Dream, aka Morpheus (and Oneiros, the Shaper, the Shaper of Form, Lord of the Dreaming, the Dream King, Dream-Sneak, the Cat of Dreams, Murphy, Kai'ckul and Lord L'Zoril,) rules over the world of dreams. He is one of the seven Endless: Dream, Destiny, Death, Desire, Delirium (formerly Delight, but is now two in one), and Destruction.
After being captured and held prisoner for 70 years, Dream is now back in business, rebuilding his kingdom... but there is still much he doesn't know about the power vacuum that occurred in his absence. He has been around for billions of years, but still does not know all that much about humans, as he has, in the past merely acted as King... a king unaware of what his subjects and realm requires outside of the basics.
Introductory music is by The Doors from their song The End. It's popular enough that I'm sure you can easily Google a video of it.
I apologize ahead of time for my inability to then to recreate a stereotypical German accent.
Previously, we have seen the introduction of a false Dreaming ( the realm where dreamers go to find their dream, of course) by nefarious elements... but for what purpose?
LOVE IS A DREAM
by andrew joseph
"Lost in a romance
Wilderness of pain.
And all the children are insane."
The fetid stench of the minor demons adds a ripple of momentary pleasure to Satan. His long blonde hair is neat and trim adding to his air of power. His flashing red eyes are in direct contrast to the whiteness of his pleated tunic. Kneeling before him is Morpheus.
With his head bowed to the ground, he cants, "Our Father who aren't in Heaven. Hallowed be thy name -"
"Enough!!" booms Satan bidding him to stand. He places a robust arm about his minion's gaunt bony shoulders. Morpheus' face breaks into a wide crooked smile.
"It's working, Master! I've done it!" croaks Morpheus.
"You've done nothing, Urkel! I have granted you the power to do my bidding! Still, you have performed admirably. I want you to break as many people as is inhumanly possible. Each that you do becomes my property... and I do so love my property," giggles Satan. "Take special care with that flame-haired one! You may do with her as you please, wurm, but I want her spirit broken slowly. Ha-ha-ha! I want to feel her pain. It will double my pleasure for I know that every instant of her discomfort causes that insolent pup, Morpheus, to weaken!! Bah!" screams Satan as he unleashes a hard backhand to Urkel's mouth. "Even that accursed face you now wear vexes me!"
Quick as thought, the snarl is replaced with a pious smile. He picks the unfortunate Urkel up by the neck and dusts him off gently. Satan's momentary anger has caused Urkel to revert back to his previous misshapen form. He cowers in terror before the Prince of Lies.
"Soon my armies will be able to totally vanquish his realm," grins Satan. "Come my pet. Let's see whom else our birds have brought with them."
Crystal Blue. A slight chill is felt in Greece, despite the fullness of the sun. Winds from the northwest blow sharply through the open doors onto Meridia's face. Some of her tresses whip up into her face stinging her cheeks a rosy colour.
Despite a full night's sleep and a visit to Oneiro's lazy world, she is exhausted. Mentally, physically and emotionally drained, she sits expressionless at her kitchen table. Her hair is tied carelessly in a bun. Her faded, blue dressing gown flows uncomplimentary about her body. A cooling cup of black coffee sits beside a slice of orange marmalade toast that has a single bite taken from it. An open bottle of brandy towers innocuously over the breakfast. A newspaper lies spread out over the rest of the table. She reads about the childless wife who killed her spouse - ranting to the police about how he killed her babies. An unrelated story in the same column details how an eleven-year-old boy shot his recently divorced father who was sleeping with his former sister-in-law. Meridia pushes away the paper, grunts, "America", and slowly marches up the stairs to the shower. Half-way up the stairs, she stops and walks back down, takes the bottle of brandy and a cup, turns on the television and sits down on the living room couch. Waves of sleep begin to over-power her.
Crimson bands of both shadow and light fall upon the sluggard form of the King of Dreams. Though not physically tired, he does feel lost.
"Why did she not come to me last night?" asks the Sandman. "Have I done something wrong, Matthew?"
Matthew's black feathers sheen purple in the fluctuating light. Matthew was once a human who died accidentally in the Dream. He now serves Morpheus dutifully.
"I'm not sure, Boss. Although I know you were -CAW- happy playing with her in your reveries, still... did you not spend too much time with her? You know -CAW- a mortal may not love an Endless one."
Morpheus looks at Matthew and sighs. "Perhaps you are correct, my friend. Still, I wonder where she is. I can not sense her presence anywhere in the Dream or on Earth. It is not right." He muses to himself whether it is possible for an Endless one to love a mortal.
Elsewhere, a lyre-tailed swallow guides Alexi Mogilnakov into the restaurant. She sits smiling at him. Her long beautiful brown hair falls delicately over her shoulders. Her tanned, firm legs are unfettered by nylons. The checkered black and white skirt sits seven inches above her crossed knees. Her excited nipples poke through the thin material. Alexi feels his manhood rise.
He sits down quickly beside Rowena. Too quickly, as he jars the table upsetting a glass of water onto his date.
