Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Dream - In France in World War II

On July 10, 2008, I had a dream that was at least suggestive of reincarnation, though I don't know if it actually was of a past life.

I remember thinking, while asleep, of US soldiers, and lists of them, and soldiers eager to volunteer for combat missions, feeling that it was an honor. I then saw a tall white cliff with metal rungs driven into it, with the enemy somewhere at the top, and soldiers, widely spaced, climbing the rungs. It was France during World War II.

I was on the beach, on the sand, and I had a huge thick rectangular pack that I had been wearing across my front and apparently another one on my back. I was taking the pack off my front now, apparently feeling that it was too awkward to move around with it on, and as I was lifting it slightly and moving it to the side a heavy bullet struck it about half a foot in from the lower corner, on the side that had been moving across the front of me as I was moving the pack off to set it down. A fraction of a second later and the bullet would have hit me instead. The pack seemed to have stopped it, with the bullet somewhere inside. When the bullet hit I stopped moving the pack and hesitated, then looked around the edge of it at the hole, with interest and wonder rather than fear.

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Dream - On the run

In the morning of April 2, 2008, I had a dream or combination of dreams. Though initially the dream was not too unusual, it changed and became increasingly strange, finally becoming a long story where I ended up running from the law and able to change reality.

In the earliest part of the dream that I can remember, I was driving the 1970 Cadillac, but there was also another car, perhaps dating from the sixties or seventies. There was something about checking or perhaps changing the oil or looking at the waterpump seal. The engine had a lot of space around it, and it was easy to see things.

Then I was back home, in bed. There were some crumbs on the blanket, partly on top, partly underneath. I think that my brother and mother showed up at separate times and then left. I got up, tired. I may have gotten up more than once.

I went toward the hall, then, thinking I was alone but evidently hearing something. The house was filled with a dense fog. I went cautiously forward. I could definitely hear someone then, faintly, at least two people.

Becoming acutely aware that I had just gotten out of bed and was not fully dressed, I fell to my knees, going back into almost a sitting position, doubled over somewhat. I was wearing just a shirt and underwear, what I had been sleeping in. I pulled my shirt down as much as I could, in that position covering my underwear and part of my legs.

A little girl came into the hallway, appearing out of the fog. She was not someone I knew in real life, though I seemed to know her in the dream. She happily talked to me, saying that someone (perhaps my mother, perhaps another person) had brought her, and she had been sent to me to help me. I was a bit uncertain about this, but I kept my reservations mostly to myself, and generally only made brief responses, mostly acknowledgements, to what she was saying.

Though she took no notice of my current situation, I still felt uncomfortable and decided to go back to bed and get back under the covers so I wouldn't be so exposed. I got up, trying to keep my shirt pulled down onto my legs, and somewhat nervously walked back to my bedroom. She followed along and we continued talking, though she was doing most of it.

When I reached my bed, I looked down at it, frowning. Though I had been about to get back under the covers, the crumbs were still there. It seemed unpleasant, now, to get back into bed with the crumbs there, and somewhat embarrassing to have someone see my bed this way. I started brushing the crumbs off the covers, but a lot of bugs were there now, also, and the more I brushed the more appeared. They were mostly pale, fragile, skinny-winged things, and most of them seemed to be dead or dying already, even before I started brushing at them. New ones kept flying in or even falling from above, and it was hard to get them adequately brushed off. Pieces seemed to stick to the covers and stay behind, too.

Later, perhaps in the same dream or perhaps in a different dream, I went outside, dressed in dark work clothes, to the backyard and then around to the side yard. A fence ran around the backyard, extending partway along the side yard. There was a gate in the side yard in the part of the fence facing the street, and then more fence ran along by the driveway. The fence was much higher than in real life, perhaps eight or ten feet. A chain was attached to the top, somewhere back along the fence, perhaps even back close to the backyard, and I used it to do something, though I'm not sure what now. I think I stretched it to the end of the fence that is toward the street but I'm not sure what the purpose was. It seemed important and/or useful at the time, though.

