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All Good Things

Short story By: elyen

Ever feel like those few minutes rriiiiggght before finally waking up have enough potency count for an entire night's worth of dreaming? You're not the only one. This is a sample of one such morning...

Submitted:Nov 16, 2012    Reads: 53    Comments: 1    Likes: 1   

All Good Things

I remember extending some part of me forward. I had no idea what or where, just something forward. I was hardly conscious of the fact that I was even doing it in the first place, but I was, however, vaguely aware of the sensation of being met with weak resistance by some unknown, warm, soft material. I hadn't yet formed a visual model of what it was yet, but my lower brain functioning wasn't reacting with alarm, so it must have been something familiar, or at least decidedly non-threatening. It was awfully wonderful stuff, whatever it was. Mmm... Come here, cozy thing! I want you touching more of me... I grasped for it, and it yielded to my will with a certain ease that made me feel truly, if not briefly, omnipotent. That's when I ran into my first snag. I abruptly realized that I did not contort quite so well as I had anticipated. Why can't I contort? I need more of the cozy thing happening in more places! With this realization came images flashing through my inattentive mind which I could only identify with as being "my arms." It was one of my arms I had inadvertently swung outwards. Limits! I imagined shouting in protested. Why do I have these? At that moment, it was as though some unspecified mental construct operating, or simply masquerading, as 'mental police' came knocking at my hazy notion of a door inquiring about a disturbance.
"Yes? Can I help you?" I say, to which the police-construct robotically explained the reason for its visit.
"Sorry to disturb you at this frequency. We've received a complaint from the Amygdala residence. It's come to our attention you wanted to achieve something you don't appear to have the means to do, and that there's been some kind of cognitive conflict. Is everything okay?"
"Conflict? Here? Oh, surely that must have been next door. Hippocampus has been in something of a foul mood lately."
"I'm afraid the report specified that this disturbance occurred in your domain. As you can see, your neighbors," the officer gestured outwards from the steps of the doorway, "are all still asleep and largely inactive, with the exception of yourself and Amygdala who was just getting ready for an early shift, as I understand it."
I noted the immediate spacial regions the officer had gestured to were, for all intents and purposes, just empty lots where houses might have been. Empty, that is, except for Amygdala's awful, gazillion-year old looking house across the way deplete with worn welcome mat, old wooden wind chimes, and faded signs denoting true ownership to some mangy old mutt. Oh look, here comes Amygdala now! Just pulling out of the driveway, Amygdala smiled and waved from within a beaten up station wagon passing by on the way to god knows where out of some incredibly irritating work habit that I was sure was going to be the death of me. Don't you wave at me! You're not fooling anyone! You wipe that smug expression off your face right now or I swear I'll - I digressed, smiled and waved back. Yes, one might say that things weren't always the cheeriest between our two theaters of operation.
"Oh, that conflict!" I decided cooperation was a better life choice at that point. "I assure you, it's nothing, officer. The thing that needed doing didn't need doing that badly. I concede the desire for the event to occur as imagined, and I am quite content with this being the effected outcome instead."
"Affected outcome."
"I'm sorry?"
"You said words wrong. Stop it."
"Oh... My bad... Uhm, 'affected' outcome, then, I guess." Freaking Grammar Nazi! I smiled.
"Very well. If there is any potential further conflict, please just keep an eye on the volume, understood?" I imagined articulating something resembling an affirmative response, and the officer-construct faded, leaving me to pretend - quietly - to be buddy buddy with the idea of limbs that were incapable of placing cozy things where they needed to go. Well! I guess that's it then. I'm forever doomed to experience a world without maximum coziness. I'm not so sure I can endure such a fate! Hmm... Hehe... Fate. Faaate. Fateee. Fay tah. Fayetuh. Feaduh. Faaaeeeeaaaaeeee... I think, at some point around that time, I lost coherent use of language sense. The words instead became spacial objects I could rearrange with mental hands (which, I might add, could contort the way they're supposed to), into semi-solid, malleable masses of drifting nonsense in the same way playdo stick men become, uhm... What's a good word for 'blobs' and 'chunks'? Blooobs and chunk-k-k-ks. Baalloooobs and caachunnkits... (and on it went). It had never occurred to me to acquire such a word-item for my vocabulinventory before. Perhaps it was because I only considered it a fascinating state or shape for something (be it playdo, words, or what have you) to be in at obscenely early hours in the morn - Whhaaa no! NOT okay!! That was close. I almost thought the unthinkable! No, let there be peace and weird space-word dreams and nearly maximum coziness uninterrupted by irritable neighbors driving by conjuring up and summoning forth demon peacekeepers for as long as mentally possible! I pleaded into expanding, nonsensicalword-sounds which, easily amused, I promptly went back to playing with, only this time the dog joined me.
I did not think to question where or when I acquired a dog (or if it had rather acquired me), or what it's name was, or even how it was able to introduce fun, new shapes to the changing word-forms I had been producing simply by chasing its tail in curious ways, but I assure you, it could. Also, when I tried grabbing its paws to dance with it as anyone would with a chocolate lab of its size, it was suddenly able to bark in pure tones and move color into existence. Well ain't that awful nifty! I thought. Between the new shapes, colours and sounds adding to my growing collection of funny word-blobs, I had enough floating things in the air around me to practically swim through. So I did. Each element had become its own unique spatial embodiment, bouncing and combining and diverging with and from all sorts of other ones. In doing so, they became entirely new colour-symbol-word-shape-sound-bubble-things, some of which, after awhile, began coming to a rest on the cutting board on top of the counter in the kitchen. Is this your idea, dog? I had gotten the distinct impression that the dog wanted me to bake cookies out of them, which seemed like a perfectly sensible thing to do at the time. I quite agree, good dog, sir! You are a (at that point, I signed some new shape-symbols in the air which I knew it would understand) and a (I added a few more)! It barked with delight, which just so happened to produce a rather sweet-tasting ingredient-blob that was perfect to go in the word-batter.
