Dreamed 2015/9/14 by Sunshine
The scene opens on a party thrown in a house overlooked by a tall mountain. The country is alpine, beautiful if cold and unfriendly. Inside the house it is warm and crowded, bodies moving in rhythm to the thumping music, smells of good food in the air. We are introduced to our protagonists, a small group of friends, one man and two women. The man and one woman are indistinct, but the other woman is small, with short black hair in a ponytail, smooth nut brown skin and an air of innocence. They came together to this birthday party for a mutual acquaintance, another young woman.
As the party parties on, the male protagonist tries to use his cellphone, but cannot. There is no signal in this crowded house. He and his indistinct counterpart leave the house and get in a Jeep. A brief aerial view with topological overlay is presented. The mountain is north of the house, with steep sides but only a gently sloping peak. Two paths to the top are available and meet in the last several hundred yards. The friends first attempt the shorter, steeper path. Halfway up the most challenging grade, their Jeep falls off the mountain, bouncing down the hill like a tumbleweed.
Undeterred, they take the longer path; it curves around 270 degrees of the mountain before doubling back to meet its steeper cousin. They arrive at the top and are happy to have cellphone service.
Back at the party, things have started to get shady. The star of the party, the birthday girl, has taken up with a well known man-whore, who arrived with his girlfriend, the indistinct protagonist. He is a big, attractive man with brown pants and no shirt. He and the birthday girl are fooling around in a back room of the party, when in walks the innocent protagonist. She demands to know what they are doing. After a brief conversation, they convince her to travel to a tropic island in the middle of a huge, perfectly circular lake, east of the party house and mountain.
As the rest of the protagonists return to the party, they discover that their friend has left under upsetting circumstances. Fearing for her innocence, they decide to rescue her from the island and its resident man-whore. We are treated to a brief flash of explicit sexual activity between the man-whore and the birthday girl, as the innocent friend looks on and cheerleads. The scene shifts rapidly back to a topological overview, showing the location of the island relative to the lake, mountain, and house, before shifting again, not in any common dimension, but to the other side of the veil as it zooms towards where the island was.
This is a dark place, and we see two monsters walking towards a third. A large, handmade sign in the background states “Human Interaction” with a large red arrow to the left. The first monster whispers to the other, “You’re the assistant, right?” The second turns, discomfort clear on its scaly face. “I’m only trained as a guard, I thought you were the assistant?” The second looks uncomfortable. “I said I had some assistant training on my application, but I thought he hired me as the guard." The second replies, “Me too.”
They are then silent as they approach the third, a creature with green skin and tentacle arms. “Who is the assistant?” it demands. The first two monsters look at each other and admit "We both are guards, neither is a formally trained assistant." “Well, we will have to try it anyway, I can’t get another spot for months” the green skinned creature states.
They approach a clearing in a trees and begin a ritual. Soon, two glowing circles appear. In the first is the male protagonist, the second the man-whore, naked and clearly pulled from his adventures with the birthday girl. “What the hell!” he exclaims, “why am I here?”
The male protagonist ignores him, instead addressing the green ritual master. “You can’t have my organs, you don’t even know what you are doing.” he says scornfully. The monsters chant, and we feel the back and forth of the pull as they attempt to drag the organs of the two men through the veil. Their efforts seem weak, but continue as the scene fades away.
A thousand horror films have taught us: slip out of the party for sex, stray from the herd, and the monster will get you. Here, that's played out too ineptly for us to care, and yet not so ineptly that the classic message gets subverted either--the dream doesn't urge you to take relationship risks, or step through mysterious portals... or much of anything. Do you care what these fools do? Are dreams so poor at plotting?
Maybe that's not a failure, but the point. In stories you always identify with someone. It's a commercial requirement! That means life lived vicariously, on screen or on the page, can lead you to expect likable heroes and supporting characters, expendable bit players, villains... You may become blind to real-life situations where no one's really in charge, or even worth getting to know, where you don't much like what anyone's doing. Is that the case here? The monster guards are the only ones who admit it, but all these folks seem in over their heads and floundering. The Peter Principle for dream characters!
If I'm right (I have my doubts) then the message may be "Take a hard look at your social circle. And work, too. Don't let humility blind you. Maybe you really are surrounded by incompetents."
Sorry, Sunshine. That's the best interpretation I have this one, and it's tentative. I too have my Peter Principle days.
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