Wanted as Accessory to Vehicular Manslaughter
Dream | December 18, 2009
My sister Robin and I are on a school bus excursion. It begins as a cartoony vision with us as Bart and Lisa Simpson, and eventually we become ourselves. Otto is driving the bus kinda recklessly and we're egging him on. Someone yells out, “Car! Five points!" and Otto slams into the carsmash!utterly totalling it. But the bus is barely damaged and now we are playing a game to see how many cars we can demolish. We're racking up points and having a great time.
“Pedestrian! One point!" Soon we're splattering people on the asphalt like tomatoes... before we realize there are, uhconsequences!
That's when we started hearing police sirens. People had caught on that there was a bus going around slamming into cars and pedestrians, and the law was called on us. Somebody's gonna go to jail, like the bus driver, so Otto is like, “Whoa, I'm outta here man."
By this time we're out in the country and he heads off into a side road that goes through a narrow hollow that dips down into the forest. This woody passage is squarish and bus-shape like it's been specially trimmed, so that our vehicle barely fits in there. Branches are hitting the sides as we plow down the road, and eventually the clearance gets too tight and the bus gets stuck. I can see the road opens up into a more open forested area and there's a narrow windy road curving through the glen.
Otto backs up the bus a little bit. The piercing, intermittent sound of the reverse alert sounds in our ears. Then he jams it forward and gains a few feet. After a few attempts the bus breaks free of the trees and we're looking down the road at a new obstruction. Across the road is a large tree trunk, and arcing over it is some natural rock or wood formation that creates a narrow gap between them, barely enough for a person to scamper through. Oddly enough this wasn't visible before.
So we're stuck at this point. No way a bus could fit through there. So my sister and I get out and Otto stretches his legs and looks around, wondering what to do. Its a very picturesque scene like a lush forest in Oregon. Sunlight is streaming through the trees from a vista way down the slope on the left where the forest ends.
We poke around near the formation obstacle, and there's a wash or rutted area carved by water that flowed around it.
We hear a strange rustling sound. Rustling and swishing, getting louder and moving around like it's edging closer. My sister and I are curious enough to try to figure out the source, but Otto makes a low groaning noise and hops into the bus again. It cranks to life. Oddly enough as been turned around so that it's facing the way we come. It starts to inch back up the road and my sister Robin/Lisa and me/Bart follow behind it looking for a place to grab on, since the trees are right up against the sides of the bus, preventing us from climbing through a window or boarding through the front door.
We turn around and notice a whole bunch of squirrel/chipmunk creatures popping their heads out of holes in the wash, like whack-a-moles. Their heads will pop out momentarily, then back down, then appear in a hole nearer, so that this group is steadily moving towards us. It was very cute.
The bus has the old, classic curved back, and we're scrambling for a spot to hold on as it gains speed. I start fiddling and find a latch that opens a compartment. Inside is a sturdy cable on a spool, much like a winch, and at the end are handles perfect for kid hands. Symmetrically on the other side of the rear of the bus is another similar compartment where my sister is clutching on for dear life, and I open hers and show her where to grab on. I suppose these cables were for towing. About a foot of cable fed out then locked tight, so that with this cable in hand, and foot on the bumper, we were able to hang onto the back as Otto plowed through the trees again.
But not for long. We can see through the bus, the kids in their bench seats, and Otto in front driving. Way up at the mouth of the road is a roadblock. Officers in uniform are millng around cars parked in the way. Some cops have taken up strategic rifle stations behind the hoods of the cars.
Otto is gaining speed. It's obvious he's gonna ram through. Already shots are shattering windows and cracking through metal. Otto has ducked below the windshield and the schoolkids are screaming. But my sister and I aren't waiting to see how this turns out. We leap off the back and dart down the road and through that lovely forest towards that scenic vista.
It's about this time that we complete our transformation from cartoonish Bart and Lisa Simpson to realistic Kanoa and Robin, as we appeared in high school. We have this idea we will be wanted as accessories to vehiclular manslaughter and reckless driving. So we are fugitives, on the lam, running from the law, etc etc.
We come to the edge of the forest. It drops off into curvy layered cliffs. Reminds me of Bryce National Park. Ancient strata are visible for as far as we can see. The earth has predominantly warm, yellow-orange hues and the afternoon sun puts a nice glow on everything.
Down below we can see a road in the distance, with little cars tooling along its lanes. We'll hitchhike out of there! In real life I am reading Tom Robbins' Even Cowgirls Get the Blues in which the main characters is the queen of hitchhiking.
So we hop and leap down these stepped cliffs. When we finally get down to the road level it's only a narrow, dark band about an inch wide, and little car-like bugs are cruising along each way like busy motorists. I'm down on my hands and knees, scrutinizing it carefully.
“Damn, it's just a bug trail!" I say.
Robin remarks, “Of course it's not a road. There are no street signs!"
From there we clamber around, up and down, eventually ending up at the level of the forest, but farther along, and we come upon a road that makes an abrupt turn around the corner of the forest and along the edge of the cliff.
This time it's larger, but the cars are about a foot-and-a-half long, and little living people are inside. We stand on a lower cliff surface with the road at chest level, as if we're at a bar and the bartender is serving up cars as drink. Elbows next to the road, we try to hitch a ride anyway.
Cars are whipping around that 90-degree corner, and we're not getting any takers, even though we couldn't have fit inside anyway. I decide to put Robin as the first person they see when they come around the corner, since girs might have a better chance of flagging down a ride. Maybe I look pretty skeezy too.