Naturally, I was pretty excited. I had bought some new custom-embroidered baking mitts and shape-changing cookie cutters earlier in the week, after all. I was anxious for them. I stopped swim-dancing with the dog, and floated on over to the kitchen. Oh Em Gee! This is going to be your big debut, guys! I inattentively shouted out to my new baking supplies. I figured they were still in their bedroom in a cupboard in the kitchen and wouldn't hear me very well from outside the room otherwise.It was at that moment that I heard, off in the distance, the faint sound of sirens wailing. I stopped what I was doing and just listened. Sure enough, they came on louder and louder, getting closer by the second. What... is this? Was I really being too loud again? I stopped floating. When my feet regained contact with the floor, I ran to the living room window to see what was going on. Sure enough, piled all along the now fully-housed and bustling street right outside my door was an angry swarm of emergency vehicle-constructs. Police cars, fire trucks, ambulances, as well as... Really, Amygdala? Don't you have -anything- better to do than creep around and delight in my misfortunes?! Smiling Amygdala, too, apparently.
Oh no, no no no no no! NO! They can't come in here! I'M BAKING COOKIES!! GO AWAY!!! The sirens hadn't stopped even though it looked like no one else was arriving. Somehow, I thought they would. Just then, something caught my eye that caused me to become aware that I now had blood, and that it was quickly draining from my face in response what I understood to be the onset of a state of panic. Movement. It was a team of what looked like SWAT police quickly hustling on up towards the front door with a battering ram. They nearly reached it before I sprung into action. I knew what I had to do, but when I ran to intersect their path, I encountered another sickening snag limiting my options. There was a sun room between us, and for some unexplained reason, the door from my living room leading out into the sun room was locked (as one might reasonably expect) only from the outside.
I quickly fumbled with my keys. I don't have time for reversing doors! I heard the first SLAM of the battering ram make contact with the outer door. It sounded like they were surprised that it didn't burst open. That's when I remembered: Oh, right. Zombies. Gotchya. At some unspecified point earlier in time, I had prudently reinforced almost the entire house, just in case. The inverted doors, however, had to have been someone else's bright idea. Probably Amygdala's stupid attempt at a practical joke, I bet. So not funny... Still, reinforced or not, they wouldn't hold up against much more of that. Fumbling away, the keys suddenly slipped from my hands and down into one of the old style vent in the floor. REALLY?! Where did that vent even come from? I thought I left those in the OLD house! The keys were gone.
SLAM! Fragments of the front door started to splinter and come out of place. It was hopeless. I didn't see any way of reaching the - WHOA! Out of the corner of my eye came what my brain could only later describe as a double rainbow Nyan Dog all the way(!), flying right through the zombie-resistant reinforced mahogany-trimmed glass window of the door leading to the sun room. It was the same dog I was about to try my new cookie cutters out with, only more brilliant, more chocolatey, and more not-want-to-mess-with-able than before. So much cooler than Amygdala's dog! Once it had teleported itself to the other side of the glass, it seemed torn and upset. It wasn't sure whether to just focus on barking an angry symphony at the intruders through the door they were trying to break in through, or to get ready to jump right on through it and paint them a piece of my mind.
"The lock! The lock!" I shouted and pointed. It was still momentarily conflicted with whether it should handle doing all the awesome stuff on it's own or if it should let the human have a go at it as well, but it eventually sided with turning the deadbolt and unlocking the door for me. Good dog. SLAM! We both snapped our focus' back to the front door which, this time, had finally come open in a shower of splinters and some unexpected low-budget pyrotechnics. However, it didn't come completely open, owing to the dog who had the good sense to quickly jump up against it, push it back, and bark off a charm of resistance of some sort. However, despite its best efforts, the first of the SWAT team had defiantly breached my defenses by the time I swung my door open. There were less than half a dozen feet separating the doors which, till then, likewise kept us separate from each other. As the sirens continued wailing, I saw my objective: If I could only reach the door bell (which, naturally, was on the inside of the house on the wall spanning between the two doors in the sun room) before they apprehended me, all would be well. I wasn't sure how it would be, but I just knew it would. They saw it, too. No time! I leapt. As I did, so did two SWAT police and one Nyan dog as well. One of them was effortlessly dispatched by a radiant, colourful blur of fur and anger, but the other caught me mid air and intercepted my desperate bid to disarm their assault. My fingers were within mere inches of the doorbell, but it all came crashing down.
Darkness closed in as officer after officer needlessly piled on top of me. I was sure I would be crushed and die of suffocation. And still there was that annoying siren! So, I decided to do the only thing I could do. Believing I could reach out to Nyan dog psychitelepathically, I called out to it for strength and courage to perform one final feat. It heard my prayers. I felt a sense of assurance that it was all going to be okay, that it was all part of some pre-ordained plan.
