Tokyo Dreams

There was a Japanese man who had two sons. The eldest son grew up and decided to become an artist. However, he ultimately decided against this pursuit because his father was so vehemently against it. He instead became an industrial designer and created a pillow that was also a chair that folded into itself for efficient packing.

The youngest son did train to become an artist. He honed his skill in drawing and began to create wall hangings that consisted mostly of cartoon-like sketches of old men (often based on likenesses of his father) who were severely haunted by ghosts or otherwise facing tremendous misfortune.

In one drawing, a wooden bucket was falling on the old man’s head. In many others, the old man was fleeing from a ghost who was pursuing him with arms wide open. The youngest son moved to China to pursue his craft.

War broke out between China and Japan. The eldest son enlisted and soon became an officer. He marched a hundred men down a dirt road that led from Hong Kong to Shang Hai. On the trek, he stopped long enough to try and sell one of his folding chairs to a German tourist. The tourist declined because they were made in China.

The eldest son then received a call suggesting that his command was going to be ambushed and shot. He abandoned his men, who were subsequently captured. The eldest son and just one or two other soldiers escaped into the Sea of Japan and began swimming the backstroke as a few members of China’s female Olympic swimmers gave chase.

The eldest son made it back to Japan and when he did ran madly through the streets of Tokyo sopping wet and gleeful. He was happy until he finally was arrested for desertion. Unfortunately, his expatriate brother was never heard from again.

Photo by Alex Knight

An Evil Science

For some reason, Fox Mulder was no longer played by David Duchovny. Instead, Michael Keaton took on the role. And he’s lecturing Scully in an interrogation room. Quickly thereafter, they go into a hotel room where Scully sees a sheet that’s been written on in blood.

While she’s there, she realizes she’s been hypnotized. This is so terrible that she wails in agony knowing who is responsible. An evil scientist played by James Spader has put her under. And only God knows what he’s had her do.

Fortunately, Keaton has mind powers of his own. He launches a missile strike with his thoughts. The missiles move toward the evil scientists’ airplane, which is really more like a space station with wings.

As the missiles strike the station, Keaton is talking to Spader. He’s basically telling him he’s going to pay for what he’s done to Scully. Spader’s plane goes down, but is he’s able to escape to pursue his evil agenda again another day.

Photo by GoaShape

Strange New World

There were roadblocks in every direction, but he still managed to escape and speed down a winding road leading to a expansive lake. As he grew closer to the lake he found that the water had overtaken the road, forcing him to slam on the brakes. His red car skidded to a stop, and he climbed out to survey the scene.

In the sky, he saw something gleaming and falling fast. It was the size of a snowflake, but he could still make it out over the lake as it descended toward the water. The next thing he knew he was in a submarine with a group of scientists who were all examining that foreign object.

It contained new properties. There was much to learn.

Soon after, a foreign army arrived by boat. They submerged and detonated an atomic bomb. Watching from the shore, our protagonist found that the blast had washed several miles away. When he picked himself up he began searching for a duffel bag.

Upon finding it, he realized it wasn’t his. It belonged to one of the female scientists. He decided to find her and once he did they would try to make a life together in this strange new world.

Photo by Sebastian Spindler

 

Tuxedo-Clad Chuck

Chuck Norris is in a jungle somewhere. He’s stalking an enemy in the hot, humid underbrush until mortar rounds start to hit. Chuck begins to run. He sprints through the jungle until he stops cold. The sound of a nearby mortar is just too close. He shoulders his weapon and scales a tree. He leaps into the air as the bomb hits the earth.

Chuck is catapulted ten stories high. But he’s not hurt. He starts moving through the canopy like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. He’s flying. From way up there he reaches the edge of the forest and sees several stone buildings off the coast on man-made islands. They’re stone buildings that look vaguely Irish, but he realizes there are Elizabethan theaters inside each one.

After sailing down to the ground, Chuck goes inside. An effeminate secretary informs the shirtless, sweating military man that there is a dress code, but that he’ll let it slide this time. Chuck goes into the back office to find a woman who also looks vaguely Irish. She’s busying herself preparing the stage lighting for her play.

When she turns to see Chuck, he asks her to go to the dance.

The night of the dance, Chuck Norris is nowhere to be found. The Irish brunette is dressed in a pale blue gown. There are ringlets in her hair. If she knows just one thing it’s that Chuck Norris is off somewhere fighting another war. But no! He enters wearing dress blacks. Everyone wants a selfie with Chuck.

Photo by Cristian Grecu

A Bridge Over Troubled Water

It seemed like I was back in college or in high school in an 80’s movie. A group of guys and I go to a grocery store in a bad part of town and one of my friend’s has their Jeep stolen while we’re inside.

We call the cops.

As we wait for them to arrive, somebody orders cheeseburgers. We’re scarfing ’em down when the police get there to start investigating leads.

My friend says he left his keys in the Jeep. This causes some of the cops to start sniggering. What strikes me as odd is that one of the cops is the principal from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. They keep giggling when they see a poster about transgender rights.

I decide I have to do something.

I start to investigate myself and immediately come upon the house where the Jeep has crashed through a fence and rolled down a hill. As if I’m clairvoyant, I see an image of the high schooler who stole the car. He looks like a taller, more muscular Kyle MacLachlan from the movie Dune.

