I was not connected to a physical world or restricted by physical laws such as gravity instead suspended between what was the idea to truth and the realization of another truth. These little ditties played in my head as a soft, more secure surface rested beneath my body as I heard a disembodied voice talking to me and me returning with dazed, quiet whispers in responses. In my sight through half-lidded eyes, I saw what looked like a line of floating letters against a dark and foreign background than that of my bedroom. I saw a room of a grand sized lecture hall after hours, so the room was dark but the projector in the very back of the room was on, but while no light actually came from the projector the words still floated before me, illuminating on no real surface.
Finally, the voice asked, “Do you get something from mocking gang signs and symbols?” And with the end of that sentence, Pseudo-Onkelos stood in front of me and no longer was I on my stomach on the soft texture of sheets. I just smiled and reached out to take a hold of his hand.
I was not standing in front of Pseudo anymore. I was in a department store building with retail merchandise, but the building itself looked to be modeled after my old high school and the branches of trees were growing in through the windows. Outside, the sky was flushed with salmon pinks against an ever deepening, cloud-splotched, cerulean. Nature seemed to take back the city that we were in as the buildings in the distance were covered in overgrowth, vines creeping up and embracing stone while trees loomed over the mightiest of structures. Animals watched from the foliage at a distance, draped in shadow of the setting sun. My sister Madison raced behind me to take as much product from the shelves while chanting in some childlike voice I haven’t heard before. I recall asking why she was using it, but never got the answer.
I walked down the hall of one of the wings, searching for something all the while seeing a member of my family every so often as they continued to steal from this store. My brother and aunt twice during my search would try to egg me on to steal with them, but I said no.
I suddenly found myself outside somewhere with my father talking to me and Pseudo-Onkelos. Pseudo was smiling and talking to my father. My father had agreed to take him fishing with us and that we needed to go and grab some supplies from the cabin’s shed. I offered to grab them with Pseudo wanting to come with. We walked down a gravel path together, talking about life and the way humans think. His hand was held in mine as we made no hurry to get to the shed on the other end of the woodland path.
The ground wasn’t beneath our feet anymore. Instead replaced by uneven building block and gravel of a series of staircases and paths leading up the sides of a hillside, a temple resting at the very top. From the trees around us came angry voices and men shouting “Nazi” and “blasphemers”. Men cloaked in black tried to kill us by stabbing at us with knives and swords. I dodged and jumped above pillars, objects littering the area, and flipping up into the trees. Pseudo rolled and dodged, finally jumping up into the same tree and we ran from treetop to treetop, not knowing if they were following or not.
“The world needs to burn,” I said as we slowed in pace but now no longer walking. It seemed as though we were driving, or being driven, with neither of us in control of the direction or a frame around us anywhere.
“It already is,” Pseudo responded.
We made winding twists and turns on an obscure obstacle course, of sorts. The ground pivoted and sunk away as we began floating in the air, but it was definitely set on some predetermined path like some twisted version of a monorail ride. The pace was slow as we made loops and turns, often going upward to face the sky and falling with momentum toward the earth through hoops of branches and leaves. I leaned over and rested my head on Pseudo’s shoulder, embracing him in a hug with my left arm, and was about to ask him something, but I woke up.
Questionable content: Suggested rape, suicide and human waste.
I woke up in a dorm room, my roommate asleep in his bed. I looked at the clock and saw that it read 61:61, which I reacted to as being late for my first class. The run didn’t take long, it was in the basement of the building, a cooking class of sorts and I became really excited to see we had new, clean equipment and I started to laugh and exclaim this to my classmates, but they looked sullen and a white girl with long brunette hair and glasses told me, “The chef doesn’t like people talking before class is over”. I felt very self-conscious about this and wanted to leave the class. Walking around the room, I noticed others not dressed the same as us as it started to shift into more of a garage appearance. Contrasting against our black and white trainee cook attire were others wearing black and blue auto shop uniforms. They were watching their instructor, a white male with short blond hair; work at a bench, his voice low as he continued to work. I stood there staring at him. He noticed me staring and mouthed “What”. I just shrugged and walked away, leaving the class.
