A Fistful of Cardboard


Active Member
Its been been a while since I've posted any of my random dream adventures. This one seems like a good candidate. It happened this morning. As usual, I cannot guarantee the actual events as dreams tend to be a little disjointed themselves and tend to lose clarity as the day progresses. Enjoy.

A Fistful of Cardboard Or Heart of Ice

Running. My feet pounding on the street as I raced down the dark street. They were gaining and I was out of options. I could hear them getting closer, nearly on my heels. The dark of the night would not hide me. I was too exposed in the middle of the road. Suddenly, they were pulling beside me. They were a motley crew, their clothing reminiscent of the gang that terrorized Mel Gibson in “The Road Warrior.” But there were a couple major differences. This gang was a group of adolescents, the oldest appearing maybe around 13 or 14. I suppose they could almost be likened to the group from “Our Gang.” And in proper keeping with their age, this gang didn’t roll up behind me in roaring vehicles which vomited large plumes of black exhaust from rusty pipes. Instead, they were racing in soapbox derby cars. . .made of cardboard. But not just the body made out of cardboard, the entire thing was cardboard. The wheels included.

I was running in the middle of this unusual herd, considering my options when salvation appeared off to one side. It came in the form of a large building. Rather than racing into the front entrance (that would be far too obvious) I swiftly began to scale the walls. I was on the roof in no time and took shelter in the dark shadow of a chimney. Just as I thought I might be able to avoid detection a brilliant light shone upon my hiding spot from the street below. Rolling up behind the gang of youths was a large military style personnel vehicle. It reminded me of the Combine military vehicles from Half-Life 2 (if you know what those look like). Apparently, this gang was better funded than I had previously allowed for. The spotlight from the vehicle gave away my position as one of the gang members pulled up on the roof and backed me into a corner.

There was nothing I could do as the gang member held out his hand. I slowly handed over my entire supply of cardboard wheels. The gang member descended, the light extinguished, and they left. I was destitute, without a single shred of cardboard to my name. . .

The next morning (or was it?) I headed to the fancy shop with a friend. He was an older gentleman, white hair, though not quite as wrinkly as he could have been. He was tall and thin and may have had a beard though it is difficult to remember. The woman at the shop greeted us in an uncomfortably pleasant way. Similar to when watching a movie and you see the villain greet the hero publically with a forced (evil) grin. I was encouraged by my friend to accompany the woman to another room while he browsed up front. She showed me a couple knick-knacks which I had entirely no interest in (probably because I was out of cardboard) before we headed back to the other room. My friend was nowhere to be seen as the walls of the shop shimmered and faded. We were standing in a horse stable and at the front door a bunch of signs had been planted. The signs essentially mocked the woman for her stupidity.

Did I forget to mention that my aged friend was, in fact, a wizard? I hadn’t really known that up to this point, but then I had known it all along. Yeah, doesn’t make much sense to me either. We had been transported while in the back room. The woman was furious. At this point, I was pretty sure that she was the villain and my friend had just recovered some stolen artifact of his. Unfortunately, he left me behind to fend for myself (I think I’ll stop calling him my friend and just call him the wizard). I ran from the stable with the woman and her assistant in pursuit. Thankfully, they were not very fast (isn’t that odd for a dream?) and I had put some distance between us as I entered a field where the wizard was waiting in a junky-looking blue car. I didn’t have a whole lot of time so I raced up to the car and yanked on the handle to open the door. Of course, it was a bit stuck (glad to see something working as expected). After working on the door for a couple furious seconds it finally squeaked open. The woman and her assistant were nearly upon us. I wriggled into the deceptively small space. The wizard floored the accelerator and we raced away as the woman began flinging fireballs at us.

We reached safety minutes later in a snowy compound. It was here that the wizard showed me several of his inventions. There was a mimic snowman that would perform whatever moves the person controlling it made. He also had a snowman that would operate somewhat independently. While I was playing with these “toys” he stopped the baby from crying by balancing it on his hand (don’t ask). Before long, it was time to say goodbye. I headed inside the house where the party was in full swing. Some creepy lady came over requesting that I dance. Yeah. . .wasn’t going to happen. But she was not to be dissuaded. So I send in my snowman to take my place while I hid behind the couch. But instead of looking like a snowman it looked like me and moved like me. No one realized that beneath the surface was pure snow.

It turned out to be a good move on my part. The lady was rather crazy with her dancing and pulled the snowman’s head into a low hanging wall. Being made of snow, the top half of his head sheared off, showing the snowy white core. The woman was so focused on herself that she didn’t notice as the snowman reconstituted his head back into my likeness. Time to leave.

Outside, it had turned to night again. I was running. Climbing. The spotlight shone on me from below as the armored vehicle rolled up. The gang was back. My back was against a wall on the roof. Several gang members climbed up in front of me. There was nothing I could do. The gang member approached slowly. Then, his expression of cruel pleasure turned to sheer terror. He turned and flung himself from the roof. I turned to another one that had approached from the other side. His response was similar, leaping from the roof with a scream. Of course! I was not me. It was so obvious. I was the snowman. And obviously the terror was from whatever I had shaped myself as. Several more leapt from the rooftop as I pondered what shape I could possibly have taken. Of course, looking out through your own eyes it is exceedingly difficult to determine what your face looks like without a mirror. And I was in no hurry to scare myself into throwing my snowy body from the rooftop so I left what I looked like to my imagination’s imagination.

I'm posting this from my phone so hopefully everything formats correctly...
Whoa! Talk about a strange dream! It's kind of amazing that you can remember it.

I like a lot of your descriptions (the engines "vomited" exhaust plumes), and you do a great job of making the sequence sound like a dream. It isn't logical. It doesn't conform to reality. It makes up its own rules as it goes. I especially liked the ending, with your "imagination's imagination." Nice touch.