At some point it came to be that a rough wooden stairway went down from the top of the fence in front of the gate. I don't think it stretched all the way to the ground. Someone was with me and had been for some time, and I think they went down the stairs first, and then I went. It seems we were supposed to go inside now. Perhaps a meal was about to be served, but I'm not sure now.

I went toward the carport and got involved with doing things there. The carport kept expanding and lengthening, and turned into a garage, a business. There were several people there, and a sliding garage door that opened toward the house. There was some problem near the door, some loops of cable or something like that, that were on a square hook up high beside the door. For some reason the people needed to have them taken down so they could reach them, it was for some reason important.

At the far end of the garage near the street, some chain was attached to the wall. I went and got it and somehow stretched it out all the way across the garage to where the loops of cable were, pulled the chain tight, and then holding it more or less tight used the tension from it to walk up the wall and take the loops of cable off the hook. In real life this would not have worked, because the chain was to the left side of me, not in front of me, but in the dream it seemed that it should. As I got the loops down, someone started going through the garage door opening, as though I had to get the cable down before this could happen. The people were happy that it was taken down and someone was reaching for it even as it was coming down.

I was in a nearby house, then, perhaps the first house over toward the main street. I heard sirens that got louder and louder, and I saw, through some narrow window openings (curtains or perhaps cardboard were blocking most of the glass of the windows), an emergency vehicle go past. It went past my house and to the house on the other side, or perhaps the house on the other side of that. I wandered over to see the emergency vehicle, and went out back and to the front and back again. I started to feel that I was reliving to some extent a horror novel (a specific one), the mood was getting darker and somewhat scary and menacing. It seemed to be very late afternoon, almost twilight, sometimes after sundown, sometimes earlier. I started going around a big building toward the street, a little nervous.

Partway toward the street, I met a mostly black dog, medium size. The dog seemed friendly, but I felt it was there for a purpose, left there to guard that side of the building and perhaps a nearby side entrance. I went by or around it, but it wanted to follow me at a little distance, with its mouth open and its tongue hanging out. I didn't know how long it would follow me and I kept worrying that it would suddenly attack.

I went up the side of the building, pulling myself up on little pieces of metal sticking out, sometimes in the form of little skinny bars almost flat against the building, sometimes as just odd flat pieces of heavy metal. None were very big and none stuck out very far. Going up the building, working my way back some, following where the metal was, I got pretty high, perhaps ten or twelve feet up. The dog was still down there, looking up at me, happily waiting. I took a piece of metal off the building and dropped it on it. The metal fell on its back, close to the hips. The dog yelped but didn't leave. I felt a little bad about dropping the metal on it, and was now afraid that the dog was more likely to be mad at me and more likely to attack.

I came back down and went down the street a ways, keeping back in the front yards, trying to stay somewhat hidden. The dog seemed to stay behind, at least for now. I felt I was being searched for by somebody, though. I think some police or police detectives were also looking for me. It was dark now, and it had been dark when I was with the dog. The area I was in seemed to be small town/rural, no longer the suburban place where the dream started.

I came to a more open area and turned right into it. I seemed to observe someone, and thinking about his situation and storyline, then became him. The person wasn't too bright, at least at times. The street I was now on went downhill, sharply at times. There was some situation with a car and a tow truck. Then there was something hanging from a tree, a long chain or perhaps initially a swing. I took the chain and pulled it way back, and I was in the air over the tow truck and car then, going back, back, back, the chain seeming to play out from the tree an enormous distance. The road was dirt, somewhat sunken, with slanted, sometimes steeply slanted, shoulders. I was high in the air, perhaps twenty or thirty feet, going back up toward the more main street. Then I was going back toward the tree, going through the air, the road slanting downward in front of me. The chain kept playing out and I kept going forward more and still more, somehow staying above the now steeply downward-slanted road.

