of dreams iii

There’s a radioactive horseman who rises every Friday and wipes out people by exposure. It’s called the syncope. He carries no weapons. The survivors are genetically altered forever.

There are underground shelters and chutes and when the horseman comes, they go into the chutes. The chute entrances are in labyrinthine houses, built to confuse the horseman. The horseman cannot enter the houses.

The genetically altered survivors fall into three categories; the insane, the crippled and the unscathed. The unscathed have an inexplicable hunger for sweets. You cannot trust them to not eat every single sweet thing in the vicinity as soon as you turn your back. They’re said to be in jessmode.

Is the horseman a horseman? No one knows. He rises out of the ground and you run.

There are guards outside the labyrinthine houses. They are the only ones who don’t run. The horseman does not harm them. The guards wear all black. They have machine guns that are ineffective against a supernatural being. Why doesn’t the horseman harm them?

Earth has changed in two hundred years. There’s a lot of dust. There’s a lot of undrinkable water. People come to earth in time capsules and are confused. Is this really Earth, they ask. Are you sure? Earth isn’t like this. Are we in space?

We are not in space.

The horseman rises and a girl is too late. The doors to the labyrinthine houses are closing. She pleads with a guard to let her in. It can’t be done. The doors are closed.

The guard asks the horseman to spare the girl. It’s the first time anyone has ever spoken to the horseman.

The horseman opens the door to the labyrinthine house and walks in. The girl and the guard look at each other. Does the horseman have access to the other labyrinthine houses and underground shelters, the girl asks. No, the guard answers. He does not. The shelters are not interconnected.

The girl weeps to think of the innocent people in the shelters below who believe themselves safe, who have Death marching to meet them.

The guard takes off her helmet and drops her gun. Her face is hard. She seals the doors.

Who is the horseman? Where does he go?

Is it the same horseman? Does a new horseman rise out of the ground every Friday? Is he a product of the toxic ground we walk on? Is he a product of human experiments? Is somebody responsible or is he a monster, born out of collective human failure?

Will he rise again on Friday?

of dreams ii

I dreamt about bees and chemicals and girls and yellow dogs this morning.

There is a girl and a yellow dog and a beehive. In the rest of the world, all the bees have died and the world’s food resources are halved. The rich harvest the labour of the poor, and so people are starving, dying, desperate.

There’s rumours that not all bees have died. There’s rumours that there are small ecological pockets scattered all over the globe, places where chemicals were never used, places that haven’t used chemicals in decades, places where there is no farming, and the bees are unharmed. Rumours, panic, and wild, blind hope.

There are bees in this one little place, in a backyard on the outskirts of a large city, and the bees belong to a girl and her yellow dog. The local beekeeping association and local scientists are working on Why Are These Bees Alive and so far they have found out that the bees die when removed from their home – they never make it to the labs – and there is much Headscratching. Hushed voices and furtive looks. So much secrecy.

And this girl just tends to her bees.

How do you keep bees secret when your neighbourhood is the only neighbourhood in the country whose apple and peach trees still bear fruit? How do you keep bees secret when they swarm, swarm, swarm? How do you keep bees secret when the world is so painfully aware of their absence that their presence equals instant suspicion?

Desperate people, greedy people, they all bear down on the bees, they need the bees, they say, so the world won’t collapse. They need the bees, they say, so they won’t starve. They need the bees, they say, so they can sell them to highest bidder…

The girl defends herself with a broom and a yellow dog, with the army at her back and a scientist by her side.

I don’t know how this story ends. With hope, I hope. With bees and yellow dogs and blueberries in the wild. I dreamt of bees and golden honey and lush gardens, but I also dreamt of a world on the verge of collapse, of hunger and desperation and manual labour.

of dreams

I dreamt about radiation and iodine tablets and safe houses and government corruption last night.

There was a “prankster” who terrorised government owned institutions using weapons named after the very thing she was using them against.

A biological bomb called roses which vaporised bodies into dust – if you didn’t die instantly, you’d become an invisible ghostly being swept away by the wind until you dissolved entirely and became nothing. Used against every corrupt member of the ruling parties, the coalition of roses.

A giant battering ram called a warhammer used against the ministry of defense cracked down the upper walls and floors while slave labourers – atypical human beings and other species – rose up against their superiors on the lower floors.

Giant dogs bred for violence and hunting used to keep the population in check, now they’re raised with love and keep children safe – they’re guard dogs, but are renamed entirely. Gone is the guard, the minder, the executioner – they are named after new values and new hopes; Trusty, Loyal, Fluffy, and at one point, Steve. It’s the biggest, blackest dog of the bunch and the child it belongs to sleeps beside it every night and hugs it every morning and the child’s mother reminds, “the dog’s name is Chocolate, for the colour of her eyes” – but the child doesn’t care.

Poison – glittery white powder that looks like snow, called either fairy dust (“never fairy, don’t ever call it that”) or hot snow, for the way it burns down your throat and sets your body on fire. Flavourless, but for a hint of sweetness and the burst of chill at first taste – they say it’s based on menthol and nobody uses menthol for centuries after this war is over, not for medicine, not for candy, not for anything at all – this poison is used to assassinate the oligarchy because they themselves used it to quietly assassinate “troublesome” folks. Mix it in the sugar, they’ll take their tea eventually… children and nannies are but collateral damage.

I dreamt of violence and cruelty and people who fought back bloody, who fought back strong, who lost and loved and rejoiced and rebuilt the world in their own image.