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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.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

"Instead of Rhetorical Hope,"

"...we could offer real hope."

That was the phrase I heard during my waking paralysis this morning. Being paralyzed, I couldn't turn to see who it was standing in my front hall saying it, though. Whoever it was left and closed the door, locking it behind them. I could hear that quite clearly. I know it was a dream because the lock was not locked when I checked this morning.



I dreamed, much earlier in the evening, before the second coughing and not breathing spell woke me, that I was at my old work site, bringing cables to help set up a production. Not the student production that was currently happening, but an "Inspirational Speaker" the district had hired for more than I make in two years. Yep, I was a little bitter about it.

When I got there, the Director told me they were having a bit of a crisis, as on of their minor players decided that he really wasn't needed and therefore quit. The costume, a WWII bomber jacket and boots happened to just be my size. So she thrust a script in my hand, telling me to let the cast lead me through the blocking (since I had no way of knowing it.) "Your character only has six lines, and then you sleep on stage until you're shot, and then the rest of the time you get dragged around."

"Uh, okay..." I figured I might as well help, since I obviously couldn't rig cables in the middle of their closing night.

The show was more of a reader's theatre production than an actual staged play, except for the nosecone of the B-17 the pilot and myself were seated behind. The stage was steeply raked, and there were machine guns and a belly and tail turret also on the set. There were a couple of dozen chairs to either side.

The little makeup girl dyed my beard brown while I read through the script. I then placed the script in the center of the control yoke.

The lights went up, there were flashes of light. the thundering boom of AA fire, bits of shrapnel flew across the stage, pinging against the metal chairs and the other set pieces. The dialogue started. Since my character was suffering from an acute panic attack, it was fairly easy for the actor suffering the same to come off as having an acute panic attack. I got through the first set of lines, five of the six, and a stage hand managed to get my attention and pointed me upstage, where I crawled to where one of the machine gunners lay, it was just a dummy, but the one behind me wasn't.

"Pull the dummy upstage and take his place on the machine gun," he whispered to me.

I wanted to just lay down next to the dummy as I had no idea of what I was supposed to be doing with the machine gun. "Do what I'm doing," the other gunner said.

So I did, I watched him from the corner of my eye and pretended to follow the planes that got by him as they flew over or under us. Whenever I pulled the trigger there were bright flashes of lights and the sound of gunfire. All the effects were electronic, and very cool.  Every so often on of the actors dressed as a German Pilot would buckle and fall out of one of the chairs on the side of the stage, slipping away when the spotlights tracked back across to the other side of the stage. At one point the back of the gun flew off and red powder went everywhere, I guessed that was my queue and dropped to my knees and said my last line, falling face down. "Get back up, you have to drag me and the others back to the exit!"

He gave a loud scream and fell clutching his leg.

"Abandon ship! May day! May Day! Bail out, Bail out!"

I dragged the other gunner back to the plane's "door" and he tumbled out and then danced off stage, pointing to the tail gunner next, who told me to get the belly gunner and then go for the pilot, where I would really get shot.

"Thanks," I whispered as I helped her out of the plane, then did the same for the others. The pilot got out with my help and then I was really "shot" the whole stage was lit by strobes and there was the sound of silence, I fell, the red powder making me look like I was covered in blood. "Oh, shit." I said my line again, using the expletive instead of the euphemism hand written into the script, in my excitement I had forgotten the edit. "Oh well," I thought, "win one for the playwright." There was a stifled giggle from the female stage manager. And I stayed on the stage during the whole rest of the first part of the act, about fifteen minutes, being dragged here and there by the pilot. All the while I was on stage I was thinking that this was the craziest thing I'd ever done, to take the stage in a mature production without know a single thing about what was going on. I also realized that I have dreams like this a lot, but somehow that didn't toss me out of the dream.

At the end of the act we met back stage with the director and the students wanted me to stay and do the rest of the show, but the director and I talked them into re-dressing the dummy and allowing me to get on with my work. Which I would have to wait for intermission to accomplish so was looking forward to seeing the rest of the play.

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