In my vision, I see him shove a guy to the ground after watching him try to swim across a concrete bridge. The curious aspect of this is that all the water is beneath the bridge.

Kyle masterminds a plot that involves killing another high school student and throwing him out of their car to make it look like he was thrown from the Jeep before it rolled down the hill. For some reason, Kyle also plans to use his supernatural powers to raise a new fence out of the ground from where the first one was bent over and broken.

It’s up to me to stop him.

Photo by Clark Young

Swimming with an Anaconda

The man–who happened to be a Hugh Grant look-alike–first met the anaconda on a trip to the rainforest. She stalked him on a 10-day trek through the heart of the Amazon. Somehow he managed to escape the snake’s grasp and the humidity to return home safely.

Unfortunately, unbeknownst to the man, the anaconda kept pursuing him. The snake finally found him swimming alone in a hotel pool. It slithered into the water and wrapped around him. The man panicked, but it was too late. No one heard his screams.

The anaconda was strange in that its stomach came out of his body to envelop the man. It was like a thin, translucent placenta covering the man-child.

The man had traveled to South America with a documentary film crew. They accompanied him to the hotel and had mixed emotions when they encountered the drowned man wrapped up by the giant snake. They were sorry that their on-air talent was dead, but elated that they could capture him being swallowed on film.

Photo by David Clode

The Cosmonaut

The cosmonaut and I became very close on the space station. So close, in fact, that he began to confide in me. He told me he wanted to defect, so I told him he should come “visit” me in America.

After coming to Cape Canaveral, I took him into my home. He wanted to visit an American strip club so I took him to one. The place reeked of bourbon and sweat, but the cosmonaut just laughed. The next thing I knew the cosmonaut had a platinum blonde girlfriend.

He got along better with my neighbors than I did. He practiced his fake American accent while cooking weenies on the grill. His girlfriend brought her two kids over and they played in the pool. It was right around the 4th of July.

Then, early one morning, my wife and I heard the squeal of tires. I ran outside and saw the rubber on the asphalt. I figured the cosmonaut was either free or that he’d been abducted by Vladimir Putin.

Photo by Jonas Verstuyft

Westscape

I get a call to work on a Chris Cooper western flick. It stars John Lithgow and Darren E. Burrows from Northern Exposure, and it’s the story of a water shortage and how it drives a bunch of outlaws to become pretty rambunctious. It ends well though. Right before the final gun fight there’s a thunderclap and everyone notices the dark clouds and the rain.

After a long day of shooting the movie, I drink a beer with an extra. His face is dirt-covered, but he grins ear to ear as I get drunk. It must have been a long day and a lot of sun because it only takes one beer to feel intoxicated. I walk outside and see an off-road race. Cars careen around a rock face, threatening to slip off the track, off a cliff, and into a lake.

Hollywood is working out, sort of. I’m dating Jane Fonda. Admittedly, I’m wondering if she’s too old for me. She and I are watching one of her old films (on VHS). She seems distracted, and I don’t know why. Some old guy walks in and I know Jane has been cheating on me. I think, At least he’s age appropriate.

Photo by Sarah Lachise

 

Bunny Suit

He was listening to someone’s mother tell him about how her son was shot. It happened in Southeast Asia. Maybe it was Malaysia. He didn’t know, but he was on the phone with her and as she told her story he was transported to the club where it happened. He saw the gun in his hand and he was the one who’d pulled the trigger. He missed and shot the wrong man.

He still had to get out of town, so he drove to the beach. He twisted and turned on the infinite loops of an off ramp of an Interstate he’d never been on before. He was lost and got spit out two hours south of where’d he’d hope to be. Maybe it was Wilmington. He thought briefly he was all the way on the west coast in Pebble Beach again.

Either way, he watched the waves crashing on the shore all day. He wanted to ride them, but he was worried he’d lose his car keys in the pounding surf. So he watched until the sky and the water turned dark, then he walked along the boardwalk where he entered a small shop.

Perusing the greeting cards, he felt like he was being watched. He thought someone wearing a bunny suit was going to bust him. He was sure it was a private eye snooping around his car dressed like a rabbit. Somewhere else there were German Shepherds trying to sniff him out too.

He stayed where he was even though he was pretty sure he stuck out like a sore thumb.

Photo by Hans Eiskonen

 

Black Water

It seemed like we’d been in that hanger forever. The corridor we were walking through was endless, but we kept moving. On each other’s flank, we feared we might suffocate in our spacesuits. We thought we might run out of oxygen and began to perspire. Drops of sweat gathered on our brows.

In a bright flash, we were shot backward and had to pick ourselves back up at the beginning of the corridor. With no other option, we began to trudge along again. There was dirt on the steel floor at our feet. The dirt had been carved by the rush of water. Rags and brush were piled up against the walls. It was as if a flood had streamed over the exact space where we now walked.

We were watchful beneath the blinking flicker of fluorescent bulbs, but had the overwhelming sense that we weren’t alone. There was a hum in the air, then the ceiling was gone. Only the skeleton of the corridor remained. We saw a wall of water. Black water.

We stared up and out of the corridor until we were able to discern a black and white image the size of a tsunami. A crashing wave slid across the giant wall of the hanger. The photograph moved slowly and peacefully, but we somehow knew we would all drown.

Photo by NASA