See, the thing I didn't realize about Nyan dogs is that they have utlra-super powers that only manifest when people form a dog pile nearby on someone, like so. In my state of darkness and despair, there appeared to me a vision of my rainbow-and-cooking-loving faithful friend. Plodding up to me, it proceeded to lift my head with a series of slobbery kisses until I found the will to put my arms around it's neck and hold on for dear life. It was so warm and soft, caring and kind. I knew it could protect me from anything. Nothing can hurt me now. The moment I was aware of the thought, I felt an incredible surge of strength and resolve flow through me, as well as more than just a slight delight in the thought of acquiring a good, toothy mouthfull of some theoretical moving vehicle's hind parts.
Suddenly, I entered into god mode! Or is it dog mode? I'm not really sure, to be honest... Huh, I'll have to think about that one... But there I was! Flinging the whole company of officers off of me and casting them aside with that same feeling of omni-potency I once knew. With heightened reflexes, I sprang over to the door bell in an instant, depressed it's little buttony mechanism, and thoroughly relished in the tiny but nonetheless audible clicky sound it produced. With a great, booming rush of air, a shockwave immediately burst from the sun room outwards in all directions. As it passed over the flashing and wailing cacophony both near and far, it disabled the whole myriad of assailants and silenced all manner of rude and perverse forces of audible violence gathered outside my front door.
The sirens stopped. Something had occurred on a truly profound level. It hadn't just been a mere mental event, no. No, something deep and meaningful had transpired on an entirely different plane of existence as well, I just had no idea what. I didn't have time to speculate, nor to revel in my unexpected, last minute victory. Inevitably, I collapsed from the sudden over exertion.
Time passed. It could have been seconds, it could have been days, but when I opened my eyes again, I was looking straight up at the ceiling. At first, in the blur of disfocus, I thought I caught a trace of a furry, spectral presence that quickly faded. Nyan dog? Briefly discoordinated, I struggled to my feet. Nyan dog, where are you? I called out once more. No response. I stood up, surprisingly in no amount of pain, and surveyed my surroundings. I couldn't even detect the slightest trace of evidence suggesting the majestic creature had even been present in the fray. In fact, there was no sign a struggle had even occurred in the first place! The view from beyond my perfectly intact front door was absolutely serene and tranquil. What if it had all just been a dream? I wondered. I felt an easy calm about my surroundings, but not so much about my memory of recent events. Nyan dog, you old rascal... sniff... sniff... No one will believe me now, but I know you were here. I remember what happened. I know you sacrificed so much that I might have peace, but why did it have to come at such a great cost? Why, Nyan dog? WHY?! Now who am I going to share my...
mmmrrroooomyyggaawwwwddCOOOOOKIIIEEEESSS!!! With wild astonishment, I scrambled back in to the kitchen and pulled open the first drawer I encountered in search of my fancy shmancey new cookie cutters and oven mitts. I will honour your memory in the tastiest way I know how! You deserve it, Nyan dog! I ravenously tore through the contents of one kitchen drawer after another. I'm gonna make inspirational cookie syllables and phrases and maybe even short sentences, as well as instrumental musical cookies (I'll try not to burn the jazz ones this time. I know they're your favourite), heroic cookies, police car-flavored cookies in every colour... Last drawer, and still no sign of them. I proceeded to go through them all again to make sure I didn't miss anything. In doing so, I remained completely oblivious to the fact that there were no longer any word-ingredients floating around. I'll even make cookie vegetables, you know, for like Karma and stuff, cause that's probably the only way I'mma ever eat the silly things... I had gone through every drawer and cupboard a second time, and even the dishwasher on the off chance I suffered some terrible amnesic episode wherein which I had already used the cookie cutters on some prior occasion and then had to pay the experience back in memory taxes to the government-construct or something. That's happened before. Still nothing. It's like they never even existed. I was now acquiring a very sad face, and I knew it.
And that's when I started hearing a funny sound coming from the fridge. I walked over it it. The fridge door swung open as I approached, like it somehow knew I was coming over to investigate it. Fridge, you're so cool, I giggled. The very thought of the dependable, well-stocked, yummy food capsule was an instant mood booster, especially now that it was clearly calling out to me. I was okay with being momentarily distracted away from the process of trying (in vain) to make one kind of tasty treat in order to explore a whole new world of other possible tasty treats.
But then I started feeling the tell-tale discomfort of actual chillness setting in as I got closer, causing my skin to get all goose-bumpy. It was weird. I must have missed the part where I acquired skin... I felt so vulnerable and exposed, but I had to press on, because, from somewhere in the fridge came a strange, urgent sounding, uhm... sound-thing. I wasn't sure what it was just yet, but I couldn't ignore it. It started getting louder, and... angrier? Fridge, what's wrong?? The sound-thing had become overbearingly demanding very, very quickly. I could only describe it as a massive whooshing noise but in distroted pulses, like being caught in dangerously high winds while listening to a phone that got knocked off the hook over a PA system. Ahhhh what is going on?! What is doing this to me now?? As if being bombarded by yet another assault on the auditory senses twice in one night wasn't enough, I now felt like I was actually being pulled into the fridge, like some kind of stretchy, streaky bits of elastic or bubble gum, only scarier. Before I knew what was happening, a picture appeared to me, a bizarre image roughly in the shape of:

