Darkness, Isolation

A dark road. A small town in the countryside. Embury. It’s getting darker and I want to head home. A woman tells me where the bus leaves from, in the financial centre of the town. It’s actually one bus stop and a bank. I walk past it, convinced there’s somewhere else.

I realise my mistake, and circle back on myself. The road gets steeper and steeper until I can’t even scramble up it. I am engulfed in the darkness.


The Price of Change

A friend is being threatened. He opposed developers, and came home to find everything taken, even the carpets. Someone tries to poison him. I suspect a girl he works at a bar with. Her family are builders. She used rock salt as a poison.

I look for clues. I pass through different rooms, with different dance lessons. Disco, salsa, a children’s group lesson with an evil teacher destroying creativity and making them conform.

Outside. A rocky landscape. Tiny blue plants, like flags, flutter in the wind. Many explosive substances here. In the distance, a giant round house, alone on the plain.

I follow train tracks. A mining train speeds past, the sound of Zulu songs. I’m nearly run over by a car. The railway tracks enter residential streets, dusty with the sands of the rocky desert. I talk to a man. I demonstrate how explosive the situation is by demolishing the tower of an ancient castle.

I’m back at the bar where my friend works. Some old guys come in. I’m glad to see them, at least I’m not the oldest anymore. I try to tell my friend about my concerns that his workmates are poisoning him.

Myself and Jef re-enact comedy scenes from a show with James Turner as a character. Derek Nimmo is laughing with us. A woman offers me drugs. Β£2.80 she wants for a pill. I have about Β£1.60 in change and a Β£20 note. I give her the note. Others blag theirs for free.

I receive my change.

If you don’t pay the price, you don’t get change.


The TimeBomb Conspiracy

A Dickensian building. It is a shop. Inside, the shopkeeper is a demonologist. He has set bombs to go off at the Libyan embassy and world trade centre, in the future, but triggered by a bomb here and now. His shop is closed. It will explode at the same moment, yet separated by the illusion of time. A small boy is held as a human sacrifice. A cross is formed from metal parts to curse him.

A cabal performs the ritual.

WTC. The day of 9/11. I am touring with a group of work colleagues. We hear about a bomb in the Libyan Embassy. It’s near the WTC.

A stranger tells us about the demonic time bomb plot. He tells us where we are, the WTC, is next, but if we can break the curse we can save our own and many other lives. Next to me is the ghost of a software engineer. He is sad. He has waited years for a chance to do something. He cannot help. That’s our job. The stranger sets him free, and he walks away towards his heaven. He asks us for a song. I start to sing “That’s Amore”, but I know he gets the reference to the “that’s a moray” meme. The others join in, and he heads down to a beach fading into a rainbow. Dom brings me a badge from the ghosts hat. It’s from Harvest festival. The guy was a Christian. I hope he gets to his heaven.

We don’t know what to do, how to break the time bomb curse. Most people solemnly carry a huge wooden structure, like a great canoe, down towards the sea.

Me and Jef change from a solemn walk into doing a conga dance, singing “We’re all going to die-ie, We’re all going to die-ie, na na na na, na na na na,”.

We crash through the great canoe, and others join us. Our lives should be comedy and dance, not stoic subservience to duty, then death.

We are back in the past.

We arrive early enough this time to convince locals of the immanent shop explosion. Our last attempt was foiled by a tram driver deciding to ask out the girl in the post office over the girl in the bakery. This meant we missed a connection, and could stop the bomb in time.

The locals gather with us, and we hurl gravel at the demonic merchant in his upstairs window. He collects most of it, offering to sell it back to us as we scrape about in the dirt, looking for more ammunition. Reification of anger.

(This is obviously me dreaming about the timeless evils of capitalism propaganda and espionage)

Local bobbies arrive. They show us where to get cobblestone that we can dig up. Too heavy to throw accurately at the merchant in his window, mocking us, we use them instead to break into the ground floor. Inside, among antiques and furniture, sit the cabal.

We explain how we can set them free, and they cooperate, no longer wishing to be frozen in time, awaiting more explosions. One becomes a bird. I become commander Data from Star Trek TNG. I recite a poem by Edward Lear, and set his bird soul free. Another requires the complex restructuring of the metal cross. Another becomes a border collie and comes with us.

The time bomb has been stopped. We have one task left, to scale an enormous city of sky scrapers, to ensure our success. I take a longer, but safer route for my abilities. I still get there.

At the top is a school. They are retelling our story with modern celebrities playing dead celebrities, playing the original characters. Roy Castle is played by Ricky Gervais, and a serial killer by David Walliams.

Inside the school is a film class about how Sliding Doors, this movie, and Source Code, are the same.



The Robot Buddha

I’m visiting someone in Birmingham. I don’t know where the house is. At the station, a taxi takes me where I need to go. For free.

The universe is helping me.

People run into the road. We drive around them, and they vanish. They are illusions. Clouds gather, and the road floods. I tell the driver, and the woman in the back seat, that it’s not as bad as it looks. I become aware of my sphere of influence over reality. I can control reality up to the edge of my physical perception. I start to clear the clouds, and bring out the sun.

I’m in a large stately home in the country. A Buddhist retreat. I talk with the lama. He’s a small child, yet speaks like an old, wise, man.

He dips a joss stick in a honey like substance. It is lit. The smoke expands the honey, and builds up into a dense fog, until enough pressure is built up and it seeps out of the end.

It’s an allegory for the things that cloud our aura. A cloud within a cloud. Self perpetuating and consuming with hate and anger.

The Lama says: “look, two ghosts are dancing.” And I see two robotic Chinese characters, dancing and smoking.

A monk comes to the lama. I think he needs his nappy changing. He doesn’t. The monk mentions recharging him later. I look at the lamas back. He is a robot. There’s a panel on his back for exchanging rechargeable power packs.

He explains that he is a robot, and I am a man. I point to his chest, and tell him that though he is not made of flesh, his love and compassion are what make him human. I cry.

A walled city. I find a little used exit, to leave and return. It may not be safe, but it is not as busy, or as policed, as the official exits.

I’m back at the monastery. A gang of evildoers is planning to kidnap the lama. Robots rise to defend him and are destroyed. A battle that the lama wins.

I have to leave. He comes to say goodbye. I kneel and bow at his feet, crying. The other monks tell me off, it will confuse him.

I know him better than that, this perfect, Robot Buddha.