JOIN THE WOLVES LATER!
Dreamed 1980/9/4 by Chris Wayan
The six of us are tramping through a swampy wilderness toward the city beyond--one of the few towns on this sparsely settled world. The path weaves a long time through dense woods. We pause where a great tree fell across our trail, the size of a train. There's a crude bridge over it, a propped-up lesser tree. We must either climb over, balancing on the log, or crawl under it--there are gaps we could squeeze through. As we split up (by height and balance), we hear rustling in the ferns, and then we're surrounded. Four gigantic wolves. No, six.
The fight is mine--I'm super-strong, for I was gengineered as a bodyguard. But one of the others, a shapeshifter, jumps in to help. S/he changes into a wild creature as big and toothy as any of the wolves. At first I'm glad, but then the shapeshifter ignores me and rushes forward to meet them! I can't tell if s/he wants to fight, or leave our circle and run with the wolves! But either way it's reckless.
I tackle our beastie using my engineered arms as a straitjacket. Can't afford to lose our werewolf--the other people in the group are city-bred, they'll never make it without us to protect them. Once they're safe in town, this wolf can do whatever it pleases--but not yet.
But I lack the power to coerce a giant wolf... so I lie.
I tell the shifter "They got wolves out there, way way bigger--the size of that car there!"
Two lies in one! That's no car, just a funny-shaped rock. And these wolves are big indeed (half the size of a Volkswagen bug) but they're about as big as they get on this planet.
I just hope to scare the shifter temporarily back into human form... And the human pack.
NOTES ON WAKING
Are the wolves a sexual pun? Am I besieged by desire? But we aren't exactly Little Red Riding Hood... Feels more like the film In the Company of Wolves, where nearly everyone in town turns out to be at least half wolf... even some who didn't know.
I lie to myself! I exaggerate, to scare the parts of me who want to JOIN the wolves, go have adventures before I'm fully healed. Because the wolfish sides of me would do just fine, but other sides of me aren't ready to handle the emotional jungle out there... yet.
So don't get down on myself too much if I find myself indulging or even exaggerating my own fears. There are reasons. Temporary ones, and I shouldn't tolerate it forever, but vital for now. And so, for now... give myself some slack!
And maybe you could too? Not all exaggerated fear is ignorance, cowardice, or neurosis. Some of it is practical. Quick and dirty and dishonest, but practical. And will melt, as all lies do.
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