A boy about Robin's age comes around the corner from the direction of the main highway. He sits down at our bar and puts his elbow on the surface near the model road, trying to make conversation. Hello, how you doing, etc. It's apparent he's got business to discuss and not some casual hiker out in the forest soon after the police have shot up a school bus. So we're like, “Whaddaya want?" We have an immediate suspicion that the authorities have sent him to negotiate our surrender, so we leap up and flee into the forest again, with him calling out behind us that we should turn ourselves in.
We run through the forest and almost bump into tables and seats. The trees have morphed into support beams in a 19th century Asian restaurant. Waiters are serving sushi and Kung Pao chicken to patrons. Behind us is a busy mall. We sit down at a table and order some food, trying to look inconspicuous.
Robin looks at the menu and orders some food and I pick out something too. We have aged some and are about our current ages now, circa 30s.
As we wait it becomes evident that some Asian men at other tables are watching us intently. I think they were bounty hunters or police officials, and we have been tracked from the forest to this place. Robin notices this too, and I nudge her and whisper, “We should get out of here."
As we near the door a row of four police officials come in from the mall and block our way, so we casually turn around and sit back down. These four fellows sit down at a table directly in front of us and now we're boxed in. It's a very strange situation because the rest of the people in the restaurant are conversing and eating normally.
Suddenly our food arrives! Robin nibbles at some food, I think she says something like she was gonna escape through the ladies room because she disappeared from the dream about this time.
A few of the guys at different tables stand up suddenly on either side to make their business known, as if to lay claim to recovering us. So I say very firmly and harshly, “Nothing happens until I finish my food!"
And they stand still while I feed my face. I'm loving the food but not tasting it, more of a mechanical than gastronomical operation.
About three-quarters of the way through my meal I shove my foot against the back of my booth seat and launch myself through the resturant and out into the crowded mallscape. But my feet are not making good traction. My sprint is slow and dreamlike, as if running in a pool.
Behind me I can hear their galloping footsteps. Only two of them I'm concerned about 'coz they seemed like bad-asses.
And about this time I realize this is a dream and I can outrun anyone. So even though my foot is not generating the speed I want, they will always be slower. And since this is a dream, I tell myself, I can be like a martial arts master. This is where it truns into a cheesy kung fu film with outrageous, over-the-top fight scenes.
Thus, I stop and turn, and immediately they gather around, like a Mexican stand-off, and then rush at me almost all at once. Straight up six feet I jump and kick the first guy in the face, sending him reeling backwards with his hands on his face. Another comes at my side and I deal him a heavy back-handed blow to the face that throws his body against the far wall. I'm whirling and twirling and chopping and punching and round-housing and doing all these crazy, ridiculous, comical moves, smashing this guy, whalloping that guy, until finally I jump way up high, bounce off the celing and come down on some guy's bald head, flattening him to the ground.
The crowd in the mall strolls around this chaos is a dreamy way. Talking and shopping, business as usual. They do not seem to notice bodies lying about. So I bolt out of the main entrance and into a wide open plaza in what appears to be India. The air seems more like I've exited an airport. Exotic foliage and coconut trees are elegantly planted around. Newspaper stands and little security patrol shacks too. In the distance a white building that resembls the Taj Majal, with gleaming minarets but not overly decorated like a temple, but appearing more like a state building, with a minimalist government facade and that distinct Indian architectural vibe.
A group is just ahead of me. In the rear an Indian man and his wife. He's got a long white beard and is saying something silly like, “I'm Indian but I'm from California." His wife is horribly ugly, uttering that she only reads the New York Times and the Calcutta News in kind of a snobby British accent. I think they weren't actually speaking but I was reading their minds. So I try blend in with them to avoid scrutiny, wondering if I should do something nice for her by getting her one of those newspapers.
To a nearby stand I head. It's electronic, with buttons indicating the name of the desired publication, and a chute much like a candy vending machine. Along the top is an illuminated ticker, a marquee I suppose, with an alert about me being a fugitive, needing to be arrested. My name is spelled with a “C". The info briefly describes the bus caper and the fray at the mall.
Cameras everywhere, and I begin to notice officials whispering and pointing to me. They're wearing white slacks and tunics, high red hats with a bright feathery tassel in front. They're carrying weapons that resemble taser guns, with an electrically charged dart at the end of a long wire. In the increasing flurry of activity one of these darts whizzes by me and I say, “You know what? I'm outta here!"
This meant flying. Or rather, a very high jump that became flying up towards the palm tree tops, away from the shouting and sudden alert noises. After all the previous adventure this was the highlight of the dream. I'm not flapping my arms like a silly bird, but using swimming motions to push air behind me like it was water. I try the breaststroke, butterfly and front crawl with great success, dodging shooting taser wires from below and gaining altitude quickly. A couple of times by dodging one I come into contact with another, but don't get shocked, perhaps the wire is insulated and only the tip is charged, and I avoid getting tangled too.
Towards the white state building I'm swimming. There's a slight headwind and I'm not soaring fast, so progress is slow. Every foot is difficult. Behind the building and to one side of its minarets are some rustic bamboo structures with woven-grass roofs, like palapas. They're way up, like third-story level, so I angle towards them, seeking shelter and a place to rest. Around them are high bamboo and beautiful tropical gardens. Since these palapas are visible from the plaza it's obvious they cannot serve as a hideaway. I can see they're really only decorative and not large enough for my body. So I fly through them and spot other, more secluded buildings nestled in the garden beyond.
Loud music is playing from somewhere. I'm thinking a hotel might be a better idea. One that won't contact the authorities or have probing surveillance. I need a dive...
So I get to the far palapas and they're also not large enough to sleep in. Flying through I get caught in a narrow window, on some bamboo in the thatched roofing. I'm stupidly calling help! help! when I wake up.