It wasn’t the school building anymore, but the hallway of a house. The atmosphere was dark and foreboding. An Asian girl my age walked beside me as two younger black kids walked behind us, they all looked very worried, being extra cautious to not make a sound. We rounded a corner into the living room area, but you could see the corner of the kitchen from where we stood, another hallway, and a staircase on our left leading upstairs, but it was too dark upstairs to see. There was movement upstairs and what sounded like a muffled cry. The kids started to murmur to one another and I looked to the girl and asked, “He has her, doesn’t he.” She just nodded the cuff of her sleeve in her mouth. “We need to go up there.” The three started to back away from me, so I knew I had to go alone.
I barely made it three steps upward before I lost a grip on reality and started to drift forward. It became increasingly difficult to keep my eyes open. My head was heavy. I wanted to sleep. In the darkness, noise was happening. Scraping and solid movement against what sounded like stone and wood. Two very different sounds, but I couldn’t open my eyes to see. When I finally could, I was standing up in the center of a warehouse and a disembodied voice spoke to me, telling me how I did such a good job but it was to be expected given my natural talents.
My body itched horribly. I looked down at my hands and chest to find myself bare of a shirt and my skin covered in rough, dry scales. I was cracking and peeling in some areas. I was horrified and tried to pick some off. It pinched to do so. The voice continued to speak, convincing me to adorn a mask that sat to my left on a cargo box and to show the world what I could see and do through my true eyes. When I put the mask on, it was like a helmet with deep-sea goggles. It covered my head, eyes, and nose but left my mouth open. What I saw through the goggles I didn’t see in reality. Everything was underwater and I could feel it. I was told to swim so that he could record his findings through the camera attached to the helmet.
I swam for a bit at first, my arms guiding my body as my legs drifted behind me and my lower abdomen pumping from side to side to propel me through the water. Something bothered me. I could see my reflection in the goggles but if I turned my head to the side a little, I noticed I was floating over a whiteness of nothing. I swam a little forward looking into the goggles, swimming over coral, sand, and aquatic wildlife. I glanced out the side of the goggles again and saw the same bleak, whiteness beneath me. That wasn’t right.
I stopped swimming, reaching out to grab onto something solid and removed the helmet. I exclaimed that he wasn’t being truthful and that he was trying to kill me. Everything was white, bright and slowly rebuilding itself. I saw myself in third person as I stood on nothing while gripping a partially sketched edge of a building. In the distance, against the white, pencil lines starting sketching in the next design of the scene. But I didn’t wait for it to finish before letting go of the building. My thoughts were that it would have been quicker that way.
The same grinding sound hit my ears as I clung tighter onto my blankets. I didn’t want to roll over or leave the comfort of my sleeping place. But I heard voices from outside and knocking at the door. I peeked around on the couch and saw someone peeking in at me through the window. Some white woman with brunette hair tied up in a bun. Then she made her way to the door and opened it. She came into my house! I got up and yelled at her, cursing and chasing her out but she was just smiling at me, as if I were being ridiculous.
I stood in the doorway, looking at the yard, and suddenly my brother-in-law came and drove his car on our grass. He told me now that it was spring and the grass was green, he could park his car safely in our yard. I wanted to argue with him, so I followed him through the park trying to talk to him. As we kept walking, an awful odor hit my nose. When we got to his trailer, he told me he got work in the trailer park by cleaning out the porta potties. He had it tipped over, the bottom open and the feces and urine everywhere. I noticed then I was walking in raw sewage while barefoot. I excused myself from the situation and walked under a picnic bay area and saw three rows of toilets, five in each row, and some people were using them.
I suddenly felt the need to go and sat down on one in the front row and defecated but only then noticed I didn’t have any toilet paper. I looked to the white male on my left and asked if he had any. He told me he didn’t. No one there did. So I took off my shirt, a tank top sat underneath, and used that instead. I even said nonchalantly that it was a good thing I had a shirt on hand for such an occasion. When I pulled up my pants, I turned to see the seat I was sitting on no longer had a rim to it and it was smeared in feces that wasn’t my own. I felt sickened and wanted to go home to shower, but then I remembered my kids were at home alone!
I found my way home, walked through the living room and down the hall to their room. I opened their bedroom door to find them both napping soundly. I woke up.
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