Green Fields Forever

“So here’s a dream: I’m in a wide open green field, and the sun is shining.”

“Like the actual sun?”

“The actual one. And I know I don’t know what the sun’s like, but in the dream I do. It’s warm, and bright, and it makes my skin feel good, and I just feel like smiling when I’m under it.”

“How bright is it?”

“Super bright. So bright it hurts to look directly at it. So I look at what it’s shining on instead: the grass, the trees, all that.”

“Grass and trees?”

“Yep. The grass is itchy when you lie on it, but it’s still super nice. There’s bugs in the grass, but mostly just ants and stuff, not the weird creepy crawlies you find here in the tunnels.”

“Huh.”

“Yeah. And the trees are plants, but they’re crazy strong. Like you could karate chop one and not even leave a mark.”

“Holy crap.”

“I’m telling you, Sanford. But in the dream, the green field doesn’t go on forever. There’s like clear borders and stuff. I’m boxed in, you know?”

“Yeah.”

“And right outside the border, everything is crazy messed up. Like exactly how you’ve said above ground probably looks like. Fire, destruction, all that jazz.”

“And brimstone?”

“Brimstone confirmed. And if you get close to the border, it smells sour, like the air is burnt. There are people crying, only you can’t see them. You can hear them, but they’re out of sight.”

“Can you cross the border?”

“Yeah, but I’m scared to. In the dream, I’m not 20. I’m like 11 or 12. I’m freaked out, you know?”

“Of course.”

“And the weird thing is that I can sense that nothing will ever change in this green field. I’ll stay the same age forever. I’ll never get sick, never die, but I can’t leave the field. If I leave it, I’ll suffer. But I want to leave it. I don’t want to get hurt, but I need to know what’s out there. I need to know who’s out there. Because I get the distinct impression in the dream that my parents are alive somewhere out there. I have no idea where they are, but I’ve got to find them. You dig?”

“I dig. So this is like your cryo dream? Where you saw your mom and pop getting blasted by some evil science dude?”

“Kind of. Like I’m the same person, same age, but this is for sure a dream. The cryo thing was real.”

“Sure.”

“It was real.”

“Okay, User. So what else about the dream?”

“It keeps going on like that. On and on and on.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean everything keeps moving and changing outside of the green field. The sun above me stays right there, but a second sun outside the border rises and falls, rises and falls. Gnarly trees grow up, birds nest in them, plants sprout out of the broken concrete, and all of this happens in seconds.”

“Like that dude we saw back there in the tunnel who kept going through life cycles and junk?”

“Yeah, only it wasn’t one guy getting born and dying again and again, it was everything. And the more time that passed, the less cries I could hear. Instead of cries, I just heard birds chirping and nice little rainstorms and sheez.”

“Sounds kinda nice.”

“Yeah, except in the dream, I know that with each cry that goes quiet, there’s one less person out there. I’m okay in this green field, but it’s only me in here. I’m alone.”

“So how does it end?”

“It doesn’t. Not really, anyway. I want to leave the field, but I’m afraid of suffering out there. I want to stay safe in the field, but I don’t want to be alone. So I don’t do anything. Then I wake up.”

“Shiz.”

“Yeah.”

“So, uh… What do you want to do now?”

“I want to find the green field.”

“Like stay safe and all that?”

“No, the actual green field.”

“User, it’s not gonna be there. It’s not real.”

“Right. Fire and brimstone. But the thing is, fire and brimstone doesn’t last forever. It can’t. There’s cycles. The world’s gonna be bad for a while, then it’ll get kind of good. Then it’ll get mondo sucky, but then it’ll get way better. The fire will die out, and the plants will sprout. How long have we been living in these tunnels? How long has it been since our ancestors came down here? We really have no idea what it’s like up there. And we’ll never know unless we try and find a way out.”

“Okay.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah. I’m in, bro. If it keeps you away from the cryo stuff and focused on the real world that’s right in front of you, I’m all gung ho about it, my dude.”

“What?”

“The cryo stuff’s real, too. I have a family out there, and I’m going to train my brain to wake up and find them. But in the meantime, I want to see what above ground looks like.”

“Well then you know what I’ve gotta say?”

“What?”

“Let’s boogie!”

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