Sarah had the strangest dream. She'd been vacuuming the floor, (in the dream, that is) and she noticed that she felt a little odd. Something was twitching just on the edge of her vision. Every time she turned her head toward the flicker, nothing happened. If she turned away, she could swear the door to the ironing board cupboard was undulating.
She tried watching it out of the corner of her eye. Oh, it was moving, all right. As she tracked its ins and outs, starting to feel a little apprehensive, she felt the floor under her feet lift slightly and fall back. What the hel... , the heck? Her gaze shot toward the ground, but the old pine boards seemed as solid and level as always. But, but, why did she yet again feel the air pulsating with the movement of the cabinet door? Wow, when she looked back at it, it was once more the quiet paint-chippy relic it had been from time immemorial. Suddenly the heaving under her was practically undeniable now ... until she looked down again. Nope, not a tremble ... except a LOUD rhythmic rattle re-commenced in the cabinet next to her.
Dream Sarah raised her hands in panic, dropping the vacuum hose. She spun around so as to run out the front entrance, which brought her into view of the window facing the street. She saw a bright yellow Volkswagen Beetle trying to navigate the sharp corrugations that had suddenly risen in the pavement like giant bubbles of tar in the noonday sun. Up and down, up and down, the little car was being thrown about.
Thwarted by fear from taking one route, she sought another alternative and scrambled for the back door, but to her terror she saw the grass of the backyard arrayed vertically on the upthrust dirt of the yard, rather than the usual nice, normal sky over her everyday, flat bit of back garden. She began to scream with her hands over her ears as the material world began to advance toward her in wavering, reaching, melting extensions. She began to fall to her knees ... and the alarm went off. She fumbled to turn the clock off, and lay for a minute panting and heavily disoriented.
Jeff, her pudgy, smelly-but-sweet husband, lay blissfully snoring next to her in the warm and comfy quilts. The alarm had been set to get him up and off to work, but it was always Sarah who nagged Jeff enough to actually get him out of bed. "Jeff. Jeff? Wake up, Honey," she nudged him. "I, uh, I had a bad dream."
Jeff snorted and rolled over, accidentally pushing their big persian cat, Fluffy, right off the edge. "Wha..." Jeff sighed out, falling back to sleep.
Never mind, she thought. She took a deep breath, and consciously pulled herself back to waking sanity. Somewhat more composed, she jiggled Jeff's arm a little harder.
"Honey, you have to get ready for work. Come on, don't go back to sleep," she admonished.
"Uh, ok," Jeff provided, wiping his face with his beefy hand. He gave a big yawn. He actually opened his eyes and spied his wife next to him, and slowly grinned. Suddenly his hands shot out to grab her. She was already scooting backwards in anticipation, and was soon standing out of reach wagging her finger no, no, no at him.
Every day Jeff tried to start the morning with sex, and every day Sarah denied him. Sarah figured it evened out though, because every night she was raring to go, and Jeff begged off because of exhaustion. If Jeff ever decided he could wake up just a little earlier, they'd have time to play around before he had to leave, she thought. Jeff grumbled to himself that if his wife would just let him sleep a while longer in the morning, he'd have the energy left over after work to pork her in the evening. Since either variance would be just too unusual in their boring middle-aged lives, and since neither one wanted to actually talk about the problem, both of them just gave up and lived without.
A little shudder went through Sarah when she went to get the vacuum cleaner out today. Her path led her right past the old ironing board cupboard. "Silly old dream," she chuckled. She put it right out of her mind.
Sandy and Val had been fighting for three days. Sandy had gotten wind that Val was hanging out with all the players in the bar. Now Sandy herself went down to that bar sometimes, all the women did because where else was there to go? If you were a dyke and you wanted to gossip and flirt and be with the girrrls in Blanderton, you went to Shillelagh's.
However, there were women and there were the other women. Couples like her and Val had their table territories marked out over in the darker back section. Most of the quiet corner denizens were older gals, secure in their coupled relationships and often married. They tended to dress alike (flannel shirts, jeans, and work boots), talk alike (womyn this and personal power that), and behave alike (tough and humorless), as if there were hidden, unwritten rules about how to be a lesbian. Flirting was allowed, but it was pro forma and completely harmless.
