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Fermius Firefly

A Dream Log, whenever I remember the dreams I've had.

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Location: San Marcos, United States

Fermius is a pen name drawn from a series of short fiction I wrote when I published the small press magazine Stellanova (on paper.) I play RPG games to escape from my daily grind as a technology wage slave for the state of California. I eat out a lot in order to do my part in supporting our increasingly service level economy. I am butler to 2 feline masters. If you ask them they will tell you I'm not very good at it, late with dinner, don't have enough hands with brushes in them, and sometimes I even lock them out of their office.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Travelling Show

I fell in with a travelling show. It started at a log-filled campground, where I pointed out that one of the large carved structures was actually a twenty foot tall doorway, wedged up against a hill lying nearly flat against the ground. We pulled at it a bit, and finally managed to open it up. I just expected to find damp grub-filled compost beneath it, but instead the door opened up onto a sunlit road. The base of the door was on a small dark path that lead through a light forest out to a road.

"That's some backdrop," one  of the show girls said.

"It's not a backdrop, can't you hear the birds, smell the meadow and feel the heat of the sun?" I moved to the base of the door, where the forest path looked like it went down into the hill.

Everyone backed away as I leaned down and reached through. I could feel the change in the pull of gravity on my arm, like a gentle pressure in the wrong direction. One of the strong-men was near the top of the door and started to lean through. "Stop!" I shouted. You'll fall all the way down, that's got to be twenty feet or more.

He looked at me, then nodded. I'm not sure he really understood me, but his sister, a dusky-skinned black haired woman, who couldn't have weighed more than ninety pounds even covered head to toe with her coin-laden dancing outfit was translating what I had said as fast as she could. We gathered at the base of the door and I stepped through, suddenly feeling like I was pushed from behind. I stumbled forward along the leaf covered path, then I looked back at the door.

From this side it was brightly painted and only a little weathered looking. The troupe of the travelling show looked through at me, standing around the opening, seemingly hanging in mid air from my new perspective. The tall trees over their heads pointing away into the light forest.

Curious, I walked around to the other side of the door, but there was no door from that side! Only an open path through what looked like a large tree trunk. I rushed back around to try to describe that, and found the entire troupe was passing their carts and bags through.

"We didn't want you to be alone." The Dusky Sister smiled at me as she hopped through, allowing me to catch her. The other dancers followed, with me helping each of them adjust to their new gravitational orientation.

The brother nodded and spoke, I can only guess it was Romanian, or something similar, some of the words were familiar, some were not. His sister translated for him. They had decided to move on from where they were camped anyway, and this looked like a real adventure.

My friend, GR, stepped through last, he hadn't been part of the troupe, either, but his acting ability and clown training had won us a spot in the troupe's circle of friends several days earlier. I'd made myself useful by repairing their wagons, appliances, computers and props, plus had showed them some new magic tricks I'd picked up along the way. We'd not decided whether to stay with the group when they moved on, or, at least, I hadn't decided to stay with the group.

The door swung closed behind GR as he dragged our packs through. It felt, strangely, like the door had been waiting for that moment, waiting for GR.  I could see no way to open it, as the whole thing now looked like it had been carved from a single large trunk.

The back of the door confirmed that, it too looked like a solid piece of trunk, bark and all. The tree trunk hadn't been solid when I'd walked around behind it just moments before. I pulled out my cell phone. There was no service. GR and several of the troupe did the same.

"I don't think we're in Kansas any more," GR said.

"I thought we were in Escondido," one of the dancer's said, then looked around to the road just a few hundred feed away. "I don't think we're there any more, either."

I set off towards the road, expecting the sun to be significantly warmer, I pulled on my floppy hat. The shadow that fell across my face was wrong, and when I stepped out from under the trees I knew why. There were two suns in the sky. The topography of the place was much flatter than Escondido. I stood there dumbfounded for a long time allowing the differences to sink in. Even the plants along the road bed were different looking. The trees, also, had an oddity about them that was difficult to place.

When I looked back along the trail I watched as the caravan wagons bounced along the trail and then out onto the road. The cars had been left behind, so they were being pulled by the strong men, and teams of dancers. I shouldered my pack, and helped GR lift our generator's tow bar. We joined the troupe, heading across the meadow towards what looked like a town in the distance. There were no signs of smoke, or industrial haze, so I hoped we'd landed somewhere where there was electricity, at least.



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