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.
Hey... this one is a short chapter with lots of dialogue...
LOVE IS A DREAM
by andrew joseph
Bring me a dream.
Make him the cutest,
That I've ever seen..."
"Do you like my coat?" asks Satan standing up and stretching out his hand. "It's real sharkskin. Watch out, though. It still has its teeth."
The Prince of Lies' breast pocket lunges out towards Morpheus, snapping noisily. Satan slaps the coat with his hand, causing the teeth to retract.
Morpheus ignores Satan's attempt at a handshake and stares contemplatively at the Evil one.
Satan smiles as he places a cigar in his mouth. "Care for one? It's a Cuban!" A panicked scream comes from the cigar as the flame is put to it. A big puff of smoke is expelled into Morpheus' face. The cigar continues to whimper softly.
"So what do you think of my place, Dreamer? Not bad, huh? Huh?"
The Dream King sees a large spacious room. There is a large window opposite from the door, behind the desk. It lets in all of the unnatural reddish hue. On Satan's flesh-coloured desk, an Apple Macintosh computer sits yawning at the interruption. A shiny black, leather swivel executive chair sits behind it. Morpheus looks over to the walls and sees some artwork and bookcases. A large, spiky cactus sits in another corner where a small three-headed dog lies under it licking himself with all three tongues. Another wall contains a full entertainment system, including video games.
"Come over here, Sleepy Head! Check out these paintings! This one is Galileo Galilee. If you'll remember, The Roman Catholic Church more or less made him an outcast. By the old definitions, that made him mine!" says Satan as he runs a taloned paw over the figure in the painting.
The painting screams in Italian, "Ho fatto nulla di male! Abbi pietà di mia anima! (I have done nothing wrong! Have mercy on my soul!)"
"Beautiful, isn't it?" smiles Satan as he takes another deep breath of cigar. He is oblivious to its cries.
"So, laughing boy... why so formal? You come uninvited to my Realm; cause trouble; barge into my office without an appointment; insult me by refusing to shake my hand; don't say a bloody word; and keep your ridiculous-looking helm placed over your head. I suppose I should be glad that I don't have to look at your pasty white face! Haven't you ever heard of tanning salons? You can't die from skin cancer because you've never been alive. Does that bother you?"
Morpheus says nothing, preferring instead to peer inside Satan with the aid of his piercing red micro-dot eyes and the helm's power. He slowly nods his head in approval of an answer to an unasked question.
"Well... say something! Or, are you day-dreaming again?" laughs Satan.
Morpheus looks at the underworld's warden and walks back around the desk to the chair.
"Ah, that's better!" exclaims Satan moving around to a wet bar that has popped out from within the entertainment system. "How about some conversation lubrication? What's your poison? I've got'em all. Curare, arsenic, strychnine, gin! What'll you have?"
"I do not drink," begins Morpheus.
"Yes, it must be that bloody helm. If you like, I can stick a straw up the nose pipe... You know the stupid thing looks like a gas mask, don't you?"
"I did not come for pleasantries, Lord Satan. I came to ask a favour."
"You want a favour? And you snub my hospitality!?" snaps an incredulous Satan. "C'mon. Have something to drink."
"Ah, well. Perhaps you are correct. I will try... a... Gin and Tonic."
"Ah, panty remover. A good choice, a good choice!" says an exuberant Satan as he mixes the drink. "I, of course, will have a Bloody Mary. Ha-ha-ha-ha!"
Accepting the drink, Morpheus holds it out away from his body and eyes it warily.
"Cheers!" yells Satan as he downs his drink. "Ah! The hair of the dog!"
The three-headed creature stops licking himself for a minute and looks up with all six eyes. A moment later, he resumes licking himself.
"So," says Satan as he smacks his lips and settles back into his chair, "You mentioned... a favour?" He closes his eyes and interlocks the fingers of his smooth hands. "Speak."
"You know why I am here," says Morpheus as he slowly lifts the helm from his head.
"Perhaps I do. Perhaps I don't. Humour me."