I crossed an intersection and eventually another, gradually getting closer to the ground while the ground kept falling away from me. I passed a restaurant on the other side of the road and seemed to be coming in for a landing a little ways past it on that side of the road, on a long pile of trash and large collapsed boxes. A woman saw that I was coming down and pulled a very large flattened box into position for me to land on. The box had a lot of oil or grease on it, but I managed to land past at least part of it, trying to keep to my hands and knees to get as little on me as possible.

Behind me, the chain falling across the intersection had caused some trouble, at least with the first intersection. The chain was or had been in the air, going across the intersection, and one or more cars hit it and had gone on to hit other things. The police were investigating and would eventually be tracing the chain to see where it went.

I left, following the street downhill in the dark, and after a while came to another intersection and more houses, houses that faced the intersecting street. The dog was back, and the house on the right side of the street had another dog. This second dog was smaller and paler, with somewhat longer hair, though I think initially it may have been almost a twin of the first. The second dog was in the front yard, inside a low white stucco wall that ran around the front yard of the house. I think it had just come from inside the carport, perhaps somehow also coming from inside the house. I was on the other side of the wall, on or near the street I had come in on, the street that ran between the houses.

I did something to the second dog, and changed it into a small stuffed toy and put it on top of the low white stucco wall. The first dog had left, moving on before I changed the second dog into a toy. I knew the toy would change back into a dog before very long, and it did so just before I left. It seemed that it might be an even smaller dog than before, and it seemed nervous and somewhat frightened and wasn't really interested in me.

I went back toward the downtown area, trying to avoid the tree holding the chain and the investigators, going in a bit of a zigzag, taking different streets. I think at some point I met someone and talked briefly, and they may have given some advice. In the downtown area, I went past an intersection and saw someone, a man in late middle age, looking at me through the windows of a very small corner store, windows that were mostly blocked by cardboard, leaving just a long slit or two open on each side.

Looking in through the slit as I passed, I saw him looking back readying a bow and arrow. The arrows were primitive, homemade like the bow, and had no heads, just roughly broken-off ends. I had been warned about him and others, though perhaps only in a general way. I quickly hurried across the intersection at an angle, going away from him. He fired at me, though, and I could see the arrow, with its splintered end, coming for me in slow motion. I batted it away with my hand, perhaps even turning it back toward him, though if so, it didn't do any damage, perhaps not even reaching him. I continued to move quickly away from him. He fired again at me. I was a considerably greater distance now, but it still reached me. I batted it aside again.

I came to a room. It faced the street, a side street to the one I had been on and going the same direction as the one with the tree, now far behind me. I had continued to go forward in a zigzag, and the room was on a far corner, with the cross street intersecting another street. I think someone was urging me to go in, to hide for a while.

There was someone already in the room, an older man. I went into the room anyway, through a door that led to a room beside his. I think someone may have come in with me, someone who had joined me somewhere along the way, but I'm not sure. Some other, much younger people were there in other rooms, sometimes coming in or talking from where they were. There didn't seem to be a real hallway, just rooms opening to other rooms. The old man seemed to stay mostly in bed, though he was at least partially sitting up or leaning on his side at times. He showed me and the others various things he had made, some no doubt from long ago, that his room was full of.

Through the window, I could see people outside looking for me and questioning people on the street. I think some of the people looking for me were police detectives and policemen, though I think some of the people were criminals, organized crime figures.

The old man took a very small device and showed it to me. It seemed to be a small piece of metal bent into a V shape with one of the sides longer and curved inward and a long skinny bolt going through the two sides away from the fold, toward the outer edges, tightened just enough to hold them in the elongated V shape. Inside the V, there seemed to be some more stuff, including perhaps some wires. The whole thing, including the bolt, was pale metal. It was intended to be held with the hand almost in a fist and the V part between the fingers, with the thumb inside partly holding on to it, partly pushing the trigger. The trigger seems to have been partly the end of the bolt and partly intention.

Although I described it as the two wide halves of the V being held together by the bolt, it now seems that the bolt somehow also went through the point of the V and down its axis, and that the V was actually a piece of metal bent to form a narrow triangle, with the V formed by the ends closing against each other. One side was still curved inward. The side facing out had a narrow flat area formed by two bends, with a tiny pinhole in it and an open slot below it where the flat area disappeared, leaving just the edges of the sides, and the end of the bolt, I don't know which end, sticking out.

