Tag Archives: dreams

In Your Dreams, Inc.

People are weird. Their thoughts are weird and their dreams are even weirder. I should know—it’s my job.

Have you ever had one of those dreams that made perfect sense, even after you woke up? It was like someone was writing a movie and playing it out in your brain while you slept. It had production value. Of course, the next night, it’s usually back to some jumble of nonsense about teddy bears, an ominous-looking toaster, and your Grade 4 teacher driving a taxi.

Imagine you could dream those cool, complicated dream every night—chasing bad guys, flying around like Superman, and still waking up fresh as spring breeze? You can now, thanks to In Your Dreams, Inc. It’s popular, let me tell you. The guy who founded it is a multi-billionaire now. Not that I see much of that though—I’m just an extra.

*         *         *

“Brad, here’s the script for the Harper drug-bust scenario.” Heather hands me a single sheet of paper.

“What is he this time, the drug lord or the cop?” I ask.

“Actually, he’s the briefcase. They carry him in, open him up, then test the drugs. When the cops show up, he’s thrown into the evidence locker for a while, then ends up as Exhibit B in the trial. That’s when he wakes up. Hey, I got you a speaking part this time.”

I look at the script and find my name. “‘I gotta go pee”? What kind of a line is that?”

Heather shrugs. “He wanted to throw a subliminal hint into the dream somewhere. He says he always wakes up with his bladder almost exploding and he wants to start waking up before that point. Don’t worry; everybody starts at the bottom. You do a couple ‘I gotta go pee’ gigs, then move on to ‘you got the drugs?’ or ‘the giant lemon bounced that way.’ Before you know it, you’re the guy explaining to the dreamer how he’s the only one who can save the planet. Baby steps, Brad.”

An hour later, I’ve gotten through makeup and am on the sound stage with the rest of the actors. Abraham Lincoln is the drug lord this time. I’ve worked on a few Sammy Harper dreams before and for some reason Abraham Lincoln always shows up somewhere. I was a giant Raggedy Andy in a tea party dream of his and sure enough, Lincoln was the one serving the tea.

“Places, everyone!” the director Kyle Dresden shouts. “Sammy Harper just fell asleep. We’re live in twenty minutes.”

We always do dreams live, while beaming them remotely into the dreamer’s brain. There is a huge screen set up at one end of the stage that shows us exactly what the dreamer is experiencing. That’s essential since dreamers rarely stick to the script, even ones they’ve helped write themselves. We always have to keep an eye on it while we’re acting.

In this scenario, I’m one of the drug dealers. I’ve got a bazooka—which is insane—but that’s Sammy Harper for you. Other drug dealers have AK-47s, elephant guns, and one has a tiger on a leash.

The blue “Dream On” light goes on and we advance towards the middle of the room. Abraham Lincoln is in front, holding the briefcase. The director signals the giant marshmallow Peeps to start jumping around in the background. The theme song to “Cheers” starts playing.

The actor playing Lincoln-as-a-drug-lord puts the briefcase on the table and opens it. The other gang leader samples the drugs inside. I look up at the dream screen and see that in the dream, the briefcase has grown wings and is flying around the room. I knew Sammy Harper couldn’t be content to just lie there as a briefcase and let everyone else have the action. The briefcase in the dream has now sprouted arms and is firing a Tommy gun at us.

This is where improv takes over. We all keep an eye on the screen to see where the briefcase is firing and when it gets near us, we fall back as if we’re shot. The customer is always right, after all.

The dream briefcase fires in my direction and I drop to the ground, writhing as if shot. I’m about to full-on die when I realize that I haven’t said my line yet. The first line of my career and the dreamer goes off script and kills me. Not this time. I let out a dying scream. “I gotta go pee!”

*         *         *

It’s 6am and I stumble through the door of my apartment and fall onto the bed without even undressing. I just want some nice black-screen sleep. I used to like my dreams, but now, I don’t want to remember a thing. It’s too much like work.

Amalgam – Friday Fictioneers

Another installment of the close-enough-to-Friday Fictioneers.

Copyright Claire Fuller

Copyright Claire Fuller

I wake up at the workbench again, the dust of my unconscious labors packed under my fingernails and my hands aching from clenching the mallet and chisel all night. I recoil as I see what is emerging from the block of plaster: Morpheus and Hephaestus—Dream and Craft—overlapping and melded into a macabre amalgam; a thing which cannot be, yet is. It is a thing I feel myself slowly becoming.

People marvel at my sculptures at art exhibits. They beg me to share my secret inspiration, but I just smile.

Because I honestly don’t know.

And it scares me.


Quadruple Bass – Friday Fictioneers

This story is neither quirky or dark, my usual themes, but you know what they say: “departure from the norm is the spice of life.”

Here are a collection of other stories around this picture.

Copyright Roger Cohen

Copyright Roger Cohen

It probably would have failed anyway. Who would want to hear a double bass duo anyway? Quadruple Bass, we called ourselves.

I claimed Grandpa’s old pride-n-joy. My brother had to save up three years for his instrument. Practice breaks were filled with lofty plans of concerts, tours, autographs. He talked; I listened, smiling.

His sickness killed all that. My last performance was when I lugged both behemoths up to his third-floor hospital room and tried to play both simultaneously to make him smile.

They just sit there now, but sometimes I think I can hear them hum to each other.

From Inside the Dark Vault of Dreams

(This is fiction. It’s not about me. Enjoy~)


Not existing, that’s what scares me the most. Have you ever been lying on your bed, looking at the ceiling, thinking about the day and suddenly, like a flash of lightning, you wake up? You had fallen asleep at some point, as quickly and painlessly as someone pressing pause on a DVD player. That’s what I fear the most, that instant when existence ends. What scares me the most is that I won’t even know when it happens.

I live in the present. Obviously, you say, but most people—I suspect—have a sense of where they come from and where they are going. Not me. For me, all of life is a precarious balancing on the crest of a wave—a breathless, headlong rush with an abyss of nothing before and behind. That’s why I worry about my existence. At any moment, the wave could collapse and then, well . . .

I live in an apartment building, on the third floor. I don’t know who lives above me. Below me is Miss Second. She mostly stays in her apartment, moaning loudly enough for me to hear as I walk past her. I can’t tell if it’s from ecstasy or from pain, but I’m too embarrassed to knock and ask. And so, I tiptoe past her apartment, vaguely aroused, vaguely repelled, unsure of myself on her floor.

Below her is Mr. First, the drummer. He is constantly making rhythm with everything in his apartment. The sounds filter up through the pipes, sometimes grating, sometimes hypnotic, sometimes so beautiful I want cry for something I have never seen or felt, but which is hinted at in the music.

Then, there is Mr. Under, who lives in the basement. I never go down to see him and he never comes up, but from the crack in the basement door, I hear and smell things that hint at the horrors that go on down there, down under the building.

I feel bored, I wander the halls, afraid to knock on doors, too lonely to go sit in my apartment. I am drawn to the door of Mr. Under. Who does he have down there? I know them, don’t I? It sickens me, but still, I want to know.

The shrieks and screams rise as I approach. I peer through the crack in the door and in one mind-searing instant, I see what he is doing. I am repulsed and I flee up to my room. But I only live in the present and even as I do, I am still peering through that crack, into the heart of evil; still tiptoeing awkwardly past the door of Miss Second; still standing mesmerized by the beauty of Mr. First’s drumming, with tears streaming down my face.

The sun is rising. The first rays stab into my apartment and I look out, out of my small corner of the universe into something so much vaster, where all the answers are revealed. I take a step—

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