Rowena jumps up and curses his mother. Alexi grins sheepishly and stammers an apology. She sits down and begins to eat the steak before her. Alexi raises a glass of imported red French wine and toasts her health. As the glasses knock together, they shatter. Droplets of red wine fall slowly through the air and splatter upon the white sections of her dress, miraculously missing the black squares.
Alexi cries in shock and dismay and stands up, dislodging the entire eight-course meal atop Rowena.
She curses his stupidity and says she never wants to see him again. Alexi, crushed, hangs his head in shame. His perfect girl hates him. He lifts his head to the sky and screams in rage at the gods for his clumsiness. He wakes up trembling.
After two weeks of continuous, unrelenting fitful sleep, Meridia is worn. She stands at her front door with her stained bathrobe open paying a neighbour child for a bottle of ouzo. She is oblivious to his stares.
The youth, realizing her carelessness, reaches a hand up and squeezes her left breast and runs away in adolescent delight.
Meridia's sunken eyes don't even react. She pushes the door closed and steps over the remnants of last week's fish dinner and lies down on the couch. She twists off the cap and pours the sour liquid into her maw. Some of it trickles down the side of her neck.
Sleep comes easily to her. As do the clockwork-like rapes to her body and mind.
"Morpheus... you're a bastard," she mumbles as his naked form advances once more upon her spread-eagled body. A dripping candle is held above her tightly bonded form. A strange black bird pecks its beak at her crotch. There are no more tears.
In the dank confines of his antechamber, the rantings of a madman are heard. Morpheus paces the floor and talks at Matthew. "It's been two weeks, Matthew... where is she? Why can't I detect her? Sister Death swears she has not taken her. Has she changed her scent? How can she do that? Why would she do that? How can she treat me this way after all I have done for her?"
Matthew clucks his tongue and says nothing.
Morpheus continues his tirade. "She needs to come back into the Dream. Foolish mortals! They need me! She needs me! Without the soothing affects of the Dream, they would all go mad! Ha-ha-ha-ha!"
The raven flaps his wings in alarm, scattering a few pinfeathers in the process.
In his own private hell, Brandon Koufax walks in a wavery Toronto subway station. He's been searching for hours but can't find the way out onto the street. Spying two elderly ticket collectors, he asks how to leave. The white mustached men answer together in thick German accents...
"To get out, go zutraight along zis tunnel. Zoon you vill see many stairs. Take either A, B, C or K if you like, but undah no circumstances take D, E, F, G, H, I or L. Those lead elsewhere. Und you vouldn't like it," they giggle.
Saying "danke schon" he walks through a turnstile and heads in the direction they have pointed.
He passes a candy shop, where clothing is hanging to dry behind the chocolate bars. A bubbling pot of something thick sits unattended on a small gas burner. He walks up the "A-stairs" as advised. He suddenly realizes his heels no longer "clack" on the hard marble floor. He looks down and sees red carpeting. Proceeding upwards, he slows his pace as he notices the wallpaper on the walls.
The images are of big, muscular men engaged in various forms of sexual pleasure with each other. The picture of one man lying atop another man sucking his right nipple seems to stand out more predominantly.
Brandon sees a small green door ahead, but decides it would be safer not to proceed any further.
He turns and begins to quietly walk back down the stairs. Suddenly a blonde, beefy, well-oiled man wearing only azure blue bikini briefs steps out from within the shadows.
Before Brandon can stop, he has walked into his muscular arms.
Large meaty fingers grasp his shoulders... a tongue enters his mouth... a rough hand massages his crotch... Brandon wakes up. With a hard-on.
The hashish and PCP helps only a little. Meridia crushes the phencylidine pill and sprinkles it atop her joint. Sucking deeply from the lit stick, the Sherman Tank explodes her synapses.
Four weeks of sexual rampage have left her a broken, empty shell of a woman. There is no escape in either sleep or delirium. His onslaught continues unabated.
Lately, beside pleasuring himself, he also wants her to consort with a myriad manner of animals and demons. She wants it to stop, but can not refuse. Deep down, a small part of her is now thoroughly enjoying the dehumanizing acts she has performed. The constant alcohol and drug abuse helps stem the guilt she feels during her waking moments.
The Sherman Tank begins to roll over her brain, and brings her unconsciousness. The bird drags her screaming to the Purple Castle.
Something sharp enter her anus.
Lying on the moist, green couch, she screams in her sleep.
Morpheus sits on a roughly hewn stone chair absently kicking his right foot back and forth. His head is bowed heavily with despair. In his left hand, the Bag of Purple Sands dangles upside down. Streams of never-ending sand fall down and disappear into the dreamscape. He sighs an ageless sigh, and waits for a mortal who will not come.
An armed guard in America's Boston goes crazy and shoots everyone in the bank where he has worked for the last 21 years. He does it because a little bird told him they were all evil zombies who mimic the living flesh. He manages to kill all 14 customers and four employees with his revolver and 9mm Beretta before throwing himself through the bank's plate glass window. He runs in front of a passing semi-truck that jack-knifes after running him over. The gasoline truck explodes killing 212 people in the blazing fireball that engulfs both street and work complexes.
