[LNHY/ACRA] The Daily Super Short-Short Story #23

Saxon Brenton saxon.brenton at uts.edu.au
Thu Sep 30 01:25:45 PDT 2004

The Daily Super Short-Short Story #23
A Devil Came Down to Georgia 5
Last Time: Damian the wondersock established his base of operations.
     Delroy bounded up, shot, and scored. He collected the basketball 
and threw a look at Martin. "You are so off your game today," Delroy 
said, and bounced the ball back to his companion.
     "I hadn't realised I was feeling so out of it."
     "And here I thought you said you wanted to play some ball because 
you were feeling too out of it to study," Delroy jibed.
     Martin squinted as he prepared to shoot a basket. "I did. But it 
looks like I'm too out of it to do anything right just now." He lobbed 
the ball, which hit the edge of the basket and bounced back. "See? I 
should just go back to bed," he complained.
     "Ha!" went Shane from the sideline as he looked up from a wad 
of papers that he'd been going over with a red pen. "You should have 
thought of that last night when you were up watching DVDs rather than 
getting some sleep."
     "Hey, I didn't watch *anything* last night," countered Martin as 
he collected the ball. "*I* sat up just long enough to finish off my 
literary ethics essay and then I went to bed by 11:30, unlike *some* 
people who are still desperately scrabbling to get their act together."
     "Yeah yeah," grumbled Shane, and returned to what would hopefully 
be the final draft of his work. Then all he had to do was a final 
printout and have it handed in by 5pm.
     "So, what, have you been stressing too much over your workload to 
get proper rest?" asked Delroy as he intercepted the ball from Martin.
     "Don't think so," replied Martin as he futilely tried to get the 
ball back. "I've just been having some strange dreams."
     "And this contradicts my theory, how?" asked Delroy.
     "Well for a start I haven't been having any anxiety dreams about 
turning up in class naked, or missing any exams, or having to perform 
Mass but being totally unprepared and screwing the whole thing up 
catastrophically, or anything."
     Delroy chuckled. "Turning up naked. Lewd exhibitionism. They'd 
scream about paedophilia and you'd never be let near a choir ever again."
     "Oh shut up, Del," said Martin. "Don't even joke about things 
like that."
     Delroy shut up for long enough to successfully shoot another 
basket, then changed the subject back. "So what type of dreams *have* 
you been having?"
     "Oh. I've been standing on the edge of a huge lake or ocean or 
something. I can't see the other side, but I know I have to get to the 
other side to do... something or other. There a whole lot of other 
people who I can't see properly who are crossing without any problem."
     Delroy looked at him. "And you say that's not an anxiety dream?"
     Matin shrugged. "Maybe it's just more heavily laden with symbolism 
than usual," he admitted.
     "Why didn't you try to fly across?" asked Shane.
     "What do you mean, 'fly across'?" countered Martin.
     "Well, it's a dream, isn't it? Just tell yourself to up-up-and-away."
     "That's weird."
     "No it's not. I do it fairly often," Shane said. Then he shrugged. 
"Obviously you never read enough comic books as a kid to get a proper 
mode of thought where you could do the impossible if you really wanted 
to. I've been flying since I was about seven. Mind you, I'm not a very 
good at it. It's more like swimming, I'm not very fast, and my altitude 
control sucks."
     Delroy smirked. "So your solution is supposed to be a help?"
     Shane shrugged again. "These days I'd use teleporting, actually. 
Early on, I'd 'teleport' by turning invisible and walking to where I 
wanted to be, passing through walls if I needed to. But in the past few 
years my dream teleporting is more like visualising what it would look 
and feel like to be somewhere else, and then I'd instantly be there." 
He matched Delroy smirk for smirk. "The moral of the story is that you 
get better at these things if you practise."
     "It hasn't helped your flying," Delroy said.
     Shane wasn't perturbed. "Fine. Usually it'll get better if you 
     Then Martin, who'd only been an observer in that exchange, asked: 
"And you do this all the time?"
     "No. Most of the time it doesn't occur to me to use those sort of 
tricks. That's the main reason why I don't think it's a form of lucid 
dreaming; I don't think 'ah, I'm dreaming, so I can do anything' type 
metalogic or anything like that. I'm still using dream logic, but I 
suspect it's because I think in comic book symbolism so much that the 
type of things I can do in dreams sometimes relate back to comic book 
     "Well, I don't think in comic book terms," said Martin.
     "Then think in terms of sci fi or anime," said Shane. "You watch 
enough of the stuff. Use the Force or something. Or if that embarrasses 
you, think in terms of asking God for help. You're training to be a 
priest, you should be thinking along those lines professionally as 
well as privately."
     Martin raised an eyebrow. "I don't think that asking God for the 
ability to fly is the type of theme that I could get working in my 
subconscious and influencing my dreams. It's not the sort of thing 
that turns up in the scriptures."
     "There are a few saints who could fly. Saint Joseph of Cupertino, 
for example," Shane pointed out.
     "And who were a *small* number of very pious exceptions to a more 
general human condition," Martin countered. "I still don't think it's 
a chain of thought that would be of much use to me," he repeated. Shane 
gave him a playful grin but said nothing more.
     "Whatever," said Martin. He ran his fingers through his short 
black curls and then stretched. "I think I'll go get some rest and see 
if I can get into the swing of things later this afternoon..."
     "Excuse me," said a young man in delivery boy uniform. "Can you 
tell me where Building 14 is?"
     "Sure," said Delroy. "It's that big red brick building over there 
behind the auditorium.
     "Thanks," said the youth with a scar on his cheek, and wandered off.
     After he had rested Martin got up and went to the bathroom to 
freshen himself up. He went to the sink and splashed water over his 
face, and was surprised by a quite large zit on his cheek. He sighed 
and took a closer look at it, only to discover that it was a small 
piece of metal in his skin. Bwah? Had he slept on something and gotten 
it embedded in his face? What a nasty thought; it could have gotten 
into his eye.
     He pulled it out, wincing in pain as he discovering that it was 
in deep. He wiped at the trickle of blood, which persisted. He got a 
bandaid and covered the wound, then examined the piece of metal, but 
couldn't identify what it could be.
     .oO( Just a piece of scrap, ) he concluded, then threw it in the 
trash didn't think of it anymore.
Tomorrow: Martin's life gets more complicated.
The Daily Super Short-Short Story series created by Arthur Spitzer, and 
used with belated permission.
Saxon Brenton    University of Technology, city library, Sydney Australia
     saxon.brenton at uts.edu.au 
The Eyrie Archives of Russ Allbery which collect the online superhero 
fiction of the rec.arts.comics.creative newsgroup can be found at:

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