The man demonstrated its use against the window, holding the device and pressing it close to or against the window. He moved it slowly down the window, cutting a narrow line. The window was thick, and had shapes or designs molded into part of it. I felt that it might have been something he had made, and I felt kind of bad about it being damaged. I felt too, though, that he probably didn't have much longer to live and knew it, and that he was no longer overly concerned about preserving physical things, having felt that they had largely already served their purpose.

He had me try it myself then, cutting more into the glass of the window (which may have been plastic instead), making a line from top to bottom so that a section of the window could be removed. It was intended that I should leave through the opening. It would be a narrow opening and awkward to get through, but I felt I could somehow do it. I would also be taking someone with me. Although I seemed to have come in with someone, one of the young people there, a girl, would be going with me. It was her decision, but there was at least some discussion about it. She may have also been the one that came in with me, but there's some doubt about that.

Looking outside through the opening, I could see the people across the street trying to find me. Perhaps a couple of them were questioning people. Associated policemen were also scattered around the area. It would be difficult or impossible to escape through the narrow opening without being seen. I pointed the device at them and fired it. It was difficult to do real damage at that distance, although if I kept it trained on one spot it might eventually start going through. A very faint mist was at times visible from the beam, though not usually in the beam itself, just mostly around the impact area.

The person I was aiming at, a man who had been questioning people and seemed to be a leader, turned partly toward me, his mouth open, his eyes mostly closed, a look of discomfort and annoyance on his face. His head was partly forward and his body was getting progressively wetter as it was hit from the beam. He was pushed back some and I think he might have eventually fallen. I might have also pointed the beam at another person, before the first one fell, if he did. Meanwhile the old man warned me, in an almost conversational style, as I first started to turn the beam on the men, "You know, if you do stuff like that, you'll have to keep on doing it."

When it seemed that I had created enough trouble, I went through the opening in the window and the girl followed. She seemed to be in her thirties, perhaps late thirties, though she had seemed a little younger earlier. She later seemed to resemble a little the full-figured woman on the latest Big Brother (Big Brother 9, with people divided into couples). She was blonde and smiled a lot, with big dimples on her face. Sometimes, though, she had a more subdued appearance, perhaps even approaching that of Adrian Monk's assistant, Natalie, from the TV show Monk.

We went back toward the direction I had come from. We had to keep looking out for the police and the detectives and whoever else might be after us. I was in a more open area now, away from the downtown. I went ahead cautiously, slowly going around corners, staying mostly at or toward the backs of buildings. The ground was sloping away now, sometimes leaving open areas at the backs of buildings, where the building was supported on boards, stilt-like. I came around to one area where some people were underneath the building. I was scared for a few seconds, but then realized that they were just bums. I stayed with them for a few minutes, then continued on. Oddly, they seemed to be at least partly aware of my situation.

I came to the back of a building, then, an open back, that had a bunch of policemen and detectives there waiting for me. They seemed triumphant that I had fallen into their trap. The girl who had come with me remained nearby, lagging a bit behind me, perhaps ten or fifteen feet away and to the side. I pointed the device at what appeared to be the main person and fired it. It was almost like pointing a ring, like Green Lantern, the DC Comics superhero, except that I had to push inside with my thumb, though it may have still been mostly intention that did it. The man's body moved back a little with the impact, his arms going out to the side some, his mouth open and his face in an expression of pained and somewhat angry dismay. His body became very soaked with the mist, though don't remember any hole appearing in his clothes from the beam.

Another man came forward, perhaps to protect the first. He wore pale clothing. He turned his back to me as he came, and I fired into his back. His back arched and his head came back, partly turned, and his mouth opened crying out in pain. His clothes became completely soaked and a tiny hole appeared in the cloth. I think he finally fell over, either before or after I moved on to someone else. They seemed to be mostly frozen watching what was happening to the others, until I turned the beam on them. I didn't spend as much time with the later ones.

