“It can’t . . . it can’t be real. It can’t be real. It can’t be real because it’s impossible. And even if it was possible it makes no sense. I’m not in the show. I’m not a character. How could it be real? Because it’s impossible so it can’t be real.”
You know that “game over man” scene in Aliens (two hundred ten million domestic adjusted for inflation) where Bill Paxton (or was it Bill Pullman? Bull Paxman? Pill Bullman?) is freaking out? Of course you do, it’s an iconic scene that’s been memed to death. I think that’s what actually killed Bill Paxton, the digital weight of all those memes. I used to think it was over the top and annoying but I now realize how realistic that scene was. My mind was stuck, broken perhaps, and I just kept thinking, and mumbling to myself for no reason, the same thing over and over again.
How could it be real?
All of it was impossible. All of it. Nothing could be more impossible than anything else, each thing was equally impossible. Lord Motow’s claw snipped shut as smoothly as a pair of scissors, like my flesh and bone and muscle was as easy to cut as piece of thread. Halfway down my forearm everything was splayed open like a biology class frog. I saw stuff inside my body that no one should ever see. What was all that stuff? There was blood, but not nearly enough it seemed. There should have been buckets of blood.
Why was I still awake? Why was I still alive?
I didn’t see what happened but the battle was over. Pikkewyn and Rikheart Steel were holding me and cradling my head in a weird way, petting me like I was a scared dog. I sometimes saw Martialla stalking around the background helping to pick up debris. Avara stood nearby with impossibly pretty concern on her stupid perfect face while Caducea was working her healing magic on what was left of my arm.
I looked at Avara “I want . . . I want to go home. I want this to stop. How do I make it stop?”
She knelt down and took my other hand in hers, clasping it like a concerned preacher “Courage sweet Ela, the pain will be over soon.”
There was pain. Plenty of pain. But not enough, not as much as there should have been.
I don’t know why I was speaking to her because she’s as impossible as everything else but somehow I was clinging to the idea that she could help me “No. No this isn’t happening because, it is not possible! How do I get out? I want to get out! Get me out of here!”
Martialla’s massive shadow fell over me “What happened? Why did she freeze like that instead of fighting? Was the Crystal Demon lurking in the shadows with the Rod of Penalization?”
Avara stood and her face took on noble determination and beauty “Perhaps, the Crystal Demon still harbors an ancient grudge against my family line for the defeat of the Vudroni in the Fourth Age. Using the Rod of Penalization just the kind of slimy tactics he would use to attack the humblest member of our circle of friendship.”
I laughed hysterically “Circle of Friendship! I worked on that show was an assistant DP!”
Caducea stood and patiently smoothed out her “simple robes” which were more elaborate than half the dresses you see on the red carpet of the Oscars, saying something like ‘murmur- murmur- murmur’. Martialla laughed boisterously and pulled me up by my now perfectly fine arm. She slapped me on the back hard enough that I almost started coughing.
“There, good as new!” she yelled in my face “Ha-ha!”
I started pacing “Okay, okay, if you’re stuck in a bad dream you’re supposed to do something that scares you even more and the adrenaline wakes you up. That’s just biology. Where’s Lord Motow? I’ll just run right at him and attack him or something and that will scare me out of here.”
Rikheart Steel grinned “That’s the spirit, right back on the horse!”
Avara was handing out bread to the starving children of the village that somehow was appearing out of nowhere “Lord Motow has escaped but we haven’t seen the last of his oily hide. I’d love to chase him down and teach him some manners but we need to continue to the Troll Hills and recover the Pendant of Stars.”
I nodded, even that little movement made my head swim “Yeah, yeah, yeah I remember that story breakdown. The Queen got poisoned right? The queen of what? Who knows but you need the starlight thing magic to save her. Right, right, right. And when we get there the trolls are actually going to be friendly and it’s the hobbits that are assholes, big twist, huge shocker.”
Pikkewyn looked at me curiously “What is assholes?”