The young things lining the area around the dance floor, well, they were different. They thrived under the bright lights. They wore outfits running the gamut from see-through sexy, lacy bits, to big, stomping untied boots, and often at one time on the same person. They laughed. They giggled. They applied lipstick to themselves, and each other, often with just their lips, or other body parts. Many even claimed to be bisexual, as if it were something to be proud of, this occasional touching of ... MEN. It was like life was a big gambol to these girls, something to joke about and for fun.
Sandy wondered, just why did she and all the other women fight so hard for gay rights, if these girls were just going to throw it all away?
And now, Val had begun to stray into the young stuff's midst. She didn't do it when she knew Sandy was there, but Sandy had spied Val dancing with one little flibbertigibbet on a night that she trailed Val by an hour into the bar. Some of the older women had been talking about it, too. At first, Val flat out denied she'd been doing anything wrong. Finally, after three days of haranguing, Val had shouted, "So what? So what if I wanna hang out sometimes with those women? I'm not fooling around with them, I swear I'm not."
Sandy loudly professed her disbelief. Lady, their dog, whined nervously.
Val squinted her eyes in anger, and ground out, "You don't trust me, do you?"
"I'm so afraid you're going to leave me for a MAN," blurted Sandy. She froze. She really, really hadn't intended to ever say that.
"That's it! I'm so outta here," Val growled in a low, deadly voice. She turned and started for the door. Sandy had broken the last straw.
An odd buzzing light suddenly flared around them. As if an electrical current had been cut, the beam from above arrested Val's flight, and stopped Sandy right where she stood. It intensified, and crackled, and poof! the women were gone.
Little sparkling dots appeared in the air centered over the circles arrayed on an oval platform, and began to coalesce. When enough of the atoms had come together, images of Sandy and Val reanimated themselves into their human selves. A vaguely recognizable ringing tone sounded as they formed.
"Where, where are we?" cried Sandy.
Val ran over and took Sandy in her arms. "I don't know, Honey, I just don't know." All thoughts of the battle were long fled.
The door of the chamber gaped upward, and a goofy little being stepped through. Both women screamed in fright.
The critter, or whatever it was, raised one hand in a calming motion. In another hand, it raised up several diminutive black boxes with straps, and thrust them toward the women. It shuffled toward them.
Sandy and Val backed up as far as they could go, their eyes wide.
A third hand was raised, and two calming motions were made. The thing shook its head, or whatever was on top, back and forth, and again offered the black boxes. A line of squeaky gibberish emerged from its upper body area.
Sandy turned her head and buried her face in Val's shoulder. Val wished she didn't have to be the brave one.
The creature stopped, and a fourth hand made an exasperated gesture. The entity set the assorted items down on a counter covered with knobs and dials, and picked one up with its fifth and sixth hands. It buckled the black gadget around itself. It raised its first and third hands towards the women again. They guessed it had run out of hands.
"Stop! I mean you no harm." Unintelligible squeals and squawks issued from the being, but tinny English squirted out of the box it had put on. "If you put this +º¿Δ₤◊∞д translator on, you and I may converse." It picked up the remaining boxes again, and held them outstretched, re-issuing the invitation.
Val took a big gulp, and hesitatingly peeled Sandy's tentacle grip off her arm. Val carefully leaned forward just far enough to swipe the offered gizmos off the hands that held them forth, and jumped back. Here goes nothing, she thought, as she wrapped one around her forehead.
Sandy looked fearfully at her, and said, "Say something, Honey. Anything."
"Ah," dithered Val, "about those women at Shillelagh's..." They were both startled by the freakishly weird sound coming out of the box.
"Yeehaw!" the creature said, triumphantly pumping three hands. It turned slightly, and said, "Did I say that right?" as if someone were standing a stride behind. Then it "looked" back up at the women. "We didn't know if my invention would work in reverse. Hee, hee, now Kerumbish will have to eat hez words. But what does this mean, this Shillelagh's?"
"Never mind," spat Sandy. "Tell us, how did you get us here? Take us back, right now!"
.... There is more of this story ...