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Below are the 12 most recent journal entries recorded in Dream Collective's LiveJournal:

Monday, November 12th, 2007
7:53 pm
She sat happily on the wooden bench, the sounds of quiet animal life
on all sides. The birds had not yet migrated, confused by the late
summer and chirped industriously in the tops of branches, while the
squirrels busily scoured for acorns to get through a winter that may
not come. The golden light on the fallen leaves, all shades of yellow
and brown with just a hint of green here and there, opened its arms to
welcome her.

She put her hand in her pocket and pulled it out, one white, round
pill, thicker than store bought pharmaceuticals and with a white
crescent stamped on one side. She smiled in that moment, wishing she
could explain better, wishing there were people who wanted to
understand more. It wasn't a crutch or a substitute. She didn't want
to hide, ignore or take anything away, she wanted more. Dismissing the
likely disapprovals with a slight smile, she put the pill in her mouth
and consciously opened herself to the sacrament of this moment and
this place, this now.
Tuesday, April 24th, 2007
9:39 pm
It was night, late. “Oh god, not again, “ she thought without knowing why while climbing desperately from a confusing sleep. The colors and shapes would not resolve the way they were supposed to. The small, known room was present, as were the rest of the family; a sister in the bunk above, the parents just down the hall, but that wasn’t all, wasn’t what held her attention and commanded her fear.

At the end of the bed the small window usually looked up the hill towards the empty cul de sac where the harsh glare of the sodium light from the lamp post filtered weakly in all directions, only making the shadows starker. All that was present, as was the outline of the window and the wall, transparent as though made of thin gelatin, granting a clear view of the impossibly black and green darkness where they stood.

The small one was in back, a bit down from the top of the hill. Only his shape was visible, black limned in dark, dark green, and eyes, twin spots of solid emerald. Even though further away, that was where her attention pulled; it took a few paralyzed seconds to note the huge one within just a couple of steps from the abnormally translucent wall. Just as dark, as bereft of features save the same green eyes, it was massive, almost as wide as it was tall, with impossibly huge arms and wide head. The small one was the shape of a short man; this one was some monstrous servant, more unnatural for mocking human form.

Neither moved, but stared at her steadily. Frozen, clinging to the childish hope that not moving meant safety, she realized with a start that they saw her too, and knew she was aware of them. She didn’t know how, but she knew that was not supposed to happen. The small one was in charge, she knew, and the large one positioned to easily take her on his command; the stillness was ripe with cold evaluation and ready intent. Seconds, minutes, hours passed with no change but the steady increase of tension and fear. Somehow, at some point, blackness and solidity returned, and sleep claimed her again.

That one moment became pivotal, solidifying fear of the dark, of windows when alone, and of rural, quiet places. “They’re just bad dreams,” her parents said dismissively, so dreams were banished. “You don’t have anything to worry about out here in the country; in the city is where it’s dangerous at night” they said, only fuelling the sense of pregnant doom. Distrust took root, and flourished over the years. The idea that safety was even possible was bitterly laughable, and only reinforced a sense of desperate, everyday isolation. Life shrank, an attempt to only dwell in or consider the defensible, but fear only builds prisons, not safety.

It wasn’t until decades later that the thought occurred to her, “What if they weren’t menacing, but watching over me?”
Sunday, March 25th, 2007
8:27 pm
Waking was an odd experience; slow, fractured and indefinably wrong in some way. Kayla struggled through layers of awareness, finally opening her eyes to white. There was white everywhere. No colors, no shapes, no people, nothing but bright, blinding white. Gradually it faded to an off white that was easier on her eyes and she became aware she was no longer alone.

At first, she didn't see anything, or anyone, but gradually an area of white before her began to glow and take on a shape. It looked like an angel, but not the way they were normally depicted. This being had six wings, a face that could belong to a male or a female, and an unusually musical voice. Its skin was luminescent, like nothing she'd ever seen.

"Who are you?" she asked.

"Who I am is not as important as why you are here," it said.

"Where is here? What are you? Why am I here?" Kayla fired the questions off in quick succession, not really giving the entity a chance to answer. She could have sworn it sighed.

She was beginning to think he – she – whatever it was, wasn't planning to answer her. The silence had grown uncomfortable for her when it did.

"I am Choice," it said, clearly reluctant.

"Choice? What the hell do you mean you're Choice? And why didn't you answer my other questions?"
"I am Choice," it said again. "I represent options, divergences, alternatives. Your options. You are here because it is left for you to choose."

"Choose what?" she asked in confusion, only to be met with silence. Shaking her head she tried again. "Where am I?"

"Within the Unknown," was the unexpected answer.

Kayla blinked. "What?"