"I come seeking a human by the name of Meridia Mavriganis."
"No humans here. Just the damned."
"You know of whom I speak, Satan."
"I know of her. Why do you wish to see her?" asks Satan with wide-open eyes.
"I wish to ask her a question."
"That's it? You don't want to try and free her from my servitude by having the obligatory battle?... Very well... What's in it for me?" he asks while stubbing out the cigar. It gives a final moan and expires.
"If you grant me this favour, I will give you this." Morpheus holds open the palm of his hand. In it is a single grain of sand.
"Yes, Satan, it is. Every time you place it over your eyes, you shall be able to dream. Do we have a deal?"
"I have always wanted to experience my own dream. For time immemorial, I have been forced to subsist on the dreams of others! Yes! Yes!! We have deal!!!"
"Very well then. When you bring Meridia to this office, I shall give you the stuff dreams are made of," says Morpheus.
"No! That was not part of the agreement. You said you only sought to see this mortal and ask her a question for me to get the Dream. There was no mention that I would have to bring her to you. If you want her, you will have to get her yourself. She is in the Woods of Suicides, Circle Seven. Now give me the Dream!" says Satan with his eyes flashing.
Morpheus silently places the grain of sand on the desk, puts the helm back on top of his head, and walks out the still open door.
"What? Not even a thank-you?" cries Satan in mock shock. "Oh, Miss Thanatogenos?"
The bird-faced receptionist looks up from the tangle of telephone wire.
"If anyone calls, tell them to go to Hell 'cause I'm in a meeting." He begins to laugh. The doors slam shut and vanish in a sulphuric flash.
The Sandman steps over the still unmoving form of the 'fare', and marches to the elevator and presses the only button there. The down one.
After awaiting for two full elevators to pass, he decides to take the stairs. He opens the door and steps out into the lobby. The security guard is still scratching himself with the keys, but now he is perusing a copy of SCREW magazine. His other hand appears to be busy.
Morpheus walks through the building's main doors and out into the heated foulness of Hell. As he takes a few steps, a voice calls out from above.
"Hey! You didn't even try the drink I made for you! Ha-ha-ha-ha!"
With a roar and a screech, a taxi cab pulls up in front of Morpheus. The rear door of the checker cab is thrown open as the driver-side window lowers.
"Hey, Dream Lord, don't be miffed. If you get in my cab, I'll give you a lift," says Etrigan behind the wheel.
"I have had enough of your deceptions, Rhymer. I will walk."
"Heed my words, when I say: The place you seek, is far away," says Etrigan. "If inside my cab you ride, I will take you to her side."
Morpheus studies the demon for a moment, shrugs his head and gets inside. Etrigan smiles and flips on the meter. It already reads $666.66. He begins to drive.
"Just a moment, deceitful one. Are we there?" asks Morpheus.
Etrigan stops the car, switches off the meter and turns around dejectedly. "You spoil my fun, enlightened one. The place you seek is across the street."
Back in 1992, I obviously felt that I liked PC computers better than Mac's... hence it's appearance in Hell. Although I work on a Mac at work, I have always had a PC at home. Both do what I need it to do. Both are basically interchangeable... but I still wonder if I wasn't correct with my depiction here.
Everything comes with a price - even if one was to take a bite out of an Apple - right Eve? Adam? Oh snap! It was a double entendre!
By the way, I really love the way Satan acts like a slick car salesman... oh! And those poor Cubans! Don't even ask what happens to the evil Greeks!
Satan's secretary - Miss Thanatogenos... it's Greek and means 'lover of Death' - or so my English teacher told me back in Grade 10 - and was plucked from the great Evelyn Waugh novel, The Loved One... one of those books I have read about six times, including earlier this past summer.
And where did Etrigan get the taxi? It's Hell... he probably forced the previous owner to choke on his own air freshner and then stole the machine. All on the down-and-down in Hell.
Screw magazine... by Al Goldstein, if I recall correctly... was (is?) a porno magazine, but not one I read. I was a Gloria Leonard High Society wanker.
Somewhere across the street,