Books: An Abridged Existence (excerpt)

Sid looks at Carl rather oddly; as though Carl has become an exotic piece of furniture that Sid is not sure what to make of. “Just what do you mean by that, Carl?”

“Huh, oh, nothing,” Carl claims. But it is too late; Sid is rather suspicious of something.

“Right. Somehow I think you’re not being totally honest with me. What works? Some dream reading device that you’ve recently made and decided to test upon me without my consent? I, for one, am outraged,” Sid says, rather dully. He does not show a very violent outrage, he looks more annoyed and bother if anything.

“No! It doesn’t read dreams. It allows people to have combined dream– ah shit.” Carl realizes that Sid hasn’t been sure what Carl was previously talking about his dream machine. But now he is totally aware of what Carl has done.

“Well, that’s just disturbing. I assume that I can trust a totally stranger, and look what it gets me. I get dream raped by you!” Sid says, he looks rather appalled.

“Well, if it wasn’t for me, that vampire would have been able to eat you. I bought you precious time to get away!” Carl says in his defense.

“It was only a dream! Nothing would have happened; I would have woken up anyway. Vampires and the supernatural- well vampires aren’t real.” Sid remembers the brief encounter with that ‘thing’ made out of blood from the book in the library earlier and decides that he would choose to believe that vampires do not exist. He knows well that other forms of supernatural things exist. “I expect compensation!” That is another line Sid has just been waiting a very long time to use on someone. He also stands up at this point to add a dramatic effect. Unfortunately, he stands up a few seconds after the demand, completely blowing any dramatic effect that it would have had.

“Well, I’ll just get you a large bottle of rum,” Carl suggests. He hopes this will appease Sid, since he happens to have an unopened bottle lying around somewhere. He also does not want Sid to make a big stink about the whole ability to read and interact with other people’s dreams. If he takes it to the media, the press will be hounding him for the rest of his natural life, and he will never hear the end of it from his relatives who he never hears from.

“Fair enough,” answers Sid. It has been too long since he had been able to get absolutely trashed on any type of alcohol. Not that he condones doing it on a regular basis; he just wants to get even with a few brain cells.