The figure - being, whatever - turned and headed toward a door Kayla could have sworn hadn't been there before. "Come. All will be explained."

Left with no other option, Kayla followed. They exited the room into a hallway of some sort; long and gray and forbidding. Kayla shivered, even though she wasn't really cold, which was odd, as she had the distinct impression she should be. It meandered along, twisting and turning, and she found herself comparing it to a river, only silent and without life. Abruptly, she wondered if she were dead.

"Am I dead?" she asked, afraid of the answer.

Without turning, it replied. "You are about to be properly born."
4:32 pm
Wet Work (Part 4)

Part 4

His geta clicked across the stone walkway like a time bomb as he neared the entrance to the hidden pagoda. Streams filled with white lotus blossoms trickled down on both sides of the walkway as the hooded figure solemnly shuffled upward. The red moon shined between the trees of the rainforest as if the leaves themselves bled upon the surface of the lush Basin floor. The pagoda was nestled inside the thickest of forestry that even the trained eye would miss. The clicking stopped as he reached the entrance.


“Buddha, there is no other way…”


CRACK! The hooded figure jerked his head to the right. The sound was too diminutive for the average ear to collect, but he was no ordinary individual, he was Yikori. The decades of training and incalculable wars had melted his psyche and soul into the very life force of the planet. He wished he could turn the switch off. With every bone in his walking cadaver he wished he could turn his back on what he believed. Turn his back on the Yikori, but he could not. And yet a turncoat he was labeled. CRACK! He calculated they were still several miles away, but could not let them reach this hallowed place. He shot up into the trees with power and speed that only one with Yikori power could posses. He sprinted on and leaped through the branches like a wraith searching for his home in the vines and shadows as he covered the miles in mere minutes. The Basin floor spoke louder to him as he approached the source.


“Des-heads”, he whispered.


Soldiers from the Department of Environmental Safety or Des-heads as most irreverently referred, were in the Basin.


“Sooner than I had anticipated.”


The man crossed his legs in a meditative stance on the large branch as his eyes rolled back inside his skull. Unintelligible murmurings he spoke as the two men moved closer towards the tree unaware of the man above them. The larger of the two men stopped suddenly and aimed towards the tree. Fire began to burn from the old man’s eyes and hands as he stood and looked below.


“It begins…”


To Be Continued…

Friday, March 2nd, 2007
7:06 pm
She was the brightest point in the room, and I knew who she was even before a passing shade pointed her out to me.

"That's her," the shade said.
"I know."
"You should go talk to her. She knows who you are; I've been talking you up."
"Not right now," I demurred. "Besides, she's talking to someone, and isn't she here with a date?"
"She doesn't like the boy; she finds him tedious," the shade said dismissively. "She is here with a date, but that won't last long. Why not put yourself in her field of vision? It's only a matter of time."

I chose to retain my spot; I really was comfortable there, at the outer periphery of the crowd, but not so far out as to draw undue attention to myself. I had a view of the place as well as the people, both of which matttered to me. Besides, I could see her clearly from my vantage point, surrounded by the movement and circulation of others through the space, both physical and social, and I wanted the opportunity to savor at my own pace.

I remember talking to her. I had been pointed out by the shade, and beckoned over.
"This is one of the best people I know," said the shade.
"Really? That's saying something." There was a twinkle in her eye that might have suggested a playful approach to the irony of such a statement, in consideration of the source, but also a willingness to engage what was being said sincerely.

I don't remember what I said. I know I was trying to be both witty and slightly self deprecating, a combination I have tended to interpret as a pedestrian charm. What I do remember is the feeling of having that face turned my way, feeling the full weight of her attention, and of relaxing in it. I remember the line of that luminous neck, the stretch from clavicle to jaw as she turned to look at me. I covetously stole glances as she spoke, and realized this was something most would miss, assuming stature foreclosed such enlongated elegance. It seemed unfair for others, and for her, but for me, I got to appreciate the exclusivity, and held the experience close.
Tuesday, February 20th, 2007
5:50 am
The straps of the backpack had begun to rub his shoulders raw, sweat and the hurried application of grease paint gave his face a sickly gleam. The sensory overload that is combat had worn him to cold keen edge; the sounds of men shouting and the staccato rhythm of automatic rifle fire, muzzle flashes and tracer rounds arcing lethally into the night, the impenetrable oppression of the desert that hid the enemy. He knew that his government had sent him there for ultimately the wrong reasons, but he knew that he and his fellow soldiers were accomplishing something good. While oil may have been their cause, he had seen the mass graves.

