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Scenario One:

I'm sitting on a metal folding chair in my room draped in the red fleece blanket I sleep with during the winter. There is a knock at the door and I say come in. In comes my USMC recruiter. I was expecting my mother so I'm a little surprised, nevertheless I greet him, "How's it going Sgt. Hall?" "Not good Campbell we need to fill out your registration papers." All of the sudden I get real tired and I tell him that maybe it is'nt a good time right now. He looks at me and tell me that this is the attitude that I need to get rid of. I sigh and look up.

Scenario Two:

Me and three other guys I don't know are riding through a sewer pipe. We're kinda of gliding above the water like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles used to do except we don't have any boards at our feet. The guy to my left looks over a nudges me and says "Freeboarding is cool, huh?". I just look at him for a bit and then I turn back and go back and concentrate on the task at hand. We ride throuh all types of twists and turns and drops. I can never see more then ten feet ahead of me because of the opaque darkness until we hit a deadend. There is a ladder hanging from a another dark abyss in the middle of this room. We look at each other and then I jump and try to reach the ladder. I miss it and try again. The third time My hand grabs ahold of it and I struggle to pull myself up.

Scenario Three:

I'm sitting alone in my school's cafeteria. This girl I knew from my old Spanish class sits down next to me and starts talking to me about her schedule and a Poseidon Society. I listen to her as if it's the most interesting thing I have ever heard. I see another girl from my Computer Programming class sit down in the other seat. I can see her in my dream but I dont notice her until the end. When I finally do she looks at me disgustedly and says "Freeboarding is cool, huh?"

Notes: I have never skateboarded or done any type of other boarding in my life. I have been watching alot of Six Feet Under. Also at some point in time I have had a crush on both girls that appear in Scenario Three.

Joel Creswell and I were in a Safeway, or a hotel, or a shopping center downtown. In any case, we were on the ground floor. We went into the stairway, which was spiral and brown and rusty and dingy. We went down, and down, and down, well over eight flights. Where were we going?

To hell!

We soon got tired of walking and realized it was a lot farther down to get to hell. So, we got out on one floor and took the elevator, which whisked us ever-so-quickly to the ... bottom floor. We got out, and it appeared to be like any doctor's office in a faceless skyscraper. I knew the Devil had a pseudonym, "Doctor Something-or-other", and so I asked the receptionist to see this doctor. She replied, "I'm sorry, the Doctor is occupied right now. Shall I leave a message?" I replied no, and suddenly was full of fear. It was time to leave, and I retrieved Joel, who had been milling about near the elevator, and we went back to the surface.

Ken was sitting in the middle of the couch in the living room, while my mom, Gram, and I sat on other chairs. To Ken's left was a large, large cat, perhaps 50cm tall while sitting up straight. It had grey-blueish, moderately long fur. Ken was wrapping this cat up in tissue paper, to give to my aunt Gretchen. However, Gretchen hates cats. Ken didn't seem to either be aware of, or care about, this fact. Also, it was two days till Christmas, and Ken didn't really care that the cat was going to be wrapped up for two days, but then again the cat seemed fully aware of and only mildly annoyed by this fact. Ken had assembled this contraption of branches from the Christmas Tree to put on the cat, so it looked like it had pine needle antlers. The cat turned and looked at me, seeming to think, "When will he ever be done?"

Metaphysical Hero

So there's this girl who likes me, who's about 4-6 years younger than me. She's a nice girl, kind of cute. Her name is Normal, and she can walk, but she can't walk very far and she can't walk without help, so most of the time she uses a wheelchair. I want to be her friend but I don't want to go out with her. A woman I knew in college and the transgendered woman she's seeing are writing a book on flying techniques, and a guy watching them read other material on it is threatening to turn them in for copyright violation. They're thinking about using a similar format to that set out in one of their references. They have mechanized broomsticks, metal contraptions composed of a small box, about the size of a shoebox, and a length of the kind of pole used in chainlink fence, all made out of dull steel. Turning in place on one of them I think I am going to fall over but their balance is surprisingly good. The two women keep telling me that they're surprised at who I'm interested in, thinking that I'm interested in Normal, rather than the other way around. Normal wants to get chicken while I'm doing something. It makes her sad that I'm a vegetarian. I run into her outside later, she had a nap and wants to go to a restaurant now. I think she thought I was going to go with her to get chicken. She can't bring her wheelchair into the restaurant, since it's on one of the balconies on the cliff face. She leans on me. We go through the bedroom of a girl I knew in grade school. Normal and the girl's cat wake her up by climbing on the bed. The women from college start asking me about Normal, saying that they don't think she's my type and isn't it mean to call her Normal since she's handicapped? I don't know whether Normal has another name or not. I shrug and point out that Normal is very normal, and that not walking is normal for her.

