from the OTHER archives: Socks, Part 3, Chapters 4-6

It looks like a heavy load, but I assure you, it is not. Even after cranking up the font from 11 to 15, these chapters still did not even attempt to fill more than one page. Forty confirmed chapters to go after this- I’m already dead inside.

Ouch. Every part of my body painfully ached as I dragged myself to consciousness. I struggled to my hands and knees, trying not to retch, and failed.
Puking several times didn’t help the pain; it just made it worse. Can I die, right here, on the street?

And then the series ended. No TV deals were made. G grew up and bought some pesticide to defend herself with.

Wait. A street. They didn’t have many streets in Dreamland.

Funny how, only about ten chapters later, this will be completely contradicted.

And certainly not very many houses. But there were a few hotels with waterparks back there.
They stretched on, as far as the eye could see. Which wasn’t very far, because it was raining. Hard. There was probably hail too, but I didn’t feel like checking.

Yet another dream reference that I don’t remember the details to. This is up there with the Autobots turning off the sun and the countless times I gained wings only to find that my dad inexplicably wanted to kill me.

It would take a while for my wings to dry, so I walked around. Or limped. Apparently, my leg was broken, because it burned like the hottest furnace you could ever think of.

It’s okay, G. You can say hell. It’s not like religious extremism is keeping you from accomplishing your dreams.

Wait. I recognise this house. Isn’t it-
That’s when the truth hit me.
Am I not dreaming anymore?
Oh, great.

Is there a museum for worst attempts at cliffhangers? I want to see G in it.

You see- this house was Emma’s house. I lived in Emma’s Dreamland. Which was kind of weird, because that meant that Emma and I were the same. Well, Emma didn’t have wings. But still.

Chapter 5 starts out with admitting that Algeria was a Mary Sue-style self insert created with the sole intention of fulfilling G’s wildest dreams of being able to fly. I’m not kidding- there were multiple occasions that G was so infatuated with the notion of self-powered flight that she even prayed that she could get wings. Thankfully, G stopped being G and good old Vane took over.

I limped to my window- excuse me, Emma’s window- and knocked quietly. Apparently, Emma was awake, because she came and pulled aside the curtains.

Middle school is a bitch, isn’t it? No more being able to sleep in. No more sleep in general.

And mysteriously opened the window, letting me in, without even asking me who I was. Well, anyway, not while I was outside.

For the record, Emma was a self-insert as well, and I had no idea how to open my bedroom window. I still don’t.

“Who are you?” Emma whispered with an accusatory face.

“Emma… I am your successor. Hand over the money stash and nobody gets hurt.”

I looked at her clock, and it said 5:03 AM. Huh. wasn’t it just 4:30 a couple of minutes ago? Oh. She must have woken up a couple of minutes ago. Probably back there, in Nowhereville, when I was getting tortured by that group of freaks.

thing-for-toa

“I’m Algeria,” I replied. No sense lying to myself.

“You mean you’re real? I thought you were only in my dreams.” Emma said, with a tired face. She smirked. “Does that mean that I’ll still be you when I fall asleep? Or is this a dream too?”

Alright, everybody, pull on your gas masks and march in a single file line to the nearest escape pod. There is a confirmed outbreak of The Smirks in sector 4-b.

“No,” I said, with my best worryful face. “You see-”

“-that writing this series, although a learning moment, will be a gigantic splotch in your writing history. For example, it’s worried, not worryful.”

“Go to sleep,” Emma said, turning off the lamp, and basically falling asleep already. “I’ll sneak you to school. You can be the new student nobody knows about.”

Elsewhere, in reality, one cannot sneak a human into a school building without the entire faculty knowing about it in ten minutes. Emails will be shot.Phone calls home will be launched.  No survivors will be taken.

I plopped into the left side of the bed. Emma likes the right side better, because it’s the side with the clock. Emma’s a little paranoid, and therefore likes to keep a tab on time.

Three years later, the bed would be moved, and the clock would be on the left side. Vane will still prefer the right side because it interferes the least with her breathing. G will shriek into the void.

Funny thing is, I’m a little paranoid, too. I’m the same as Emma, except for the wings, obviously. Because when you’re dreaming, who better to be than yourself?

I prefer to be a gender-neutral version of myself since that’s the only time of day I don’t have dysphoria constantly screaming in my ear. It’s great fun, G. One day, you will know the pain of obsession.

I fell asleep right around two in the morning, mainly because it takes a while for me to get in a comfy position. Sleeping on my back hurts my wings, and sleeping on my belly is just plain uncomfortable. So I had to settle for my side.

Chapter 6 starts off with a sentence that makes me more tired than anything else. The stress of the first day of school is exhausting. At least my English assignments got moved to next week.

Emma was really nice about not hogging all of the sheets to herself. Well, more like she pushes them back when she’s awake. We’re both like that. (We’re basically the same person, remember?)

That’s not the same thing. Sharing sheets and giving them back when she’s done with them are not the same thing. Cut to the chase and just say what you mean without doing unnecessary loop-de-loops.

(And also stop reminding me that you’re a self-insert.)

The alarm went off at about 6:30. My vision was really blurry, so that’s why I said ‘about’.

The digits of 6:30 are distinct enough that one can still make them out with the amount of vision haze that sleeping creates.

“Wait here,” Emma said once she had turned off the alarm. “I’ll smuggle something down here. My mom has TONS of snacks. Do you prefer Oreos or cheese and crackers?”

Oh, the joys of babysitting the child of someone who works at Nabisco. Free calories for all, including delusions that show up for no reason at all.

“Whatever fills you up more,” I replied. “I’m going back to sleep. Wake me up when food service comes.”

That’s incredibly rude, and you know it.

But the dream I had this time was more of a fuzzy nightmare. There was a flash of two adults, a male and a female, being dragged backwards by nobody, then the scene changed to a group of adults huddling in a room, offering a fish to a tan blob with stumpy legs and arms, all in flashback style. When it was over, I found Emma kneeling beside the bed, holding a plate of some cheap snacks.

Fun fact: the dream that inspired me to write this series as “original” instead of a full-blooded fanfiction went like this: I was a fairy-hybrid escaping from my creators. As I was huddling in a darkened blue-themed airport bathroom, I had a vision of my creating moment: a somehow sentient human embryo was fed a fish by fairies in white lab coats and then turned into a fairy baby itself. It was pathetic, but more so was the fact that their airplane going to Alaska required a rollercoaster in order to take off.

“Here’s food service,” Emma said. “Eat up. We have about half an hour before we have to go.”

“Please stuff your face with snacks. I know that my BMI says that I’m obese, but don’t let that deter you from enjoying.”

“How am I going to get out?” I said. “You know, without your mom seeing me?”

“Go out through that window that I somehow knew how to open and run for your life.”

“Open the window and climb out,” Emma replied. “Lock it behind you, and meet me at the bus stop.”

Called it!

Whatever. I was already dressed, and the toothpaste wasn’t a problem. No rotting teeth in Dreamland, unless you wanted them to.

But this isn’t Dreamland- you said so yourself, Algeria. The laws of physics and everything else apply here. This is the real deal.

Poor people back there. They must be missing me. (Sarcasm, again.)
They wanted me dead, and you know it.

If you fall asleep inside a dream, how do you know? Which one is the dream? Which one counts?

Or do you?

I don’t particularly care. But I do care that this is the end. You are free to go.

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