say she is tiny, others say she is nine feet tall. One guy said she smiled at him and he became an instant celebrity. Ended his career a few years later in a crash-and-burn reality TV show.

There are also legends about cars that got out of her shop. An old Volkswagen that one of Hitler’s aides drove, now restored to life, won all races in a local NASCAR circuit. A Chevy that was fitted with two engines could now drive up vertical inclines. A small Japanese car flew away and was never seen or heard from again.

Me? I pitched my tent outside Erica Town, a mile or so away. At night, I like to lay on the hood of my car, listen to the muffled music of the encampment, look at the stars above. I await my appointment.

Political Poetry

“Of course her poetry is political,” said the critic, “What else is there left to any of us these days.” I was impressed by the critic’s red skirt-suit and enormous head. She was a strong woman with lots of supporters and really good arguments.

“What is there left to any WOMAN these days,” said the supporter. “Being a woman is much harder than being a man or a seringoin.” The supporter was also pretty impressive, with beautiful hands and a beautiful mind.

“But let us not forget the rhyming scheme,” said the independent professor. He was not part of any university, but supported by masses of people. He used to be a goat but now his body was a series of shimmering silvery rings. He wore a sweater vest.

“Well, what is the tally, Mr. Presenter?” said the critic. I snapped out of my reverie.

“Uhm, of course. The tally is seven, five, one, one, five, twenty-one.”

“Good show,” exclaimed the professor.

“Indeed,” said the critic.

“Skewed,” said the supporter.

“But, uhm,” I said, “Our viewers have not spoken yet.” We all looked towards the electron brain, waiting for its verdict. It came printed in large cuneiform. It was the number 77, which could also be interpreted as a repast.

“And, uhm,” I said, “And so, the audiences have spoken. Once again, the voice of the people allows it. All hail the poet.”

“All hail,” the guests repeated in unison.

“Aaaaaaaaaaaand, we’re off the air,” said the director.

Bucket of Razors

Somebody had left a bucket half-full of shaving razors back stage, the old-fashioned kind of razors that you open like a jack knife. I had a lot to do so I just rushed by the bucket a few times, but finally it caught my attention.

“Mikey, do you know who put this here?” I asked and he shrugged. I asked a few other people, but nobody knew.

“Jim,” I said, “Do you know if they are doing a production of the Barber?”

“I don’t think so,” said Jim, “But they are doing Death of a Salesman.”

“Are there razors in it?”

“I don’t know.”

He left me alone with the bucket. Immobile, heavy, with razors that were neither new and shiny, nor old and rusty. I crouched by the bucket to take a closer look, but there was nothing more to it.

The Magic Merry-Go-Round

There was a magic merry-go-round down by the pier when I was little. The man who inspected your tickets and operated the levers always smelled of wine, but that did not take away the magic of the ride.

Other kids used to say your wish would come true if you could sit on the red horse and if it revolved more than twelve times. The man would usually shut it off after ten or eleven times. I do not remember if I ever got more when sitting on the red horse.

But I know Tom told us one day that his father wanted to leave them. We let him sit on the red horse each time we rode. I do not remember if he ever got more than twelve times either.

Man and Wife

“I wish I could quit my job,” he said.

“So quit,” she said.

“What? And you would support us?”

“Why not,” she said, “Women have been known to.”

“Ah, right you are. I would stay at home all day, writing. And you would return, saying ‘How is my writer doing?’ and I would say ‘Fine, I put a lot of good work in today. A lot of good writing.’ but then you would see the ink ribbon is still on the desk and I didn’t even put it in.”

“That might happen,” she said, “If you found a way to apply an ink ribbon to your laptop. But you would be free to pursue your calling. Free means you can do it, or not.”

“I would rather stay in the stereotypical role society has prepared for me.”

“Be the bread winner?” she said, “How noble of you, Sir Breadsalot. Your court awaits you each day when you get back from performing noble quests. Perhaps I should quit my job and wait in bed all day with my bosom moving up and down as I heave in longing, burn in passion.”

“That is a compelling vision you draw, m’lady.”

“Well forget it, jerk,” she laughed. Meanwhile, in the sky above them pterodactyls began to soar. It was almost hunting time. Almost dinner time.