Web Serial


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“The way the light dances on the walls is amazing. Vic. Look at it,” LJ said with his nose against the wall, looking closely at a pattern of dancing photons. He sat atop a samely lit square and the brilliancy delivered dispondance to make out any intracacies of the large room.

LJ hopped down off the square, “You ever feel like you are in play, Vic?”

“What, like a broadway play?” Vic replied.

“Yes, but not similar in some regards. Like someone has set this all up for us, premeditated the whole thing,” LJ said.

“Who would do that? We aren’t all that important,” Vic said.

“I have no idea . . . ,” LJ said, while walking toward the opposite end of the room. As he walked, he noticed a sliver of something on the wall and then stopped to analyze what it was.

“Hey, Vic. Over here. There’s a slit in the wall,” LJ said. “I can see through to the other side,” LJ said and reached to investigate.

“Ow! Oh-er my god. Something bit my hand,” LJ bellowed.

“LJ! Are you okay?” Vic blurted. “What’s wrong, LJ? Tell me! Well, you aren’t bleeding . . . ”

“Ah, ma GOD. It hurts!” LJ looked down at his hand in a blank stare. “Just joking. Gotcha,” LJ said, as to incite a riot.

“What’s wrong with you? You scared the bajeezus outta me,” Vic said, strongly.

LJ pulled the slit in the wall, lifting it wider. Then, they climbed through to the other side.

Luminiferous aether sat thick with endless, perfect rows of constructed metal pipes lined up and away, as far as the eye could see. Wooden boards sat in random places atop of the steel beams, scattered throughout different heights. Scaffolding, but nothing being directly constructed. The scaffolds were there to . . . build more scaffolds? A hollow purpose for no cause, it would seem. But, the purpose of building scaffolds to simply just build more scaffolds would still eliminate the exact purpose for having scaffolds in the first place. A conundrum of the worst kind, like a snake eating its own tail. Even so, LJ and Vic proceeded.

“Aliens,” LJ said.


“Gotta be space aliens. I’ve watched enough TV to know who is causing all this.”

“And how do you figure that?” Vic questioned.

“Because, when it isn’t explainable, it must be aliens. The guy that needs to fix his hair says it all the time.”

Vic laughed. “I’m sticking to my theory. This is an illusion of some sort. Can’t be real.”

“It’s real, Vic. Don’t you see it? Feel it? Touch the steel piping to see how real it is. It’s cold, just like steel is supposed to be.” LJ thumped one of the galvanized, steel beams as it rang. “Even sounds like steel.”

“Well if it’s aliens, I’m sure they won’t like you tapping on their stuff.”

“Ah, gaslighting in conjunction with fear of the unknown . . . I’m onto you, Vic,” LJ smiled and winked. His thoughts about Vic kindled flames of unfavorable sentiment.

LJ and Vic continued walking through the maze of steel pipes and wooden boards.

“Let’s say it is an illusion, where are we really, then? And if this is all an illusion, what’s to say everyday life isn’t either?” LJ turned around, while walking, toward Vic.

“Well then, we are in a dome, hooked up to wires, possibly the same way Dom was in a dream recorder.”

“Are you saying they had him hooked up to the dream recorder and we were already in a dream? Hmm. Or, we could actually be in the astral realm and awake with our physical bodies? Mystical ascension, I think they call it. Maybe the house was somewhat of a Jacob’s Ladder or modern-day Tower of Babel? Wait . . . we did climb down the ladder, didn’t we, Vic? Have you ever heard of a Jacob’s Ladder that descends?” LJ grimaced.

“Here’s one more, something to think about. Think of a color, any color. How would I absolutely be sure that I am seeing the color the same way you do? I know it’s blue, you know it’s blue, but how do we prove that I don’t see red the same way you see blue?”

“Focus, LJ. If they were even recording his dreams. For all we know, it was just a show. They were messing with us. The video on the screen wasn’t Dom’s dreams, just a video. Fake news. There’s no such thing as the astral plane or realm; it’s all a product of your own brain.”

“Well, when people sleep the brain does produce DMT, some people call it the spirit molecule, it’s in everything, but what’s the possibility that the chemical lets your spirit travel to the astral realm or other places in the universe, to the afterlife even? Our brains produce it when we die, too. That’s scientific” LJ paused. “Do you realize what that means if they did make a dream recorder, Vic?” LJ’s outward appearance became a bit anomalous. “I mean, whoever they are, right?”