His boots, which had been been a matter of pride in basic training because of the hard earned mirror like gloss he had put on them, were grimy and flat. 'Strange how the mind works' he thought, 'in the middle of this, all I want is a few hours to sit in the sun with a can of Kiwi.'

A small, yet enormously large, sound broke him from his reverie. It was a whispering squeal. He jolted to attention trying to figure out what the nature of the sound was, when other soldiers pushed him down violently. The realization that the sound was a bullet slightly missing his head had shaken him badly. Although he had been around the action, he, to that point, had never been involved.

Before he could figure out how to react, the other men in his squad had tackled him. In a single moment, the world erupted into a litany of profanity laden commands being passed from officer to non-commissioned officer, then finally to the enlisted guys, like a verbal avalanche picking more profanity as the orders surged down the chain of command. He found himself on his back in the middle of a road. The training he had received three months before that, all 18 weeks of it inserted itself in the empty spot where his ego had once resided. He slammed his heals down and slid on his back behind a ruined heap of metal, and if he had to approximate, he we have guessed a sedan at the wrong end of an artillery strike.

He poked his head up, the rifle feeling alien and evil in his hands. He scanned the street and windows ahead of him trying to pinpoint where the enemy was. He saw a young Iraqi poke his head from around, but the American soldier remained still. The sun was behind him, and he knew the Iraqi couldn't see him.

Although a full scale skirmish had begun, the young US soldier realized that he had just entered a crux (or crucible) in his life. The rest of the world had shrunk down to the angle of fire of the M-16 that he had carefully laid across the hood of the vehicle. The only sound he could here was his own breaths, hurried and shallow.

His index finger snaked into the trigger well and around the curved metal. His thumb slid the fire indicator, switching from safety to semiautomatic. The Iraqi lost his nerve and decided to run. The American pushed the muzzle ahead of the runner, he held his breath... all of this just like he had been trained. He tried to hate this other man, the man he was fairly certain, that only moments before had nearly ended his life. He wanted to hate him, so that what he conspired to do would have felt like combat instead of murder.

'You tried to kill me, mother fucker.' he tried to rally his hate. He jerked the muzzle forward in it's sweep and squeezed the trigger. The round collided into the ground in front of the fleeing Iraqi soldier. He had fired "Marksman" through all of his training, and the shot he missed was the one he would, sometimes, be most proud. He fancied that the Iraqi knew he flubbed the shot on purpose, and come to the same conclusion he had. When he checked in his weapon at the end of his time in the desert, there was 29 rounds left in the thirty round clip.

But, secretly, he always suspected that he was wrong about the soldier's imagined change of heart and wondered how many of the men, who would have given their lives for him, had lost their lives because of the one shot he missed.
Saturday, February 17th, 2007
7:26 pm
Wet Work (Part 3)

Part 3

She gripped the dresser as the elderly man penetrated her from behind. Her face veiled behind layers of makeup showed no enthusiasm as she feigned the occasional moan. He had only been inside her three minutes and she could already feel his body tightening for climax. He grasped the flesh from the lower portion of her hourglass and gave one last plunge as his body convulsed in gratification collapsing on top of her spine.

 “Baby, baby, baby…” His voice trailed off exhausted from the short romp.

 She rolled her eyes as she pulled out from under him adjusting her undersized bra to her silicone bosoms.  She walked across the room towards the bathroom, as her ass swished back and forth like a pendulum. The man’s eyes followed the busty Brazilian into the bathroom as he struggled to hold himself up on the dresser.

 “Hurry back”, He grunted.

 She turned her ebony head around long enough for him to see a tantalizing smirk across her full lips and then retired into the bathroom. He buried his face into the dresser as he reached for air that he was just beginning to find. Pain. Sharp pain, like a bee sting to his neck. He quickly turned around as his eyes began to blur into colors and abstract shapes. The same smirk. She stood in front of him with the empty syringe in hand like she had won a trophy. His began to fade as he slumped toward the carpet.

 “Tattoo. You had no tattoo.” He gurgled pointing to the artwork on her neck.

 Remnants of makeup could barely be seen around the small praying mantis on the woman’s neck.

 “The Mantis…” The man choked out as he crumbled beneath her.

 To Be Continued…

Wednesday, February 14th, 2007
8:52 pm
I've been staring at this corner for an hour . I can feel it swelling, my eye is almost shut now and it throbs.

I don't know what I've done to deserve this, I thought I've always been good to him. I've always said what I thought he wanted, I've always done what I thought he wanted done. Yet still I sit in this corner, with one eye swollen shut and the other blinded by tears.

