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(a dream continued from yesterday)

My Uncle was dead. My Father was mortally wounded. My Mother was nowhere to be found. But the Baron was dead and I had the symbol of his power: A hand-sized, greenish metallic pyramid, with an oblong, hexagonal base. As the green metal rose to its point two cylindrical furrows were carved in the center of the wider sides, giving it two points instead of one. It looked a bit like a angular, metal claw, but it did not move or grasp. I held its base and, for a moment, imagined myself with a metal claw. The remaining green-haired soldiers were somehow conditioned to obey and protect its holder, so as soon as I had pulled it from beneath the folds of the Baron's clothing, the fighting had stopped. A group of the men in green came to my side, like bodyguards.

My Father lay on his side in the junkyard, some of his hair burned off, his face bruised and dirty, bleeding from a wound I could not see. His voice remained strong and forceful.

"Get out of here, get back home. They'll be looking for you."

I nodded and ran towards the glass door in the side of the metal building in the scrapyard. The green-haired soldiers followed me without a word.

"Not like that, boy!" my Father yelled towards me. I turned to look over my shoulder at him. "Split them into two groups, Red team and White team. Have one team take each exit."

He was right, of course. In my haste I had forgotten my tactical training. I gestured to the green soldiers with the Baron's control device, intending to split them into three groups of 6 men each (an improvised idea I thought my Father would approve of). The men did as I had imagined, without me actually saying it. I mentally named the three teams Black, White, and Red; I sent the Black team to cover the side entrance to the junkyard, the White team to go ahead through the building, and had the Red team guard me. Black team ran off behind me, White team rushed through the glass doorway and I saw their silhouettes moving towards the far door of the building, the door to the city, where there were no doubt more of the Baron's men looking for me and my Father and Mother.

I took a deep breath, stepped forward, and reached for the door handle.


the *bzzt* *bzzt *bzzt* of the alarm clock was mixing with the *dooot...* *dooot...* *dooot...* of the garbage truck outside to form the most annoying noise of all time. Also my bladder was threatening to explode in a fury of blood and urine that would surely require that I buy a new set of sheets. To avoid this tragedy I lurched out of bed and into the bathroom, turning off the alarm clock along the way. Moments later, still squinting from the bathroom light I lumbered back to my bedroom and threw myself at the bed. The sound of rain outside was soothing but the air coming in the window was cold, so I worked my way under the sheets for protection and fell back asleep.