“Let me get one thing straight. You think the dream recorder is real? Is that what you think, LJ?” Vic looked into LJ’s eyes for a real, tangible answer as if some kind of timed result hinged on it. “Well if whatch’ur saying is true, about the DMT, then what’s the chance we were dosed somehow and now just hallucinating?”

“I’m not sure. I feel completely lucid. And, why does that matter if I think the dream recorder is real or not? What bothers me even more is that Rom and I were talking about a dream recorder not long ago. And, I swear, please do not repeat this to anyone, but, yeah, we were just saying if you want to be the richest person in the world, just invent a dream recorder. Think about it, Vic. Most people hide in their cozy places, traveling between each destination in a car on a man made road, then at night watching movies that someone else created, or working on some disillusioned project because they feel restless, mostly because their boss, mom or spouse just wants them to be busy. Surfing the internet and drinking their brewed coffee drinks – as much of a product of their own creation as the things created by others. A lot of people would be totally consumed by dream recording technology and dream interpreting services would skyrocket in the process. ‘, number one site on the internet’,” LJ said, ending with a lower voice.

“Absolute bonkers.”

“What, you don’t believe me?” LJ said, straight to the punch.

“That’s not it. The whole idea is bonkers. Recording your dreams? Just the idea of doing that seems crazy to me. Almost like the technology is harvesting your dreams, thieving them in a way.” Vic scrunched her eyebrows as if scorn over the dream recorder wasn’t the only sideways idea running around in her head. “And, are you saying that just by talking about a dream recorder, this is all your fault?”

“Na, more like someone or something wants us to think that. A lame attempt at a manufactured scapegoat.” LJ took a deep breath. “Someone once told me if you have a bad dream not to tell anyone about it, pretty sure he was crazy, but it’s interesting to think about why that might be a bad idea.” 

They continued navigating through the steel beams. 

“Vic, how much of your dreams do you actually remember? Or, you remembered when you first woke up, but then forgot shortly after. When is the last time you dreamt and remembered everything that happened from start to finish? I can only think of maybe one time I have remember the beginning of any of my dreams. A dream recorder would change all that. It would change the world. I mean, I’m surprised someone hasn’t written a book about it, since a lot of times you hear about ideas in literature first and then in reality. Arthur C. Clarke did it with satellites.”

“Haha, LJ. Now you sound like a salesman. I’m sure it would just contribute to the continual fall of our human condition. TVs, internet. I don’t think much good has come out of any of it.” Vic paused. “How would you record someone’s dreams anyway? I wonder if what you see in your dreams, your eyes are actually seeing it or it’s purely in your imagination? If so, in order to record a dream, you would have to record what the person is seeing and hearing. If that’s true, it means that the device could record everyday life, too.”

LJ interrupted, “Oh, come on, Vic. I thought you were better than this. I think it’s pretty much common knowledge that things aren’t bad or good. It’s what we do with them.” LJ paused in disappointment and then inhaled deeply.

“Advanced technology is more susceptible to be misused. Imagine a world with technology that isn’t so narcissistic. Like, technology created to make life better, instead of dragging us down. All of it seems like great ideas and are often wondrous until they are tainted by money hungry creators and modifiers. The money fuels quick and immoral methods for using these devices to do nothing but generate cash flow or power. If it doesn’t create cash flow, even if it potentially made everyone’s life better, it’s promptly snuffed out. So, technology is great when it’s not fueled by the money and power hungry machines of bureaucracy. The same thing will happen with the dream recorder, if it’s real.” Vic paused. “At what point is something considered divine and not to be tainted by greed and power?”

“Ha. Sounds like you might be fighting the universe on that one, Vic,” LJ said.

LJ and Vic marched on for some time through open space on the floor, other times in between steel pipes and other obstructions. Eventually, the constructive apparatuses complicated with low hanging rags and large, diagonal concrete pillars. It spiraled inward, growing thick toward the destination, converging into a configuration that made for difficulties for navigation. At times, this forced LJ and Vic to crawl through uncomfortable, close spaces. Dripping, the hot-thickness of aether caused enough water to form on random spots, descending throughout.

© 2020, S.D. McKinley



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Guys, until next time – may you find all the happiness that your life can fit in it’s happy spot – S.D. McKinley

By S.D. McKinley

S.D. McKinley lives in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. He was born in the first half of the 1980's and grew up in Wisconsin as a young boy, then moved to Georgia when he turned exactly twelve years old. During teenage years, he raced dirt track go karts and played guitar. He discovered his current love for all kinds of art after his mid-life crisis at 25 years old. S.D. McKinley began writing books in 2017.

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