It wasn't always this way. I used to be happy, we used to be happy. Somewhere he turned on me, and I was blind to it, and now he gives me
these literal reminders of how I'm still blind.
Saturday, February 10th, 2007
3:31 am
Wet Work (Part 2)
…You make me feel like I am young again, whenever I'm alone with you, you make me feel like I am fun again…

The Cure song played softly in the outdated compact disc player kept together merely by rudimentary tape and string. The small apartment was like an archeological dig unearthed. It was almost as if the earth itself vomited the nineteen hundreds into only this one God forsaken space and retreated leaving it to tell the times of yesteryear. Posters of ancient films like Predator 4 lined the walls while comic books and baseball cards stacked the corners of the room like small monuments to primitive gods.

…However long I stay I will always love you, whatever words I say, I will always love you, I will always love you…

Smoke poured out of a Black and Mild and climbed around the naked light bulb hanging from the middle of the time warp. The face behind the cigar was barely visible behind the black Ray-Bans and scraggly beard. A tattoo of a miniature gothic cross drips subtlety from the corner of his left eyelid. He took another drag.

…Whenever I'm alone with you, you make me feel like I am free again, whenever I'm alone with you, you make me feel like I am clean again…

The door was beaten and reverberated throughout the apartment.

“Open up Kobias, we know your ancient ass is in there!”

He leaned in closer to the light, the tips of his black hair now noticeably platinum blonde. He takes another drag. A cloud of smoke engulfed his face as the Ray-Bans shined from the glow. The door convulsed again.

“Kobias, you fuckin bitch, open up!”

A smirk paralyzed his face as his right hand slipped down his leg and unsheathed his gui-blade from the sheath. The seven-inch blade pulsated a mahogany red as it was gripped.

…However long I stay I will always love you, whatever words I say, I will always love you, I will always love you…

The door was lit up like a firework show and fragmented into a million pieces with the explosion of the particle grenade. Three sciatic nerve grenades circled the room like racecars and emitted lethal fumes throughout the apartment. Kobias lifted his blade as it pulsated.

“Fuckin Des-heads.”

To Be Continued…
Friday, February 9th, 2007
3:13 pm
Wet Work (Part 1)

"What?” Kennesaw whispered.

"Pendergrass was the smoothest."

Kennesaw grinned. And not the kind of grin a person makes because they are actually amused by the comment, but the one you forge to your grandmother when she asks do you like her vile lima bean casserole. Two weeks they were following a sporadic ion trail inside the Amazon Basin chasing a rogue Yikori monk and Kennesaw was not in the mood for Baja’s constant psycho prattle.

“B, if for once you could…”

Baja stopped suddenly and his eyes darted upward into the dripping canvas of forestry that engulfed them like a complex web of wonders and concealed dangers. He gripped his custom JK-74 plasma pump, he called his “Pisser” on the account that the barrel remotely resembled a phallus and the gun emitted rounds in a yellowish shade, and aimed at ostensibly nothing. Silence. Kennesaw noticed the large vein that crawled from behind Baja’s ear and twisted down his neck like the Mississippi River was pulsating like an African tribal drum.

“Oh sh*t!” Kennesaw yelled.

To Be Continued…
Thursday, February 8th, 2007
2:57 am
Slipping away
Why are you whispering?

"I'm not, you're just going apathetic."

Oh, is that so?


Prove it.

"You were told that your dad had died, to which you replied 'it happens'. When you where told your grandma had passed, you said 'She was old.' and when I told you that I was leaving, you just laughed and said 'it figures.'"

Fair enough. I guess I need some kind of Caring Aid.
Monday, February 5th, 2007
7:01 pm
She looked down in her hand at the dull, faintly gleaming piece of metal, grooves and flat places already warmed by the heat of her palm. A key is a curious thing, she thought, folding her fingers over the almost sharp edges, pressing an impression of it into her flesh instead of putty, like the crooks always did in the old black and white movies.

Images of doors filled her mind: old, heavy and burnished, reflecting golden any light, an entry into an old library and hours of imaginative escape; of a wrought iron gate to an overgrown garden, full of forgotten promise and newly discovered delight; of big, solid doors with inset panels and carefully constructed windows, the portal in and the portal out; of sleek glass and art deco styled copper patina, the cool, tubular handles set at an angle that forced you to note, and wonder why other doors were obsessed with ninety degree lines; of the modest, everyday wonder that opened onto the first place of your own. ‘Keys go into locks’, she thought, ‘but I always think of doors’, as she smiled to herself, softly satisfied with the shape and texture of associations. ‘Keys are for opening; locks are for closing’

Savoring the taste of gentle irony, she shouldered the fully stuffed messenger bag, picked up her suitcase and the last of her mail, and stepped outside, locking the door one last time, before turning away from the closing of the past, carefully placing the lone brass key into a front pocket, saving the magic for another day.
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