__ __ __
|__ o | | |__|
|__| o |__ | __|

It was uncanny. I was being forcibly yanked away from fading warmth and safety by what was supposed to potentially be delightful snackage! How is this legal?! I wasn't even being overly greedy, was I?? This is entrapment!! Owww!! And it was painful, too! I was shivering and cramped. My awareness of things rapidly began to expand. At the same time, I found myself acquiring more and more limiting body bits at an alarming rate. My muscles (which were new) were in tight knots, and the only thing I could do was clench my teeth (also new) and repeatedly swing a poorly-aimed fist (not old old, but not new new) in the direction of the funny, glowing lines, which just so happened to coincide with the direction the angry, pulsing, whooshy-sounding, sound-things - Alarm clock! That's what you frigging are (it helps to know your enemy), I remembered - were coming from.
It felt an awful lot like I was back in the sun room, straining to reach for the door bell against all odds. The sudden, straining movement caused my whole body (mostly new) to suffer brutal, nearly incapacitating pain. I felt I could relate to how a diver feels when they depressurize too quickly from out of deep waters and end up with the bends, only I managed to stayed dry. This time... There was the off chance I was exaggerating slightly, but I doubted it. Either way, I soon discovered that the agonizing burst of awareness was irreversible, and the more I fought it, the more overpowering it became. I finally understood what was happening, and I was so not pleased.
That's when my fist finally made contact with the alarm clock for the second time that morning. Arkljhdgsglkhasdflk!!! Even a child could have designed a kinder way to wake up in the friggety morning than this!! My suggestion would have been, namely, to just not wake up and stay asleep until it happened naturally instead, but if that wasn't an option, then I at least wished I had the opportunity to wake up gradually and perform a series of proper, long and slow stretches. I felt that nothing could remedy the damage that had already been caused, robing me of the opportunity to maybe actually enjoy this otherwise painfully chaotic transition.
The cozy thing that was my joy and my salvation earlier, I soon realized, had been sacrificed and cast away in an earlier bid to buy me some precious time, but it was all in vain. Now, it lay devastatingly out of reach, over board, crumpled mostly beyond the foot of my bed and on to the floor, incapable of rescuing me from the cold passing of time and the tyrannical feeling that "being late," whatever that was, would be unacceptable. No warmth. No cookies. No Nyan dog. Everything sucked. Monday, I hate you.


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