Times with Tim

(Written in April 2019)

The summer before 7th grade, a new family moved in across the street. It was a single mother and a boy named Tim, same age as myself. No, it’s not short for Timothy. His full first name is Timothan.

“My dad wanted me to have the same name as him: Jonathan”, Tim explained. “But my mom thought it was too traditional, so Timothan was the compromise.”

I first saw him pushing one of those manual mowers across his lawn one afternoon. Mind you, this was in a gated community where the lawns were kept tidy and short by landscapers.

“Hey, the grass is already cut. Why are you doing that?” I asked him.

“Because it’s fun,” he replied deadpan.

“Let me try.”

He moved aside and I pushed the mower, it’s cylinder rotating effortlessly as I continued down the trajectory Tim had set. I felt strong as I glided down the lawn, the wheels slightly indenting the grass, knowing that this would be a lot harder if the mower was actually mowing. I guess it is fun, after all.

A few days later, Tim knocked on my door and invited me to his house to play video games. After many fierce rounds of Super Smash Bros. on the Nintendo 64 in his basement, we went upstairs to get some food. He picked a baguette from the table and put it on a cutting board. He then painstakingly removed the crust—as in, the entire exterior of the baguette—and threw it in the trash. I thought it was a joke until he threw the crust in the trash and offered me half of the soft cylinder of bread innards remaining.

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(Written on 4/29/2019)

“What’s a tortilla?” Perry asks.

“What kind of question is that?” I shoot back.

“I’ve never heard of it, is it a vegetable or something?”

Before I can respond, the floor underneath our table collapses. I flail my arms but can’t hold onto anything as I fall to the first floor of the Mexican restaurant. I land squarely on my rump and roll backwards as the breath is knocked out of me. The rubble settles quickly into silence before I hear commotion from the counter which holds the register. I sit up and hear Perry moaning.

“I think I broke something.”

Not feeling too hurt, I crawl around the broken table and now fully understand the commotion. A narrow, iron candle holder is jutting through the top of his belly and a small puddle of blood is forming from the opening. The teenage girl who had been our server runs over and starts pulling at her hair.

“Call 911!” I bark at her.

She pulls out her phone and begins to do so just as “What’s New Pussycat?” comes on the jukebox, lightly playing from a ceiling speaker. Not what I’d want to die to.

“Jarv,” Perry says weakly.


“What… is a tortilla?”

“Oh, Perry,” I say before I pause to hold tears back. “It’s a round, thin flatbread made from wheat or corn.”


(This story was written in March 2017 then revised in April 2018)

I close my eyes and soon appear on the other side as my projected self. This is just a test run; I need to see if my new DreamCatcher can produce a satisfactory result.

Hovering hundreds of feet above a vast and desolate ocean, I summon two gigantic monsters. Two reptilian bipedal beasts—magnitudes larger than any creature to ever roam the Earth—slowly rise from the sea. Foamy tidal waves ripple outward as their emergence displaces water. Their top halves now above the surface, the monsters begin fighting. Each blow from their massive arms sends seismic waves that bend space. I pull the boundaries of the sea up around us until we are in a giant air pocket within a sphere of water. The space between the two monsters gets more corrupted as each exchange of attacks deflects pixels off their scaly, now oozing torsos. I turn a single speck of these showering colors pitch black. The black hole expands to absorb the monsters within seconds. The walls of water spiral upwards and condense into the hole as the scene turns abruptly to black.

I wake up and gently pull the cord from the Cerebral Interface (CI) port on the back of my head. Excitedly, I hurry over to the DreamCatcher and output it to the wall monitor. A holographic display appears in front of me, allowing control of the “camera”. The video starts playing and it appears exactly as it did in my head. I spend a few minutes fiddling with the camera angles then save the result.

Everyone’s gonna fucking love this.

I upload it to oTube (the Omnis video-sharing service) with the title “Sea battle dream” and get back in bed for some real sleep.

Continue reading “Dreamscapes”