You and I and our six children went to a nature retreat and hiked around. Forests. Large trees. Dirt and dead leaves. We went to a huge pool in a facility—like a rec center—and swam for a bit.
Then you all disappeared while I was changing.
We were suddenly texting each other. I was out in the pool area again, swimming, trying to find you in in the ever-expanding linoleum and water. You and the children were kidnapped by a magic king who turned you all into ice molecules. I watched you and our children flutter by, like snow caught on a breeze, and had a vision of where you went. He brought you to his kingdom on a cliff.
I found myself in the labyrinthine changing rooms and showers, trying to get away from people. Families and bodies and children following me through curving, light blue subway tiles. When I got out, through a back door, I started looking for you all.
I stood around, glancing, in a modern economy sector. Business suits. Busyness. A marble, geometric statue with the names of offices enscribed and a small fountain on top. The water dripped down the statue and over the names like rain against a window.
I wander through a cafe for writers. The building seemed small from the outside—a narrow, few-meter storefront—and I felt as if I were climbing as I walked further into it. The cafe had multiple levels, multiple lounge areas, and numerous large seating areas like high-end restaurant booths. On the right wall, behind the cashier and baristas, were locked doors. Heavy metal material. Coin slots for loonies and toonies. A sign specifying the fee for varying time allotments. These rooms were total isolation units for the patrons with the sole purpose of getting writing done.
I exited through the back door of this cafe and found myself in the nature retreat proper. An attendant ushered me to the front of a zipline queue. You contacted me again—not by texting, but by telepathically speaking into my mind. I got onto the zipline and soared across a great canyon. Though it was summer in the nature retreat, I ziplined straight into winter settled onto a pine forest.
I landed on the snowy cliff and was suddenly surrounded by beasts. These gigantic, crystalline wolves approached and teased me. They were huge—almost two storeys tall. They were in groups separated by their translucent colours. Their breath came out frosty, not only because the air was cold, but because they were ice. The packs of wolves were in red, blue, green and yellow.
While the wolves circled around me, I kept screaming for you and our children. Then I noticed you come through the great white pines and stand behind the other wolves: you and all six of our children, in translucent, white ice. The other wolves left and I ran after you, but my still-human legs could barely keep up with you. I fell behind, and as soon as you all disappeared from my sight, the magic king appeared. He flew through the air, a building-sized lion with wings and a jagged crown. I pleaded with him to make me part of the clan, to make me part of my family again.
Next I knew, I was running with the line-up of you and our children, at the tail end, as a crystal wolf. We ran through a dense forest and I seemed to be running along as if I were a balloon attached to the wolf in front of me—more floating and flying than running. As we broke out of the forest, the group split and advanced on a village situated in the clearing, at the bottom of a hill that rose up on the other side of the village. I stood and watched what you and our children did.
Everyone jumped from house to house, and each one that any of them touched became covered in ice. Then you telepathically said to me: “Sometimes we freeze them. Other times we only steal their food. But the Shirelings?”
At light speed, we zoomed in on a mother, father, and infant huddled together beside a house. I cradled them in my gigantic, icy paw. Your voice continued as I did this. “We never harm the Shirelings, for Frodo was one of them.”
Then it jump-cut to a balcony at the King’s castle talking with his daughter, Princess Peach. She was sassy as all hell and knew alchemy, which her father disapproved of. Her father came to dispute something with her and she dusted some red powder at his nose. Mid-sentence, he stopped and said, “I forgot what I came here for,” and then left.
I woke up to blinding sun and blue skies.