Mike walked down the street from the Blind Pig. He was a teetotaler,
but the companionship available at the bar was about the only bit of
companionship he could expect, being an opossum SCAB. Maybe it was his
imagination, but the fact that possums were, shall we say, a bit on
the homely side seemed to make him even less socially acceptable
than most SCABs. His "budget" apartment was only a few blocks from
the bar, and he arrived with only a couple dirty looks from passersby
along the way. He flopped into bed and was quickly asleep...being
a possum, he needed more sleep than he used to as a norm.
Mike pulled out of the dreamgame and said to the banded mongoose
salesman "Hey, that is neat! Maybe I'll actually be a possum...I
should be getting my First Sign any day now. Thank God we're handling
transformation better than they are in the Blind Pig stories. How
much did you say the set will cost again?" The high degree salesman
replied with the same number he had given before (that little trick
*never* worked) and Mike wrote out the check,
Mike jerked awake and sat up slowly in bed. He had always been
plagued by weird, vivid dreams, ever since that hellish Halloween
when the mushroom clouds went up. He was a farm boy on the Great
Plains, and so survived when Kennedy turned the planet into Purgatory.
Heck, he probably made up that stuff about Cuban missiles anyway.
Well, he was burning in Satan's wok now, that's for sure. Mike turned
on the radio...after so many years, radio was back. He had purchased
it last week, to celebrate his 50th birthday. They were playing
old prewar tunes, and Elvis was wailing not to be cruel. Mike had
never cared for Presley, but that was the only station he could
receive, not like New Chicago were you could hear three or even four
stations at once...
M'kl# awoke from the mindswim. The strange visions mindswimming
brought to him were a welcome relief from the boredom of swimming
on the seas of his homeworld. His people were the largest creatures
in existence, a long green body with a thick red mane along the
neck, huge eyes to hunt food in the deep, dim depths. The endless
waves covered everything except a few naked rocks, and mindswimming
was all that made life interesting. M'kl# dived down, his great
serpentine body seeking nourishment as his mind had sought diversion.
Mike opened his eyes, to find himself in a hole behind several
large rocks. He was still a raccoon. The old man in that weird
little store had told him that the coonskin cap would give him
change, when he did not have a quarter to give him in change for his
twenty dollar bill. But this was ridiculous. And that crazy
dream-within-a-dream did not help matters at all. He could not
hide out here forever, he would have to find food soon (he was
already hungry). Let's see...what do raccoons eat?
Mike slowly came back to reality. The TRP drug sure made LSD
look like lemonade! The pad was wallpapered in florescent posters,
and the old-style acid-rock and incense helped the illusion that
he was back in the Sixties. "Hey, Joe...you got any more of that
trap or troop or trip or whatever? That's like, *REAL* far out!"
M@K^L folded his tentacles and extended his cilia towards
the great gas giant hanging in the sky of (*&, as he completed
the world-touch ritual. This particular world-touch was one of the
most intricate he had ever heard of. In thanksgiving, he performed
the Twelve Motions with his flagellae.
Mike chattered his mandibles at the gaseous cloud hovering
over him. "I apologize. I had to transform you into a form
which could survive on the moon on the spur of the moment,
so to speak. The mental convulsions you have just experienced
are a side effect of this transformation. You must remember,
if I had not transformed you, you would have died in a few minutes,
without your oxygen. I am sorry that the first human to visit the
moon in decades had to come to this, but it is rather academic.
We Nacalites, after all, have come to transform your entire race..."
Mike rolled over and tried to yawn. WHAT A DREAM! But he was
unable to yawn. And he seemed to have too many legs. He realized
that his eyes were already open. When he looked in the mirror,
he found out why. Hadn't he read a story like this, somewhere?
Anyway, his reflection revealed a giant cockroach. Now let's see...
how did that story end again?
Mike woke up and...
DRIZZLE DRAZZLE DRUZZLE DROME
TIME FOR THIS ONE TO COME HOME