Dreams are so strange sometimes. I've had some odd ones the past couple nights.
Earlier this week, I dreamed of my childhood friend John Kern. Or more precisely, I dreamed that he had a sister named Starla. Starla Kern had won $1,000,000 doing something unusual (the details of which are now sketchy — winning a reality show? defeating Godzilla?), and that she was all over Portland-area news stations. They referred to her as "Starla Kern, formerly of Wilsonville", and parenthetically mentioned that her brother, John, had ghost-written Tom Clancy's The Hunt for Red October. (In non-dream life, John has served aboard submarines.) After the big to-do, I bumped into Starla at an ice cream parlor, and we reminisced about old times.
But that's nothing compared to what I dreamed last night.
I dreamed that we were with Jeremy and Jennifer, staying in a yurt at the coast. From the campground, we could hear the ocean. Kris and Jenn had wandered off to look at some foxglove while Jeremy and I tended the kids. He and I were seated around a campfire, drinking Jack and Coke. The kids were running up a bluff to a cliff that overlooked the sea.
"Be careful," Jeremy said as he poured himself another drink. Hank and Scout laughed as they raced up and down the slope. Then, without warning, brother and sister joined hands and leapt from the cliff to the beach below. Emma landed first, and she rolled out on the sand, giggling. Harrison landed with a sickening crunch as his legs snapped beneath him. He began to scream. Emma began to scream.
"Damn kids," said Jeremy, taking another sip of his drink. The screaming bothered me, though, so I went over to see if there was anything I could do. As I neared them, a giant crocodile sprang from the surf and charged the children. Emma moved aside, but Harrison's legs were rubber. The crocodile gobbled him down.
"Jeremy," I shouted, "a crocodile just ate your son."
"Damn it," he said. He got up and strolled over, drink in hand. The crocodile idled at the base of the cliff, a big grin on its face. I could hear Harrison inside, screaming. Emma was clinging to my pants and crying.
When Jeremy reached us, he handed me his Jack and Coke and marched up to the crocodile. He wrestled with its jaws, but the animal only got a quizzical look on its face, and then gobbled him down, too. Or mostly down.
One arm still protruded from the beast's mouth. In a valiant feat of strength, Jeremy forced open the iron jaws. "My drink," he gasped. "Give me my drink!" I walked over and gave him his Jack and Coke. He drank the entire thing before the jaws snapped close again. The crocodile winked at Emma (who was still crying) and then sank beneath the surf.
I wonder what I will dream tonight...