Pulling on my muddy boots I stepped out of the small, metal-walled trailer, it's thin metal walls poinging a bit as the shape of the thing relaxed back into it's natural state, being lifted of it's human occupant. The rough knit curtains over the door flapped a bit and caught as I slamt it shut.
I was naked except for my boots and headset, the eyescreen telling me where to be, drawing me onward thinly, one small strand of mucous dug out from the nose of my own mind.
I stepped forward, glowing pinks and purples, giant towering shrooms and polkadotted faces, large noses, ever knowing eyes and snarled lips that should have frightened me, but instead drew me slavering with an intense psychoholic punch. I inhaled and the air I brought into my body was sweetest nectar, exhaling it was the oceans, thundering clouds hovering the water, the light flashing, the thunder crashes delayed into another dimension, so they werent experienced of the same plane.
As that happened I felt myself drawn across the surface, a blinking eye but unseen regarding me, and I saw the waves were a fractal, large swells breaking and looping inside each other to ripples, vaprous pings of sound, blanking from wall to wall to wall in an infinite, endless and square chamber.
The water was tumultous and at the same it was still.
Perfect, glimmering mirror of my own self, drawn to it to sit, think and dream, and sleep and dream, and dream dream and never wake up.
This is where I died, every day, but then for the first time, and the images and experience nulled out indescribable but not for it's wonder but for it's unbeing.
I took an egg from the fridge, my hand shaking violently, and I cracked it on the pan, which I was not sure if it was hot or if it was cold, and it was hot, and my boudy doubled into pain like a leaf and fell on the lineolim floor of the hot cabin, the trailer, the thin floor thumping a metal drum beat by me.
The egg sizzled and bits of other parts of the egg slid down the stove, and for a moment I had a cogent thought which was how long had I left the pan there, the stove there, as I grasped my hand.
Hunger welled up in me and desire to return to the headset that the doctor had made.
It sitting on a kitchen chair, caked in things, parts of my body I supposed.
I had to eat and so I stood up, felt suddenly dizzy, and put my hands on the stove and stared right down at the egg that was already burning, the warmness coming up at my face. And for a moment clarity.
I reached for the pan handle but immediately remembered my burn, the pain throbbing and unmet with water, I reeled a bit and looked about for a towel or mitten or potholder. I didn't find one, I opend the drawer noisly and pulled out a fork, squinting reached up for a plate and scraped the burning egg from the too-hot pan, flakes of carbon turning up. It was too hot and I gripped the handle of the fork too close, and I dropped the fork in the pan and I screamed, I screamed loud like an animal, and that, that brought me back to life.
I reached out and turned off the stove and I fell to the floor and the last thing I can recall was reaching for the dream device but it was too late, too far.
It was dark when I awoke and I felt a throbbing in my hand and a desperate resounding suffering in my head. I was on my side, I had vomited up onto the lineolim and was suddenly aware that I could remember, remember I was in Austraila. I sat up my neck pointed my head into the space above me where I knew there was food, an egg.
I sat for ten minutes and then slumped back onto the kitchen floor.
I fell back alseep but only for a time and when I woke up the wind outside in the night was shaking the trailer. I stood up, this time I could stand, I felt faint and woozy and for a second I spied the headset but this time I despised it and instead loved the egg.
I grabbed the pan long cold now and it felt surprising in my grip, a rich sensation, the iron of it rough and at once greasy. I reached the fork which was partly baked into the egg and pulled the handle out, and licked the egg off the handle then dug into the egg and brought the fork to my mouth, missing it once, then in, and chewed the chew of an old, old man who has no teeth, although I had teeth, in my gauntness and sucking I chewed like my teeth were only gums and the egg was delicious.
I felt a sudden bolt of inspiration until I realized it was something else-- happiness-- and I took one step to the left and opened the fridge, and on the door I pulled out from behind a square plastic lidded pink and ribbed container with rotten spinach floating in a yellowy liquid, from behind that I pulled a ketchup.
I squeezed the ketchup onto the egg and I plunged the fork in and I ate and I ate, and I scraped the egg and the ketchup and then the carbon and the grease from the pan, and I licked the pan, and I licked the handle of the iron pan, and I went to the fridge and I got another egg, and this I cooked and ate too, not burning myself, and another, until I had no more eggs, and I felt sick but not vomitous, and I sat down.
S E L F - P O W E R E D
That meant more than one thing; it meant the headset drew it's operational energy from your own mind, and it meant that it drew it's inspiration from there, too. It was a perfect feedback loop but it had less than infinite efficiency.
That's what I was thinking as my head turned and my eyes rested on the headset again. I took it and suddenly I broke it into two pieces over my knee and I set it back on the chair.
S E L F - P O W E R E D
The second piece still said this but it would never work again.
By the time the doctor returned the next week I was feeling my more myself, and I had the place cleaned up quite nicely. I returned the headset to him, he looked puzzled because it was in two pieces. I knew it was worth about thirty thousand Austrailan dollar, being a prototype.
"I'm really sorry, I did use it for a bit after you gave it to me, but later that afternoon I set it on my kitchen chair and forgot about it, and the next morning when I was having breakfast I'm afraid I sat on it. I was thinking maybe it can be fixed?"
The doctor looked blankly at me, I didn't know what to make of it, but he left without saying a word.
I went back to my normal life, and it turned out we didn't need the device, and the Americans never came, but it turned out we didn't need to worry about them either since they had their own problems, and there was enough food in Austraila after all, and that was that.