Satan laughs with delight at his work. A Russian serial killer; a homophobe who now gleefully kills everyone who refuses his sexual advances; a Somalian warlord who lets another million people starve while his dogs grow fat; a United Nations Peacekeeper from France who kills a hospital full of children in former-Yugoslavia. The list grows longer and longer. "He and She are next," he chortles. His eyes crackle in rapture. His fingers caress a small silver trophy covered in grime and filth.
What was - is no more.
Meridia, once an effervescent woman of life, lies with the right side of her face in a puddle of her own vomit. Flecks of red permeate the frothy bile. Lacking the energy or the will to move away, she nonetheless manages to light another Sherman Tank.
Her once beautiful alabaster skin is now thin, flaky and pallid. Narrow, blue-green veins throb lightly with her laboured breathing. Scores of self-inflicted festering cuts cover her face, arms, legs and body. A layer of brown and deep orange run down her legs.
The drug once more begins to work inside the fragile remnants of her egg-shell mind. Meridia can't feel it. "Alice doesn't live here anymore," intones the blaring television in her house. The laugh track's hollow sound reverberates throughout the structure.
A small red-eyed, lyre-tailed swallow flies up to Meridia in the ether. It circles her a few times in confusion, and then flies off in search of its bidden task.
Meridia travels on by herself, eventually coming upon a wrought-iron fence.
"Boss! Boss! She's back!" caws Matthew excitedly.
"Where, my friend? I don't sense her," asks Morpheus hurriedly.
"There! By the gate! Use your eyes -CAW!CAW!- not your powers, you fool!"
Matthew is aware that had he used that tone of language with the Master before, he would have been sent out as a plaything for the idiot brothers, Cain and Abel. 'But,' he thinks, 'the Boss is not himself lately.'
Matthew flies out toward the gate. Corban has already opened the gate, but she does not enter. Matthew circles above her and then flies back to Morpheus.
"It's her alright! CAW!" screams Matthew.
"Quiet fool! I hear you! She has changed... her scent is different. Hideous. Perverted," sniffs Morpheus "I can only wonder, though, what has driven the woman to madness? To avoid the healing affects of the dream...? No wonder her scent is different. Bade her to enter, Matthew. I must attend to matters elsewhere."
But, CAW, but... don't you want to -CAW-... see her?"
"I said I AM BUSY!!! Now go!" bellows the Sandman.
Matthew flies out towards the outer part of the gate where Meridia still stands. He turns his head to look at his Master and sees him slump down onto his chair with his head in his hands. "Suck," mutters Matthew.
Matthew once more circles Meridia. She stares dishearteningly at the bird and slowly shuffles in.
As she does, she feels some strength return to her. The further she walks, the stronger she becomes. Deciding not to be a plaything any longer for Him, she runs. Runs for the house. To his house, though not for him. She makes for the doorway that leads to the basement.
From his room, he watches through a misty mirror. "I should not interfere, though too often in my pride I have done so. The Master Spectre has warned me repeatedly. This time I shall watch with naught but a brooding interest from my ebony throne." The purple mists swirl faster in time to his urgency.
"Though this is my realm, and I am the Lord, still must I obey their needs. Meridia seeks a Nightmare... one most foul. And she shall have it, but as with all chimera's, she must find her own path."
With his face pressed closer to the window, he watches.
Her breath is heavy and strained. Her flaccid breasts heave up and down as if in the throes of impending doom. Tiny beads of sweat congeal on her upper lip.
Her hands caress the cold brass handle of the basement. She feels the terror beyond it. She pulls hard, and surprisingly, finds no resistance. Why should there be? Misery LOVES company. The darkness is released.
Meridia walks through the doorway. It melts away into a mist that envelopes her completely. She walks on down a hall that appears only via the Waves of Reverie.
Morpheus hears Kr'thal cackle in delight, and winces. The hags open running sores seep down her throat occasionally garbling her cacophonous screams.
A period of time passes. A page at the end of eternity is turned.
"I can not let her do this. I love her!" says Morpheus standing up. With a thought he stands before the basement of infinite terror. He wisps through the door and enters the hallway. He sniffs for her new scent. He follows, running into a fog-heavy garden. He spies her form just up ahead and stops. His dark vapid eyes take in the scene before him. There, hanging from the limb of an Ash tree, Meridia swings back and forth. Her tongue has spilt out from her lolling head as her limp body slowly loses its motion.
Morpheus drops to his knees. His eyes never leaving her floating form. The moan that escapes Morpheus' lips causes dream lovers to quarrel, children to shiver and the aged to whimper.
Elsewhere, a handsome fellow with blazing red eyes laughs and laughs and laughs.
There's something moving under the bed,
Andrew "Afraid of the Dark" Joseph
PS: Image above taken from http://littlemissmeencollections.blogspot.ca/2012/06/secret-of-laughter.html. Relax, the kid isn't the real Satan...