Editing Dreams

by joetwo

Of all the gods that meddle in earthly affairs, the one with the most frustrating job has to be Angus, the god of foretelling and prophecy.

Simply put, it is Angus’ job to warn people if there was anything serious coming in the future, so that they would have a chance to prepare. The thing is; Angus did not use the multitude of methods used by the other gods to pass out his warnings, such as voices from the above, sky writing or visions. Angus delivers his warning solely through dreams. You may have had Angus speak to you before. Whenever something unexpected has happened to you and the first thing to go through your mind is “That’s funny! I had a dream just like this last night!” That was Angus, trying to warn you.

As you can imagine, this can be a source of a great deal of consternation for Angus. Exactly how frustrating for Angus it could get however; is best shown by what happened to him over three thousand years ago.

Bob, the king of the gods, hadn’t killed anybody for several weeks and he was getting an itchy trigger finger. “The world is rife with sin” he would tell anybody who would listen “It was time that we made an example of some of them!” Getting it into his head that something had to be done, Bob decided to select a target by throwing a dart into a map on the wall to see where it landed (Supposedly random if you ignored the fact that Bob was both a god and divine division darts champion for five hundred years running). This time the dart landed on a small island in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Thailand. Joy of joys, it was a volcanic island as well. Bob already was starting to think of the many interesting ways it could explode to kill all the inhabitants. But he couldn’t blow it up just yet; there were rules for this kind of thing. Bob had to wait for a day in which the innocent and the faithful were to be given a warning. If they believed it then they could escape and make it to safety, if not then they would be what Bob referred to as ‘Collateral Damage’.

It was, of course, the job of Angus to deliver the warning.

Some of the gods would say amongst themselves that Bob was being more cruel than usual when he gave the job to Angus. But he himself thought it was just a case of getting the technique right. If the innocent just had the right dream, if they could be shocked properly, then they could be made to act. He would get it in the end; Angus was nothing if not an optimist.

The innocent that Angus decided to give the warning to was a woman called Lee, the young daughter of the chief of the island. If she believed the warning, he figured she would have the best chance of convincing people to flee. He then storyboarded how the dream should go, basically an over view of what Bob was planning for the next day.

She would be standing on the beach in the mid afternoon when there would be a bang and great shaking, the volcano would then blow its top and great streams of fire, steam and ash would shoot into the air. She would the turn to the sea to find her family and friends on boats sailing out and finding herself on one of the boats she would look back and watch the great wave of destruction fall over the whole island wiping what was there from the face of the earth. She should then wake up, with a sense that something needed to be done. That was how it was supposed to go.

The first thing that Angus had learned in his job was that while he could control a bit about how dreams would play out, a lot was left to the mind of the person who was dreaming. This meant that what Angus plans on being in the dream doesn’t always end up in the final edit.

As Lee slept that night, Angus entered into her mind and allowed the dream to play out. He saw that she was on the beach around mid afternoon, only she wasn’t standing. She was lying on a lounger under some trees, with the blacksmith’s apprentice and the butchers son and they were…Oh My! “These people!” Angus wailed to himself “Is there anytime this is not up front in their thoughts?” Angus watched somewhat guiltily while Lee and the two men continued their sordid act, then there was a bang and the ground shook. Angus hoped that Lee would take this seriously but she just turned to the men and said “You make the ground move for me!” Not the best response, but Angus had been in a situation like this before. He did some editing. The trees over the lounger were blown away by a sudden shock and looking to sea, Lee could see her family and friends calling to her from boats. To Angus’ despair, the two men wrapped there arms around Lee and she told them to move on. Even worse, the people on the boat were jeering and shouting at her, that she was useless, that she was a waste of space. Years of repression were manifesting itself and Lee shouted back for them to just go away, that she would be happier there. The boats moved out to sea and from then on things took a decidedly bizarre twist. The little orgy between the three continued as the rock and ash cloud filled the sky. As it slowly fell, Angus hoped that the image of death would shock Lee enough to leave an impact. But as the ash reached the ground it turned into sweet spices, which filled the air with delicious aromas and tastes, only adding to the carnal pleasures of the young dreamer. Angus, unable to think of any way to turn this around left the dream to run itself out. Lee awoke with a feeling of exhilaration, that something special had just happened, not the foreboding that Angus had hoped for.

Angus knew that he had no way of getting his message to anyone else in time. The sun was already rising on the island’s last day. He returned to the heavens to tell Bob, then making the last of his giddy, excited plans, that the message had failed.

The dream had an effect on the young Lee, just not the one Angus had hoped for. Mid-afternoon found her at the edge of the village, in the simple hut of the blacksmith’s apprentice. The loud bang and shaking of the ground roused her from her revelry. Young and virile as he was, he couldn’t do that! And as she stood on the beach, watching the great cloud of superheated ash and fire fall down from the sky, the very last thought to go through her mind was “That’s funny, I had a dream about this last night!”