I tried to leave, going away down the dirt road that was a little ways behind the building, but there were two other people there, a man and a woman, seemingly waiting for me in case I escaped the others. They came from the direction I had been going away from. I fired at the man for a while. He either finally fell or was incompacitated enough that I could get away from him. I fired at the woman, then, but she kept on slowly coming toward me. She was in late middle age, an expression of sadness and pain on her face, tears in her eyes, looking at me accusingly. She got closer and closer, her dress, somewhat lowcut and medium dark, completely soaked, until finally I was firing the device directly against the bare skin of her upper chest. As she came she spoke to me, about what I was doing to her, and the thought came through, whether directly spoken or just implied, that I shouidn't be doing this to her, it was wrong, and maybe someday I would realize that.

I wondered if she was actually involved in going after me. Perhaps she, along with the man, had only a slight involvement, or perhaps even none at all, and that I was essentially firing now on what might be innocent bystanders, though it didn't seem somehow as important as perhaps it should be, as by now I had to fire simply because they were there. I finally stopped firing, though, and turned away, and took the woman who had come with me, and flew away to another place. I don't know the fate of the woman I shot, whether she recovered or not. I don't know what happened to any of them.

We ended up on what was apparently a ship for a while. It seems that we had both at some point had gotten shot, though I'm not sure now which one I first realized had gotten shot. We were in a lounge area, on big roomy stuffed leather chairs with arms and sides. We were naked but had magically sunken in and blended with the chairs, even taking on their coloring, with mostly just our heads and shoulders and arms and legs sticking out, with just suggestions of other things, so it was hard to see much of our bodies. A suggestion of her chest showed, but her hip region was hidden, as was mine. I had a different body than I do normally, young and muscular, though my body was almost completely hidden. We were leaning back and smiling and talking, not seeming too terribly disturbed by our wounds. Some of the nearby people frowned at us, both because we were wanted criminals and because we were sitting there openly naked. Frowning at us because we were basically flaunting our wickedness.

That night we went out on deck, dressed now, looking for someplace to hide for the night. We were somewhat quieter and more thoughtful now, and our wounds bothered us more, though we didn't talk about them. She found someplace on top of something, perhaps a rowboat, and slid down into something laying on top of it that fit her like a sheath, leaving just her head and shoulders sticking out. I was worried about her and asked if she was alright. She assured me that she was. I was afraid, though I didn't say anything, that I would find her there dead in the morning. There seemed to be nothing more I could do though, and, still worried, I left her to find someplace for myself.

In the morning I went looking for her and calling out for her, but I didn't get a response. I finally found the place I left her, and there she was, her head and shoulders sticking out as before. She lay there still, and I think her eyes may have even been open, staring upward. I thought she was indeed dead, as I had feared, but then she turned her head slightly and smiled and looked at me.

Another time, probably before we got on the ship, perhaps after we left it, we were running from the law and came to the end of a building, toward the back. I paused, and saw in my mind that a large number of people were back there, waiting for us, ready to gun us down. I saw also a future in which I had not paused and they succeeded. I did not see them as people but as vague blobs and swirls of yellowish energy. I changed the furure then, and the present, and created a situation in which they were not there. I then cautiously looked around the corner, confirmed that it was empty, and then led the woman through and past the area.

Another time, perhaps before or perhaps after the other one, I got somehow careless or perhaps thought it didn't matter enough, and went into a similar situation where men waited for us behind a building. There were much fewer men this time, and even though I was looking right at them instead of sensing them, some of them still appeared as energy forms. We were fired at and I guess I fired back, but I think at least one of us was wounded then. Perhaps we both were.

Later, after we had left the boat, we were in some region of the Southwest. I believe we still had our wounds, but they seemed unimportant now. I think we had stolen a car to get where we were. We were in the desert near a freeway, not far from access ramps. The place was a complex containing one or more large service stations and one or more restaurants. We were aware that the police were still tracking us, and would eventually get to where we were. It was night. We were walking, and passed a couple of cars that were parallel parked, with the first one, a convertible, having the whole back section full of food.