I'm carrying something from the freeway, which is 30 feet above the ground, across a rope bridge to the balconies we were on, which are 50 feet above the ground. One of the college women has gotten a bunch of odd sized printer trays. I'm by the side of the freeway. I climb over the concrete barricade, down onto the vine platform, and over to the bridge. A train is going past, pulling the bridge anchor off to one side. I'm on the top of the anchor, getting ready to go out onto the bridge. I think for a moment that I shouldn't go until the anchor has returned to the center, so I can avoid being catapulted off into the sky, but just as the anchor is at its most extreme point, I leap out onto the bridge and start climbing as the ropes go slack. I make it out almost halfway so that I'm swinging somewhere in the middle. A concert is going on in the place between the freeway and the cliffs. I recognize the music as two different things simultaneously, music that makes me feel like I'm flying but when I wake up, it's gone. There are two other people on the bridge with me now, two white guys, one blond teenager and a guy a little older than me with dark hair. We swing through the air, passing through the lake at the nadir, then back up three times, not losing altitude. The music is audible underwater. One of them grabs the edge of the billboard and we all climb off there. We tie the bridge to the billboard and sit up there on a wide ledge. The guys smoke tare out of a wooden pipe. It's incredibly smoky. They offer it to me but I decline, saying I don't like to smoke things. It's high summer, and I feel great, like I've had a long day outside and soon I will have dinner. I've got a layer of dirt on my exposed skin, and I'm wearing clothes I had in high school.

I wake up shaking.

The wallpaper is peeling somewhat, and I can see the wallpaper under it, and the wallpaper under it, pale peach on pink on blue. There have been generations of wallpaper, plastered on this one hundred and fifty year-old wall. The window is a bare white frame. The bed I lie on is a hulking ancient relic, like a tall ship.

But the impression you are getting is wrong. I love this room. It is comfortable and beautiful, in its way, and it is home. It has always been home, and so I am pleased to be here.

I've stripped down to as little clothing as possible, and have just a single thin sheet on me. My brother is already asleep in the bed beside me. I can tell from the gentle snores across the hall that my other two brothers are asleep. The window is open, and the sky is dark. Crickets play a mild symphony from the fields and bushes around this house. At the foot of the hill that we perch upon, Hartsville brook meanders aimlessly. I could just hear it, if I were to try. The summer air plays over my over-heated body. Sweat drips slowly from under my arms, off my forehead, between my legs. The pillow is damp with my sweat. I'm a little restless, and the air presses down on top of me, heavy, the hand of the nature god that stands on the roof of my house, silently stirring the winds with his antlered head.

It is late, and so I fall asleep like I usually do, softly and quickly. But the hand of the god reaches me even in my sleep. And I dream.

I dream I am running. Men run after me, chasing me. They have guns. They are shooting at me, bullets are careening into trees beside me, into the ground ahead of me. They miss me, though, and I continue running until I reach a tree split with lightning; a tree shaped into a "Y." I turn. Damn them, I will make my stand! I take out my gun, level it through the split of the tree, and pinwheels of flame burst from the barrel of my weapon, slamming into my pursuers. The first takes the shot in the chest. He slumps and fades into the ground, an apparition, but as I watch, another man joins the chase. He looks like they all do, suited in dark colours. I fire my gun again and again. I hit them again and again. Some burst into flame, the fire charring the flesh off their bodies before they fly backwards into the ground. Some fade forward, ghost-like. Still, they come. They are half-hounds, hell-hounds. I flee.

I come to a place where my friends are seated on the crown of a hill, watching what look like fireworks over a town. I know better. The "fireworks" are explosions, mortar fire. It is the capture of the town by the enemy! We must run, now, quickly, while we are yet free! The enemy comes! But my friends stay seated, eating and drinking and laughing. I argue, I yell, I try to move them. Eventually, I sit with them. They will not run. The enemy does not exist for them. The chase has not yet begun. I wait, despairing of hope. I can't breath. I am found! The enemy comes! I choke on the very air, clutch my throat, and fall.

And wake on the floor, prone, between the bed and the window. The night air is still, humid. My face is red and hot. My body is soaked through with sweat. I have a powerful erection, painful against my stomach. I find it hard to breath. My heart won't slow down. I can feel my blood moving through my body. The god has invaded my home, invaded my sleep, my mind, my sex. I stand, slowly. I am half-drunk on lust and sleep. I walk downstairs, then outside. All is still. The moon is hidden with rags of clouds. I lay on the grass, wet with dew. My mind gradually empties, and the hold of the god relaxes. I drift into a dreamless sleep.

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