In the wake of gerrymandering and Crosscheck voter invalidation, the United States government has finally become a full-on evangelical theocracy, enacting biblical punishments for all transgressions. They've also adopted the non-evangelical notion of "purgatory" out of a sense of expediency and necessity.
When you're arrested for any non-mortal sin-- or even if you give confession for those sins-- you can be put into suspended animation to serve your "purgatory time" immediately. This helps alleviate overpopulation, and there's a political component, in that those in suspended animation are unable to vote. Those offenders with views opposing the government / church face a much higher rate of purgatorial punishment.
I'm a freedom fighter, looking to illegally resurrect a purgatory-dweller. I drive a small hovercraft / antigravity ship-- it's car-sized, more like a skiff or a convertible. It can fly up, down, sideways, upside down-- the floorboards are always "down," gravitationally. There isn't a top on it, but a top would be unnecessary, as global warming has forced all the cities into massive walled-off domes. I continue my search, deep into the archives full of glass coffins packed with those who are suspended in purgatory. They go on and on and on, for miles.
Also I have the unique ability to travel back in time, exactly one year from whenever I choose to exercise the ability. Once I've done so, I have to live forward in real-time, and cannot skip ahead.
If I fuck things up too much and change or damage the timeline too drastically, the shadows will come for me.
I'm in love with the purgatory-dweller for whom I search. She's a fierce political activist, and can rally dissent magnificently.
I keep searching.
I'm walking through a wooded area, but the trees are all in neat rows. Looking to my left, I see a serpentine, floating beam of light, roiling through two rows of pines. It moves, but not in a straight line like a flashlight beam: It drifts and carries the light with it, like luminescent smoke. Illuminated smoke. Only I can see it. It disappears or dissipates quickly.
I keep walking. There are people walking near me, but we are not together. Periodically, looking left, I can see the luminescent smoke, and I finally understand that it functions like a fiber-optic cable-- if I were to catch the end, I could look through it and see what's on the other end. It never stays long enough for me to catch it.
The group of people grows. We do not speak. We do not interact.
At last, the beam appears and lingers. I can see it. I run to it and stare down it.
A man at the other end slowly turns. He's wearing a shabby green-brown shirt and a faded red baseball cap. His face is darkened by shadows. He is unshaven. He has very bad teeth. Instead of eyes, he has small white suns in his head. They're almost too bright to look at.
Now he knows who I am, and he will come, and he will find me.
I woke up shivering with the most intense goosebumps.
My car has been in the body shop for so long that the insurance company doesn't want to keep paying for a rental, and I'm forced to return the one I have and figure out other arrangements. An acquaintance loans me a beater-- an old white '80s four-door sedan, long and chunkity. It runs okay until I'm driving toward an underpass and all four wheels come off at the same time.
I get out of the car, and hold up my hand to stop the oncoming traffic, which stops impatiently. "Shit," I think, and I sigh. I put one hand under the front bumper and one through the passenger side window, where I can grab the handle, and then hoist up the car with my bare hands and carry it to the side of the road. I gather all the tires and throw them in the trunk.
It's too late to get four new tires at CostCo, so I pick the car back up and carry it through some wide double doors into a Mexican restaurant and put it up on a tall planter while I use the restroom.
What a pain in the ass!
When I come out of the restroom, there is a small crowd gathered around the car, which is now sitting, tireless, on top of a tall planter. "Oh shit, I'm sorry," I say. "Let me get that out of here. I guess I'll just carry it home." I grab the bumper and the oh-shit handle and pick up the car again.
"Hey, if you need a car for a couple days, I can loan you one," says the woman running the place. "It won't be good, but loaners aren't supposed to be good. It'll get you where you need to go."
"Really?" I say. "That would be a lifesaver."
It isn't until I wake up that I realize that everyone in the dream was flabbergasted that I could just pick up an entire car and carry it around.
So last night I had a strange dream.
I was working in a standard, generic-style office environment. I had a desk out in the open, with a library cart next to my desk, and my boss's desk was near mine. My boss in the dream was Jon Hamm, dressed like Don Draper.
So I was working at this job, in the dream, and at one point I got up to make coffee and then decided to fall asleep at my desk. I woke up, in the dream, and Jon Hamm was driving me somewhere in his car. I was like "Oh creeze, Mr. Hamm, I'm sorry I just straight-up fell asleep through seven hours on the clock!"
"Don't worry about it," he said, and then it became apparent that we were headed to another work function.
We pulled up to some building and walked inside, and there was just row after row of people sitting at cafeteria tables, with mounds of hotdogs piled up on trays every few feet. I intuited that this was every employee of my new company, and that this was a massive hotdog eating contest.
You should know that I think hotdog eating contests are gross as hell. I watched Bill take place in one a few years ago-- eating hotdogs until there were literally tears streaming out of his reddened eyes-- and it always seemed like one of the most awful things that a person can do. Also, as a gentleman of a certain stature, I have issues with getting up in front of a bunch of people and performing gluttony as a spectator sport.
So I sat down at an empty spot at one of the tables, and figured I'd just sit there and not eat any hotdogs, and then one of the other people at the table figured out that I was planning on nonparticipation, and started busting my balls about how I needed to take part in this team-building activity or whatever. Fucking fine, I thought, and grabbed a hotdog; I'm sure I can perform at least reasonably well. Bill got through about a half-dozen of the things in five minutes, if I recall correctly.
Unfortunately, once I had the hotdog in my hand, I realized that it was some kind of massive goddamn half-pounder or something, all kosher beef, and was packed into what looked like some kind of artisanal hoagie bun. I gritted my teeth and started eating the goddamn hotdogs. I got through two and a half of 'em before I woke up. It was time to go get brunch with Barb and my mother-in-law.
I swear to you that I felt just full as a tick. Those two-point-five "dream dogs" were taking up what felt like very real space in the ol' tum-tum. Not for very long, but for a little while after I woke up I felt just disgustingly overstuffed.
And now, a picture of one of my cats turtling on the carpet.
* I'm sure that if you're some kind of pervert Freudian, you'll probably interpret that whole thing as some sort of fear-dream that I'll have to huff all kinds of metaphorical dongs at my new job. I personally think Freud was full of shit and deep-throated one too many cigars, and that in this instance, being forced to put cylindrical meaty objects in my mouth is just being forced to put cylindrical meaty objects in my mouth. So there. You dirty-minded jerks.