I reached out and grabbed one or two of the items, probably individually packaged turnovers, and was just going to take them. The woman who was with me turned around and was saying "No," though, and took out some very crisp bills and gave one of them to a man who was with the car. I don't know where she got the money or what denomination it was. I was somewhat surprised to see that she had any. A couple of other people associated with the car were nearby. I think they were people on a vacation, perhaps retirees.

We went looking for another car at some point, wanting to confuse the pursuit. There were a lot of cars getting gas, so there were a lot of possibilities.

I also wanted to get rid of the device. I felt I had had it long enough and that we would continue to have trouble as long as we had it. I was getting tired of all the running and trying to evade the law. I recognized that the magic would go with it and that I would be losing a lot of power, but I still felt that it had to be done.

There followed a lot of confusion and activity, a lot of which I've forgotten. I remember driving around the parking lot, looking for a distant exit to the street, though I think I went back toward the pumps after finding it. This may have been before I took the food, perhaps even at a different complex at a different offramp. I also remember trying to get away from people who were after us.

In any event, I did locate a woman at a pump and gave her the device. I went with the woman who had been with me to steal a nearby car, then. A bit of confusion followed, though I think I did succeed in stealing a car. Some people were after us though, and I think were even after the woman that I gave the device to. The woman I gave the device to didn't really understand what was happening, and she didn't understand the device very well, though I tried to explain it some to her. She seemed to like the device though, staring at it and looking it over.

At some point, with people running around and trying to get me and probably her too, she pointed the device at some low mountains, including a section of Monument Valley-type mountains, that lay beyond the freeway. The mountains were being used as an earthen dam to hold back water, and water started to come through the rock now, coming diectly out of the rock as well as over it. A huge wave, very tall but more as a burst then having a continuous structure, came forward and over us. More water came, and kept coming. Water was even coming out of the rock high in the mountains, well above the level of any water held by the dam, coming out of rocks that should have been dry.

I realized somewhere in there that I still had the magic, even without the device. I looked out at what was happening from near the edge of the pavement of the service station area, the woman who had come with me standing by me. The water was lessening, now, and I began to think that it was getting time to go down the freeway and leave, with the woman who had come with me. I'm not sure now if we would be walking or taking the car I stole, but I was confident about the future.

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Posts from the Story blog

These are my posts to write101.com's Neverending Story, at its blog location. The times given are from my computer and are Arizona time, and may not exactly match that given on the blog.


5:29 AM 9/8/2005

"Good thing for you," the owl said, "I have a remedy right here." The owl pointed to a nearby bottle and said, "we can discuss the cost later."

Doctor Morgenes peered into the bottle suspiciously and said, "We should discuss the cost now. What if I don't have enough money to pay you?"

The owl said, "All the other purchasers have been able to pay. And who said that the payment would be in money?"

Stephen from Scottsdale, Arizona, USA

2:16 PM 9/18/2005

Doctor Morgenes looked at the portable exorcism machine. "Does this also work on tea chests, or Chinese puzzle boxes with strange, brightly colored creatures inside?" he said, perhaps remembering another time that now may or may not exist.

"Certainly," said Father Wetherley, "but you'll need to pay it with more than just a cup of tea. And you may have to use it twice on the puzzle box."

Stephen from Scottsdale, Arizona, USA

9:26 AM 12/27/2005

... Dr. Morgenes, crying, "You're on my foot! You're on my foot!"

Abashed, the giant ape moved to the side. Morgenes, quietly sobbing, took off his shoe and counted his toes.

Abrubtly, an anvil fell on the other foot. "Sorry, " the Anvil said. "Just thought I'd drop in."

Stephen from Scottsdale, Arizona, USA

7:54 AM 5/26/2007

He threw her over his shoulder, and then screamed shrilly. He awkwardly dumped her on the ground and staggered back. Quills protruded from his hands and from his shoulder. His wife had turned into a porcupine!

