Menards. Huge scrapyard- or perhaps the remains of the old store they tore down to make room for the bigger, newer store with its own zip code. Crane with wrecking ball, piloted by Rich from Games Plus (he’s the guy in the pink shirt). He is either drunk, or doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing, because that ball is flying all over the place, wrecking shit. Which, I guess, is what it’s for. He accidentally hits the release and the ball flies off and leaves a swath of destruction in its wake.
I walk away to find Jeremy, who was once a coworker of mine, and who still works here. I am interested in some Hot-Wheels track they have on clearance, all kinds of neat old pieces, some of which I remember from childhood and others of which- some kind of odd ball and socket xenarthra contraptions that I am not interested in.
Later I am in a large institutional building, like a school, with a bunch of other people. The building had been turned into a haunted house for Halloween; unfortunately it was on a Peruvian Shaman Chicken burial ground or something, and it’s all become real. The props, the “traps” the actors in costume, all real. I am leading a group of survivors trying to find an escape. Our group includes myself, a male teacher in classic brown suit complete with elbow pads, and the librarian, in classic frilly-front-blue-striped-button-down librarian shirt, horn rims, hair in a bun. You know, the archetypical teacher and librarian. Also with us are a skeleton, a flesh-construct (Frankenstein’s monster, basically), and a wolfman, all looking like younger versions of their classic movie depictions. As it turns out, just because the Peruvian Chicken Shaman curse turns you into whatever you’re dressed as (a la the spell of Janus in that one Buffy episode), it doesn’t necessarily make you evil. So they are also trying to escape. Fortunately, I’ve changed the filters for this building, and I know where the roof hatch is. We find it, only there’s no scuttle (that’s ladder to you non-roof-monkeys), so I start hoisting people up to it on my shoulders, starting with the skeleton (who is, naturally, the lightest). We manage to get everyone up on the roof just as the vampire guy shows up- the one transformed actor who has embraced his role. He grabs my leg and by the time I manage to shake free, the others have found a way down to the parking lot and are peeling out in a van. I run after them, a swarm of bats at my heels, knowing there’s no way I will catch up. Glancing behind me, I see not just bats, but a huge wolf bearing down on me. I increase my pace, fatigue and terror coming on simultaneously. Then, to my surprise, the wolf is loping beside me, rather than leaping for my throat. Suddenly I understand, and leap on the werewolf’s back. He puts on a burst of speed, catching up to the careening van easily. The others have the door open and pull me in. The wolfman veers away to get some running space, dodging vicious attacks by bats. He veers back toward us at an angle and makes a leap for the open door- we catch him and get him inside, slamming the door on the angry swarm. As we drive away, we are all rejoicing, even though we have no idea what we’re going to do now. I pat the wolf’s shaggy hide as if he were a good dog, then realize there’s an extra seat in the back. “Um, thanks, dude, that was awesome. But there’s another seat, you could shift back.” The wolf only looks at me. Frankie, driving, says “He could, but he’s naked, and I don’t think any of us want that.”
Even more later:
I am on the phone with my mom, she is asking when I will come home to visit. I demur, even though I am, at that moment, outside her house. I sneak in to the yard (it’s the middle of the night) and move the lawnmower one of my brothers left in the front yard into the back yard. Not so much so it won’t get stolen, as just to mess with his head.
Some lights come on and I book down the sidewalk, carrying Mickey-Dee’s sack and munching on a McMuffin.
I stop at a convenience store, surprised to find my old highschool buds Dwayne and Jason working the counter there. We have a nice little reunion complete with manly hugs. They invite me in- they both live with their girlfriends in a set of tiny apartments above the store. I tell them I need a place to crash for the night, and they offer me the couch. I feel bad for imposing, so I do the dinner dishes.