Hyperion Dreams — The Smilodon


As with all of my dreams, I don’t know how they happen, I mean, I don’t know how I get there. I don’t just lie down and go to sleep. From one moment to the next, I’m simply there; floating down in the darkness, and then everything appears around me:

I’m lying in our tribal cave. I’m covered in my furs. I’m sick, my lungs hurt, and I’m coughing uncontrollably. But it’s warm in the cave, and I’m trying to sleep.

In my delirious slumber I sense twelve hands that find their way under my body, and lift me up onto six shoulders. The gentle rocking of the shoulders tells me that they are carrying me outside. The warm sun rays hit the back of my head.

Oh how beautiful the sun feels on my damp cold body. The sun will heal me!

I let the sun warm me some more, and it feels good, but, where are they carrying me?

“Don’t carry me there!” I scream.

But my words choke on the coagulated phlegm from my lungs, and are garbled in another uncontrollable spasm of coughing.

I must run with them!

Once they put me down, I must get up and run, they may not leave me!

I must keep up with them, otherwise all is lost.

The rhythm of the shoulders changed. The twelve hands lowered me effortlessly, and smoothly to the ground — this is it!

They ran with such swiftness, I didn’t even have time to get up and look at them.

“No! Don’t leave me here! I am not poison!” I scream back at them.

Another spasm of uncontrollable coughing overtakes me. I cough and I cough until even the spaces between my ribs hurt. Finally when there is not one parcel of air left, and the walls of my lungs are fully collapsed…it stops.

I look around for my spear — no spear! — they left me without my spear!

“Unloyal tribesmen!” I shout at them.

But oh, how good the sun’s rays are. Ah yes, the sun will heal me.

An acrid, pungent smell slowly creeps up into my nostrils from below.

It is the kind of smell that only a full-grown male Smilodon can make.

I open my eyes…in front of me are two glowing yellow orbs.

He is a magnificent creature: he who wants to eat me.

He’s the same color as the ground, and you could not see him if you didn’t smell him first.

From his over-length canine teeth, a single drop of saliva falls, in anticipation of his meal.

My Ur-anger over takes me, with my last energy I stand up on wobbling legs and fling the furs away from me.

He crouches down lower, but never takes his glowing yellow eyes off of me.

I feel the warmth of my veins bulging out of my skin. My heart is beating and shaking my chest.

A growl develops in the lowest point of my being — I am alive!

And, before I hurl myself into eternity, in my most primal deep and angry voice, I challenge him: “Well? Do you want me? Then come and get me! — you stinking beast!”

I run towards him with open arms and mouth, baring my teeth, as he leaps up to my embrace, those two yellow eyes bore straight into mine.

Your friendly neighborhood SMILODON

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In these series of books the eternal battle of the emotional mind versus the rational mind is completely explored; with the style of Asimov and a twist of Poe.

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