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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, May 29, 2015

Moving by Train

I was emptying out a ruined warehouse, years of boxes that had been stored were now threatened by the elements. An earthquake or or other event had ruptured the spine of the warehouse and one wall as well as a part of the ceiling had given way. I was loading a railroad flat car with the boxes, as they were only going to be moved about five hundred yards down the spur line to another warehouse. The engineer kept urging me to stack the boxes higher. I wanted to make two trips, partly so I could take a break before having to unload the boxes at the destination and again before loading up again. The Engineer said he only had time for one trip, but would leave the flatcar on the siding at the destination if I needed more time to unload.

So I loaded the car taller than I would have liked. I tried to keep the lighter boxes aside so they could be placed on top, but the engineer started getting frustrated that the car was not being loaded as fast as he wanted, so started just picking up the boxes and tossing them onto the car wherever they fit. I tried to explain that the heavier boxes were more stable if they were on the bottom, but he didn't have the patience for it.

The heavier boxes were filled with records and binders of manuals for long forgotten processes and programs. Since the boxed items were sometimes seven or eight boxes down and two or three layers back, I couldn't imagine that their contents were of any import. The boxes had obviously not been accessed in years, and in some of them, I could see that animals had tunneled into them and used them for nests, presumably until they'd been buried too deep for even the animals to find them convenient to use. The lighter boxes contained everything from foam desk toys to collections of mugs and bottles. I found myself wondering what would cause an employee to leave so abruptly that they wouldn't come back for their desk items, or what would cause the company to box that stuff up and file.

It was getting pretty late in the afternoon when it became very apparent that we would need to make a second trip anyway, but the engineer came up with a different solution. Stack the extra boxes around the catwalk and in the cab of the engine with him. So I boxed him into the cab, leaving no room for me to ride.

"It's only a few hundred yards, just walk along side."

I really needed a break, but agreed.

The engine was located just behind the flatcar, and as I walked past the flatcar on my way down the siding to the new warehouse, the engine bumped the car, causing the boxes behind me to groan, rattle and shift. I looked back and noticed the car approaching the curve, as it entered the curve, the tower of boxes shifted and I could tell they were going to topple. I moved up the gravel roadbed, trying to get close to the flatcar, or even under it, as the boxes fell over me like a wave. I managed to only be struck by a few boxes, fortunately those falling from lower levels. Still, there were a couple of hundred pounds of papers and crates of empty Coke bottles on top of me. I managed to uncover my head before the train groaned to a stop.

I woke up in the hospital with my right arm in a cast up to my shoulder and around my back. The pain was incredible. I couldn't even move to try to make myself comfortable as the arm was in traction. All the IVs were in my left arm and hand, but the staff hadn't bothered to move the stand to the left side of the bed, so all the lines were lying across my body in a tangle. The call button was on the right hand side, too. I was worried about the contents of the warehouse and wanted to make sure the wreckage had been taken care of. I hoped the insurance would cover the broken collectables. I wondered how long it was before help arrived to rescue the engineer, since he'd allowed himself to be completely boxed in so he could make it all in one trip. I remember wishing we'd had web straps to tie the load down, as all this could have been prevented.

Even a few hours later I'm still feeling the pain in my neck, shoulder and back. I must have fallen asleep in an odd position.

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