Dreamed 2000/3/12 by Chris Wayan
I'm hunting treasure with Mr. Spock from Star Trek. We're lost in a maze of underground warehouses and machine shops. It's forbidden to foreigners, but the locals just snicker and ignore us. They see us and our treasure quest as too childish to be criminal. Logic isn't work. Intuition isn't work. Only handwork and toolwork are real work.
Well, they sneer for a second reason, too. We seem to fall under strange illusions, in the maze: we keep seeing trees and their resident spirits--dryads and such--and we talk to them, make friends, and ask for directions out of the maze--while ignoring the machinists!
At moments, I pop out of the illusion, and see what the natives do: two aliens talking to tool benches and ladders... They joke "the only spirits they're under the influence of come from that bottle."
OK, OK, it's true that Mr Spock carries a fifth of high-octane booze, and we both keep swigging it. But that helps us see the spirits, and I think they're real--the locals have just blinded themselves to them.
Whether they're the ghosts of trees cut down to build these warehouses, or dryads visiting from outside, or shadows of a wood to come, after this culture pollutes itself to death... I don't know.
But they aren't just hallucinations--they know too much! They guide us confidently through the maze. Down at last to a forbidding cellar...
Uh-oh. "Maybe," I begin to think, in the stuffy darkness of the basement, tripping over lost machine parts and wading through chill, oily pools... "Maybe the guys were right. If there's a way out, it wouldn't be down here. This is horrible!"
And then ahead, a breath of air. A faint light. A stair up... up... out into sunlight at last.
And trees, real living trees.
Spock's spirits were true.
NOTES NEXT MORNING
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