Unsuccesfully fighting back tears, he began pulling quills from his hands with his teeth, as the porcupine ambled off into the forest, slowing turning into an anteater as it went. The forest? How had he gotten back there?

From somewhere behind him a voice said, "Let me have a look at that."

Stephen from Scottsdale, Arizona, USA

6:06 AM 6/8/2007

...when Dr. Morgenes heard a small squeaky voice say, "Wait, he has no money."

He looked down and saw a weasel, who had evidently managed to go through all of his pockets and placed all the contents on the ground. Dr. Morgenes was surprised to see the large number and variety of things that he had managed to bring with him.

"He has these odd colored papers with portraits on them," the weasel said, holding up some cash, "but they're not that well done and I doubt we'll be able to get much for them. In fact, I doubt we'll get much for the full pile."

"Well, in that case," the tiger said...

Stephen from Scottsdale, Arizona, USA

7:05 AM 9/4/2007

The tiger-doctor selected a very large pair of very shiny pliers and went over to Dr. Morgenes, where he paused for a long time, surveying the damage. Finally Morgenes cried, "Are you going to do anything or not? And do you have anything to ease the pain of these quills? They're killing me!"

The tiger said, "Pain is good, it teaches us things. However, we have a complication here. These are magic quills from a magic porcupine. If we pull one out, it will regrow within a few seconds. And even without pulling any out, they are slowly multiplying. Fortunately, I have invented a machine for this very situation."

The tiger then somehow produced from one of the pockets of his lab coat a metal box the size of two shoe boxes side by side. It had a vertical handle on each side and two buttons on top, one yellow and one red. The tiger pushed the yellow one and two small finely toothed wheels emerged from the front and and stuck out perhaps half a foot. They rested against each other, like interlocking gears. The tiger then pressed the red button, and the wheels began to turn rapidly with a shrill, whining sound.

"Allow me to demonstrate," said the tiger. He picked up a small stick and pushed pushed it into the wheels. The stick was immediately pulled between the wheels and into the box, with a grinding, crunching sound.

"The stick was destroyed inside the box, as will be the quills," said the tiger. "Destroying the quills also destroys the magic, or at least reduces it to a disorganized form. The disorganized magic may cause some odd effects in the immediate vicinity, but this should not be a big problem. Though the destroyed quill will not itself regrow, other quills will eventually grow because of the radiated magic field of the remaining quills, making rapid removal of all the quills absolutely mandatory."

The tiger turned toward Dr. Morgenes and raised the machine. "Hold still, I wouldn't want to catch anything in the wheels that I shouldn't. If at some point you find yourself fainting, try to fall the other way."

The tiger tightened his grip on the handles of the box and moved it forward toward the quills.

Stephen from Scottsdale, Arizona, USA

3:45 AM 12/2/2007

"First the good news," the tiger-doctor said. "The quills are gone. The bad news is that the machine exploded, dispersing the magic from the quills into the environment. Especially the environment it was closest to, your shoulder."

Dr. Morgenes, with an increasingly bad feeling, slowly turned to look at his shoulder. What he found there filled him with horror. He stared at it, speechless. It was a small head looking just like his, staring back at him.

The small head finally said, "The really bad news is that the weasel's underneath us. If you don't move you're going to kill him. I'd move us if I could, but I'm not strong enough to override you. That's something I'm going to work on, though."

Stephen from Scottsdale, Arizona, USA

4:09 AM 6/1/2008

The small head said, "There's one too many heads here alright, and I'd like to get rid of the extra one. But it would be kind of, you know, like cutting off your nose to spite your face, only worse." He looked at Dr. Morgenes' head with narrowed eyes. "So I guess I'll just have to do this the hard way."

The small head seemed to burrow under the skin and work its way toward Morgenes' head, while Morgenes' head looked at it with alarm. The small head finally reached Morgenes' head and somehow disappeared inside it. Morgenes began to thrash and claw at his head with his fingers.

The tiger-doctor and the weasel watched in silence for a while. Finally the tiger said, "All this magic can really be a headache sometimes. We'd better leave them to work this out by themselves."

