I dreamed that I burned to death in hot lava.

Wasn’t all that bad, actually.

I was in some kind of…enclave is the only word that comes to mind, but some sort of community with a vaguely religious set-up, although not, y’know, weird. And the high priest, who looked like a young biker type (though rather better looking than most of the bikers I know) and I were standing in the temple–I was a scribe of some variety, I think, or else illustrators had a really big function in the church–and everybody else in the enclave was down there too. And the lava was rising because the volcano had just let go, and we were all total goners.

“Well,” said the priest philosophically, “guess this is it. Might as well get it over with quick so we don’t suffer.”

“Yeah,” I said.

The priest wrapped his arms around me, kissed my forehead, and said “Geronimo!” which is probably not the most solemn of last words, and we fell off the altar into the lava.

It hurt, naturally, but not all that badly, a sort of odd shellac of pain up my legs and chest. The odd thing was that it was dark once we fell in. I remember thinking vaguely “I’ll be in shock almost instantly, and I’ll die right after that,” and then it was over in just a dark floaty haze, like falling asleep.

And I woke up a few hours later, sitting next to the priest, who explained rather bemusedly that, while a whole bunch of people accidentally getting burned to death wasn’t any big deal to the gods, the same people jumping into lava in a temple made the gods think it was a sacrifice, so they spared everybody.

We agreed that the gods had no sense of proportion.

“Is —– okay?” I asked (I have no idea who this was, except some female general? I didn’t much like.)

“Yeah, as soon as the volcano started to go, she figured that if she got on the exact opposite spot on the globe, she’d be okay, so she took the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria out to the middle of the ocean.” (Obviously must have been a very tiny planet.)

Then it segued into the moving dream, which is a hideous and easily interpreted nightmare where I am desperately trying to pack. This time I had to pack an entire Christmas tree, all the ornaments, (the Frosty Friends collection from Hallmark) my book collection, the silverware drawer and my watercolors, and all I had were a couple of tote bags and dozens of those red and white fake fur Christmas stockings.

It’s an odd reflection on my subconscious that being burned alive in a temple full of lava is “not bad” and having to pack again is “nightmarish.”

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