LIII – Roman Picnic, Flying Branches And Curious Dreams

Dear Journal:

Of all of the wrinklies’ games, the one that has always made me the most nervous is their game of ‘toss the plate’. That high velocity sport had been created by the Mutts and perfected and refined to it’s deadliest form by the other wrinklies. When hurled from the jaws by a quick neck snap of a canine player, those wooden missiles had been known to reach incredible speeds and destructive force. The nicked tree trunks and sheared branches lying about gave grim testimony to the current game in progress.

When the missiles were flying, it was always deemed advisable to widely avoid the game area. I had always been fortunate enough to be able to oberve the carnage without being clipped or injured in any way.

That day my luck ran out.

I was walking under the branches of a tree, safe from attack (or so I thought) when I heard panicky shouts. The next instant there was a familiar whizz, a blow to my head, and the lights went out.

I dreamed.

I saw vast vistas of strange landscapes and places I’d never imagined, let alone seen. Immense towers rose to titanic heights, punching through low hanging clouds, or as glttering needles of reflective light silhouetted against a greenish blue sky. Throngs of strangely garbed people dressed in all the colors of the rainbow crowded huge marketplaces the size of the entire city of Rome.

I traveled on, drifting through seas of wispy clouds suspended in an immense nothingness. I saw a unbelievably vast red orb girdled by three lesser orbs of the same hue, floating amidst a backdrop of cold, unwinking stars. I could feel the evil and terror emanating from that place, and my greatest wish was to be somewhere, anywhere, else.

Then I saw a place I knew all too well. Rome. This city was very different from my Rome. It was larger. Much larger. Strange constructs flew amoung great towers, while the avenues below were filled with busy pedestrians going about their daily business.

I saw an immense central forum where many tall statues and memorials stood. Mine was one of them, surrounded by statues of family and wrinklies.

Strange, that.

One name reverberated through my confused mind. Commomwealth. I felt an urgent need to remember that name.

Then it hit.

A tidal wave of very cold water roared over me with a freezing shock that threw me into the heavens toward a bright light.

Simply put, I woke up.

As my dazed mind began to sort itself out, I immediately discovered that I was soaking wet and cold. Sputtering, I realized I was staring up at blue sky, with the Tribune hovering over me holding an empty bucket. That explained my dream wave of water.

“Ummm…You okay Caesar?”

I glared and showed my teeth.

“Well let my put it this way . . . I’M SOAKING WET AND COLD AS HADES!!! That answer your question?”

Jumping back from my roar, the Tribune nodded emphatically.

“Sorry. Just checking.”

“Now that you’ve checked, how about helping me to my feet?”

The Tribune carefully hauled me to a vertical position.

“Oops! Sorry Caesar. It’s just that I’ve never seen you in . . . well . . . the unconscious position before.”

“May you never see me in that position again! What did I miss!? Damn my head hurts!”

The tribune pointed to a branch that had been sheared from the tree next to us.

“Sorry Caesar. You’re the latest victim of the plate wars. Just be thankful that the branch hit you instead of the plate. I’d have hated to try and explain to the Senate how you lost your head to your own pets.”

I nodded my head in agreement and promptly threw up. All over the Tribune.

Chapter LIV

Published in: on January 24, 2010 at 12:00 PM  Comments (1)  

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