The tiger spread his new magical wings and flapped them experimentally a few times, then picked up the weasel and flew away.

Stephen from Scottsdale, Arizona, USA

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Still more posts about posts

Last March and in the summer of 2007 I posted collections of posts I made to a message board I visit frequently. This is the third collection of these posts.

On that message board, new threads crowd out old ones, old in this case meaning oldest last update. Threads can persist for a long time, however, if they are posted to frequently enough so that they stay comfortably away from the bottom of the list.

I help to keep some of the threads going, by posting to them when it seems that a new post might be needed. On threads about writing or poems, I have sometimes posted poems. Most of these poems refer to posts or posting in some manner, and most of them are short, sometimes very short, though a few are fairly long.

As originally posted they did not have titles, but I have given them titles here. The times shown are in Arizona time (MST), not the time on the message board, which uses Eastern time.

6:31 PM 1/21/2007

This is a post
That's shorter than most

That's longer than some
With still more to come

But the ending is near
It is right here


I lied, I fear
The end's not here

Will it be found?
Is it deep underground?

Is it closer than that?
Is it under my hat?

Is it inside my head?
Is it still to be said?

Will it be seen
When placed on the screen?

Will others then post?
And not just almost?

And the thread will go on
But this post is done

7:39 AM 8/28/2007

Here there be poems
Sparse and lush
Post yours now
And avoid the rush

1:13 AM 3/12/2008

Words go down
The thread goes up
But as time does pass
It begins to drop

'Round and 'round
The circle goes
Keep it running
See that it grows

Add a post
A word or two
Whatever you have
Old or new

Place it here
Don't be too late
Threads can leave
When people wait

5:51 AM 4/18/2008

Poem or prose
Here it goes

3:16 PM 5/12/2008

I wrote this line
And this one too
I could write more
But this will do

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Howdy Week

In the high school that I attended, long ago, the first week was called Howdy Week. It was supposed to be a time of gentle hazing for the Freshmen, where Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors could order a Freshman to do something and the Freshman had to do it. It wasn't supposed to be anything bad though, basically just some teasing and mild humiliation.

To identify themselves, the Freshmen had to wear name tags the first week. It was probably something made of paper, maybe construction paper, that they pinned on their shirts. I think they had to write their own names on it.

In that first week of high school, back in 1967, I was somewhat nervous about what might be done during the hazing. To be more specific, I was somewhat nervous about what might be done to me or be required of me. I gave some slight consideration to to leaving the name tag off. I was very tall, 5 feet 11 1/2 inches I think, in the summer before high school, and might even have been slightly taller by the time I got there. Since I was so tall, if I didn't wear a name tag they probably wouldn't know I was a Freshman. I didn't really want to do that, though. It felt too much like cheating, and there might be a chance I could get into trouble for not wearing it, or at least it seemed so to me. And if I left it off I would miss whatever was out there for me, whatever that might be.

Nobody bothered me at first, but I remained nervous about it. Since I was taller than the vast majority of the students, taller than the average height for adults even, potential hazers may not have wanted to try anything with me.

Wednesday, though, as I was walking between the rows of buildings, heading toward one on the end, I saw a group of people with a small kid, apparently trying to put him in a trash container. A few other students were sitting along a large concrete planter, watching. One of them got up and headed in my general direction, not looking at me, moving at a diagonal, heading partially in the direction I was going as if to meet up with me a little ways ahead. I hoped he wasn't really going to do it, that it was just a coincidence that he was heading that way.

As he came closer though, there could be no real doubt that he intended to meet me. I stopped and waited. He was several inches shorter than I was, and came up to me with a strange expression on his face, not really looking at me, seeming to look slightly to the side. Stopping in front of me, he fiddled with the pin on my name tag. Finally getting it loose, he took the name tag, folded it, and put it in his pocket. I think he also clapped me briefly on my left arm, near my shoulder, but I'm not sure now. He turned then and went back, never speaking to me and never looking me in the face.

After that I had no more problems.

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