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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, April 16, 2014

Ghost Adjuster

Dream City, some nights are as long as four nights. It had been days since I'd been to the office, the boss was probably angry. She needed to fuss like a cat needs cream. Sure it tastes good, but then it all turns to....

Where is that music coming from? Tempo change, sudden tonal drop, it's happening. Time to go to work.

I noted my surroundings, and then, bamf! I was two blocks closer to the trouble, the music changed as I walked in a circle getting my next bearing.

Bamf!

I heard the crumple of car metal, the plastic tick-tac of lens screens bouncing on pavement and the screams, the lovely screams. I went to work.

I appeared in the back seat of a nearby car as it was lifted into the air. The driver and his passenger were, of course, screaming. Scrumptious.

Bamf! The three of us stood in a sidewalk cafe three blocks away. The surprised waiter didn't react when I told him to get his customers inside. I faded away, a thin tendril of smoke and then appeared behind him. "Now would be a good time." I said.

He jumped, and the emotion was delicious.

Bamf!

Bamf!

Bamf!

There was now a beat up fellow in a spider man costume and the levitating villain above him was monologuing and adjusting his stubby winged hovercraft. It appeared to have been damaged in the fight and wobbled unsteadily. A thin trail of smoke trickled into the nearby air, pooling like blood in water. He wasn't my concern, as he didn't have a policy with us.

He spotted me, though and stopped. "What are you..."

"Public Damage Mitigation Adjuster. Just doing my job."

"Well you're going to have to do it in the afterlife." He wove around to me and unleashed a fusillade of tiny fleshettes. The metal razors lashed their way through my coat and hat.

"I really liked that hat."

"You're dead!" The villain screeched at me.

"Yes, that's generally the idea with a Ghost Adjuster."

I walked over to him and reached into his sputtering hover-board, then yanked on a bunch of wires and cables I found inside. They fell to the ground with two distinct thumps, one hard and ringing, the other flapping and wet.

"I thought you weren't supposed to interfere," the Spiderman figure huffed at me.

"I really liked that coat, too, it took a long time to find a ghost trench that fit. Think of it as a paid damage claim that won't affect your premiums." I drifted down into the rubble pile, pulling out the injured and delivered them to the ambulances that were pulled up by the dozens outside the nearby cafe.

When I got back to the rubble pile, my boss was there, helping assess the damage to the building. Our Spider Man and his villain were being loaded into separate ambulances. She glared at me. "I expect to see you in the office after this. Today!"

Her anger fueled me, reminded me why I still worked there. I resisted the urge to feed, I wanted that anger fully stoked for when we were at the office later.

I headed back to the office, there would be forms to fill out, depositions to arrange. Hurt feelings to sooth over and delicious delicious anger. I drifted through the locked front door and hung my battered hat up on a peg in the entry hall. I made my way over to my cube, returning the greetings of my co-workers, a singularly emotionless lot, as gray as the cubes they worked in. No wonder I hate coming here. My cube was empty. Seriously, no chair, no desk, no file cabinet (it was empty anyway, I figured if someone needed paperwork, they should keep it, I sure as heck didn't need it.)

My boss slammed in shortly after I arrived.

"Wondering where your desk is? Well they promoted you, over my objections...of course. You're in the West office now." She pointed to an office between her corner office and the kitchen, and sauntered towards it, not waiting for me to follow. I hung back, enjoying the hypnotic sway of her curves. I sipped her seething cup of anger and detected a taste of something else...pride, envy, affection? Interesting, unexpected.

"Nice." I wondered what the heck I got with a promotion other than an office. I wondered what I'd done to even deserve a promotion. I was rarely in the office; there was so much to do out in the field.

"I don't know why they bothered to move your desk, the only thing in it was an unopened company manual and these." There was a key ring hanging from a hook on the edge of the desk. I recognized them, they were the office keys. The front door, the file room and several file cabinet keys. I'd wondered where I'd left them.

"These were locked in the bottom of your file cabinet. I don't even want to know how." She picked the keys up and threw them at me. Instinct, I suppose, but I faded just before they hit and the keys sailed through me and out into the hall, jangled to a stop at the base of a cube.

I drank from her anger, calming her, feeding me. This was going to be a good office location, I might even come in to the office more, I thought.

"Get your ass in here tomorrow, we need to take depositions. Use your damned keys! That's how corporate knows you're here. For god's sake, get a new coat, that one looks like shit." She brushed past me on her way out, scowling, but I could feel her smile after she passed me.

I was thinking, "I might just come to work on time tomorrow." (And knew I was kidding myself.)

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