The 4th of July event at the Space Needle was fun, all things considered. I do believe, however, that our combined admission price of $97 should have included a chair for my crutch-assisted wife.
Perhaps I expect too much.
I had a strangely horrifying dream last night. Given my almost complete immersion into the world of the fantastic, one might expect my subconscious to conjure up all manner of odd bedtime visions, but that usually isn't the case. More often than not, my weirdest dreams and most frightening nightmares concern events and situations that most people would consider mundane at best.
Go ahead and make your judgments regarding my fear of reality now. I've heard it all before!
So, about that dream...
Facts in evidence, important to the story:
I grew up in Junction City, Kansas and spent no small amount of time in the large, luxurious home of my Aunt Beulah and (now long-deceased) Uncle Jon. I also made several visits to the local radio station, KJCK, located far beyond the edge of town on an otherwise-deserted strip of highway. When my parents divorced, my mother and I would take up residence in an apartment development (several buildings of which were still in-progress when we moved in) on the long road leading from Junction City proper to that long, deserted radio station road. I was 8 then, the same age Orion is now.
Now, on to my experience:
Jess, Orion and I arrived at my Aunt Beulah's house at night after 4th of July festivities. Jess was tired and wanted to stay in the car, so Orion and I went in without her. The woman who welcomed us inside was NOT my Aunt Beulah physically, nor was the man in the familiar old recliner my Uncle Jon, but in the dream I knew them to be those exact people.
We sat around and conversed and later explored the expansive, expensive house just as I did during my childhood. As the visit wore on, my aunt told me that we should probably leave soon, as my "other aunt" was coming, and she and her husband were "fighting again." The couple Beulah referred to were not any known relatives of mine in real life, but again, I knew who she meant in the dream.
As Orion and I beat feet for the door, we found the aunt and uncle in question stepping into the house, loudly arguing with each other and obviously drunk. Orion looked nervous and I wanted no part of it all, so we side-stepped the increasingly violent argument and ran out to the car and our sleeping Jessica.
We drove away quickly, ending up on the road out of town. The apartments I once lived in weren't there, but I made no mention of it. We were enjoying the dark rural road and it's peaceful-but-slightly-creepy ambience. As we approached the slight incline that signaled the last mile before the intersection with radio station road, we could see the glowing light of what appeared to be a fire over the rise.
As we topped the incline, we could see a group of colorfully-dressed people moving rhythmically around a large bonfire. There was a sense of celebration about it, and we assumed it must be 4th of July revelers enjoying themselves half-on and half-off the road.
I slowed the car down to pass the scene, the three of us turning our heads to look and smiling as we drove by...but then we saw it for what it really was:
The people around the bonfire were all Marvel Comics villains, and not the big names, either. These were the lesser-known villains like Batroc, the Melter and the Enchantress, just to name a few. This may sound silly, but the dream rendered their garish costumes in frighteningly real-world terms, their leering faces and rictus-grins threatening to penetrate the safety of our tiny Korean car as they turned to face us, the fire still burning high behind them.
Oddly, the Enchantress was seen in costume, but with her breasts exposed. There was no female sexual appeal in this vision; it served only to heighten the panic and drive home the darkness of this ritualistic ceremony. She stepped aside to present the fire to us, our eyes unable to waver from the scene. This was no fire fueled by wood...there were four human bodies burning head-to-toe in the midst of the flames, and these evildoers were merrily dancing around as if in celebration.
All three of us started screaming and I drove away as fast as I could. When their faces persisted in my rear-view-mirror despite the distance, I finally shook myself awake, panting and mumbling incoherently.
If anything, this dream proves that a Burger King chicken sandwich contains at least one hallucinogenic agent at nothing less than a pharmaceutical grade (likely implanted within the half-gallon of mayonnaise that was slathered upon the poor bird) and should never be consumed within one hour of bedtime.