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Dreamed 1988/7/2 by Chris Wayan

Everyone said it couldn't happen here. It takes a Jupiter to raise a Spot. But America has always had trouble with tornadoes--well, now we have a permanent one, just like Big Red. It's not physical, just spiritual--a wind that sucks souls in a spiral down to hell. If, of course, they unfold their wings. It's no wonder Americans have hunkered down into materialism lately; it's the only way to get around. You just can't spread your wings anymore.

Even angels flying over the heartland get sucked straight down hell's throat. It's probably those losses that get God's attention. God knows, he's never done a thing for the American farmer. But his own staff? He can't have that!

So God declares a natural disaster, and orders a temporary evacuation of Heaven and Earth. There's an alternate Earth available on a short-term basis. He hires a famous Japanese-American physicist to design an intercosmic shunt, a second funnel near the first, to send everyone through. Then, to lure them, he hires an all-star rock band of angels. American angels, individualists, not obedient Christian angels--who would listen to them? God can be pragmatic, and Americans can be bought. A marriage made in Heaven.

So all the angels dive through the hole into the other world, and the band plays, luring every soul in America through the shunt. The Americans get to go first because (1) the tornado is centered on American soil and the effect is severest here, and (2) being Americans, they'd throw a tantrum if they had to wait.

A tornado 2000 km across ravages the USA farmbelt; dream sketch by Wayan
God goes back to his office and starts boxing all the paperwork that should have been entered online months ago, and all those professional journals he really did plan to read...

I don't have much to do with all this. I'm flying round the Big Funnel, a few miles off, like some probe orbiting a black hole. I just spread my arms and use my will, not wings, and the wind hammers at me helplessly. Look ma, no wings! I want to see this disaster zone, and I'm no hurry to evacuate since I don't really need the shunt--I can fly across to the other world on my own if need be.

You know, the angels' door looks so much like a miniature tornado, it makes me wonder if the Big Funnel was really natural, either. As all the Russians in the world file through the safety-gate, I look around for the engineers who designed the hell-funnel. They have to be here--how could they stay away? Too much fun to watch your big toy working, especially if you're a devil--those guys have egos. I have free time to look, even if God's angels and everyone else in the world is just too busy... everyone except... that old man over there, with the long beard. Lounging and snickering near the Whirlpool's rim! My energy-wings crackle with rage as I realize with THAT attitude, he has to be the Devil's chief engineer!

You know, I bet he did the job on Jupiter, too!

I dive on the bastard like an eagle on a kitten, snatching him by the lapel, and dragging him off toward the shunt. I feel like dropping him from half a mile up, but he's too heavy to lift that high, and I'd feel bad later, and besides, he'd just unfold his wings and LET the winds suck him down the Big Funnel. Hell, it's home.

So I dump him off on stage, and let the rock band's bouncers hold him for God to grill. I'm a shaman, not an angel; it's really not my job.

I think "Maybe I should let the Funnel take me to Hell and see what's happening there--how will they deal with this influx of visitors and fresh air? I bet they haven't really thought this through--Americans flooding in, itching to improve things... I mean, there goes the neighborhood!"

A little green plesiosaur I found in bed with me; dream sketch by Wayan

But suddenly, something cold crawls over my skin, and I wake up to find it's early morning and something slithery's in my bed!

I warily peel back my sheet and find a scaly head blinking at me. I freeze. Is it a snake? Make that two. No, not snakes--and not the same. They're both scaly and about half a meter long, but one's like a fat green iguana (due to an embarrassing cucumber grandma no one talks about); and the other is...

Oh, shit, the other is unmistakable. It's a miniature PLESIOSAURUS! The turtly flippers, the endless neck, the odd wide-shouldered body dwindling away to nothing...

My sister Althea comes in, and helps me wrap the plesiosaur in a sheet. A daddy-longlegs climbs down a thread onto the bed, and Althea does something incomprehensible: she mistakes the little spider for a second plesiosaur! She takes all three, spider and dino and cuke-lizard, over to Marine World to have them identified, though I know very well what they're going to say.

Another damn plesiosaur in my bed. Aw, man, how many does this make?

And I wake again.

And wait... to wake again, again, again.

This world? Don't make me laugh. This world can't claim to be awake.


I guess you COULD interpret Hell-Funnel apolitically--the dream says I'm a plodder because I'm so at war inside that I can't spread my wings and fly. But if that's all my dreams have to say, why set it in Middle America, where I've never been? Why's it Christian, when I've never been? Why'd God and the angels just cut and run, when I fought back?

I think Hell-Funnel is political. America's so dull and conservative these days because there's a wind of fundamentalist, hellfire harassment out there. Spread your spiritual wings and they'll do their best to drag you down... So we hunker down into materialism and practicality.

A tornado 2000 km across ravages the USA farmbelt; dream sketch by Wayan
Okay... so maybe the dream IS more personal than I want to admit! Though at least I seem to recognize the problem. My sister Althea, who's usually very practical, seems unable to tell our Dad's trust in experts from our Mom's urge to please others. At least I've learned to tell a spider from a plesiosaur.

Here's hoping you too recognize dinosaurs when you see them. And vote them out.

A little green plesiosaur I found in bed with me; dream sketch by Wayan

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