Me in Comic Books:
The Comic-Book Adventures of Me 2006
or, Elves, Gods and Demons
Mortals have recently $#@!ed heavily with the realm of dreams. Mystic creatures are taking notice. Or advantage.
Prelude. Personal news. Given the present dangers in my life, I'd best keep moving. But I've found some travelling companions: Nikita the woman I met at my brother's conclave, and her mother Helena. Nikita called me after all!
- Helena's getting people to travel in an RV with her. I might come along from Indianapolis to Chicago, if the tour ever gets past Lawrence, Indiana. (13 Nov 2006)
- The tour is on the move, and I've joined. Nikita wants to have Girls' Night Out, but Helena is an old fart and would rather go shopping for groceries before we leave Greater Indianapolis. So Nikita and I get to explore the nightlife of Lebanon, Indiana. Which is to say, the bar at the Holiday Inn. (14 Nov 2006)
- That night, Nikita wants my arms around her waist. Did I mention she's a dream woman? She's so dreamy, she lets me call her Nikki. But her mom wants her to help in the kitchen. More like a nightmare for that one. (14 Nov 2006)
- We're going west. I've convinced them to go through Milwaukee, Wisconsin where I've lived. On the way, we stop at my uncle's house. My sister Lauren comes there too, because she's obsessed with family.
- Lauren is technically a government contractor like I used to be, and she's technically in charge of finding me. But she's off the job now. And she cares more about famlee than job. This means I have until Monday morning to get away. This being Saturday night, we're in for some heavy driving tomorrow.
- Of course, Lauren can track me via my credit card. Fortunately Nikita has a card too. And she gives my relatives a fake name. Nikki's not stupid.
- At dinner I just have cole slaw; my sister wonders if I'll eat it all. But when I move plates around, I squish my uncle's Wisconsin-shaped cookies. At least my travelling companions aren't offending anyone like I am. (18 Nov 2006)
- Soon, after some heavy driving, we've made it to conservative northwest Nebraska. But I'm having a homebrew prep night, with five or more East European stations on the shortwave radio. It's like the fabled town of Candor, New York as sung by Harry Chapin, only the judge is corrupt like the mayor. (20 Nov 2006)
- In the trailer, we have full sound systems. I'm testing some Roger Whittaker LPs and 45s. I hope Helena appreciates it. (20 Nov 2006)
Tricks. We've made it to Nebraska, where the American Indians died out later than in most parts of the continent. One of their gods still seems lively, though.
- I park my car at a self-storage shed, but the car disappears as fast as I can blink. The proprietors say it's been towed - but the space wasn't marked handicapped! They say they'll reimburse me - but that's just not good enough.
- Nikki says, this means we're on the right track! Track to what, I don't know. But enemy forces are having their way with me, so I arrange for two demonologists to help me find them. We're going to have a ceremony, involving fur garments that I took out of the car to give Nikita earlier.
- The demonologists work at comic book shops and know each other. My friends recognize them. Nobody's surprised I'm mixed up with demons.
- There's one surprise, though: I test positive for elven influence. Apparently I'm either a powerful elf, or nearby one! I think I can rule out elven ancestry. So this means one of my travelling companions is an elf!
- Nikita confesses, she's the elf in my life. Which is to say, she's part of the administrative class of the Dreamtime. These are commonly known as "elves".
- When elves come to Earth, they're likely to become silly creatures who serve Santa or bake chocolate chip cookies for Keebler, because that's what humans usually imagine elves to be.
- Nikki considers herself lucky to have found my brother, who imagined her to be full-sized human with some extra powers. My brother's a Tolkien fan deep down inside.
- And then Nikki found me. I knew she was a literal dream woman, but I respected her for what she was already.
- Our other companion Helena is a demon. Which is to say, Helena's another escapee from the Dreamtime, a bad dream given form.
- I'll admit, Helena reminds me of my own mom - so the "bad dream" theory makes sense.
- And the demons are interested in me too, as observors.
- Nikita says I'm under attack by gods - and she's the daughter of an elf king (well really the elf chief admin), come to protect me! If I come with her, I can confront my attackers.
Trickster. In response to a challenge of the gods (or something), I'm driving to a meeting in northern Finland. From Nebraska. Well, actually, Nikki's driving; I have to go to sleep. We're going through the Dreamtime - and since humans messed with it once too often, my species isn't allowed to be awake there any more! I have to admit, that seems fair.
- Our shortcut gets us to Finland first, with valuable time to prepare. There's a ceremony - involving the consumption of reindeer urine and hallucinogenic mushrooms! First one there, gets to skip the urine. That's worth a shortcut, in my opinion.
- Why mushrooms? Reportedly they help mortals see the gods better. One might say, without hallucinogens, religion itself would never have been born. So the gods themselves honor the mushrooms. When they arrive, they will do the same ceremony I do.
- Why Finland? Reportedly the "magic" mushrooms are plentiful there. They grow near evergreen trees. Which has something to do with one Christmas legend.
- Why reindeer? Reportedly the reindeer eat the mushrooms, then prance around. Which has something to do with another Christmas legend.
- Why urine? Mushrooms can be toxic. But after some creature eats them, the toxins get filtered out but the hallucinogens remain - in the urine!
- As inspirational as this holiday story is, I think I'll avoid the urine. If I get there first, I can eat the mushrooms directly! Surely they may be toxic, but I live my life with toxins, so I'll take my chances.
- After eating mushrooms, I just have to piss in a cup, for the benefit of everyone else. I can do that. I'm good at pissing.
- Commentators have written at length about how Christmas ceremonies really originated in northern Finland, when experienced hunters with white beards would dress up in nice warm sheepskin coats, find the right kind of mushroom patch near an evergreen tree, "milk" the prancing reindeer nearby, and give the resulting beverage as a gift. Happy holidays!
- When we're all there and properly prepared, four of us have to sit on a swingset. There's me, and Loki, and Nicholas the saint, and Oberon the elf leader.
- Why a swingset? Nikki says, it provides the proper ambiance of movement without progress. Which is to say, a swingset simulates most of human history.
- Why me? I was Odin's guardian once, because Odin's well and truly dead. And dead is dead, dammit. So that makes me the Earthly incarnation of Odin.
- Why Oberon? He represents kingdom among mystic creatures. One might say, he's the Dreamtime equivalent of Odin. But he's really just the chief administrator, representing the Most High as regent. Amen!
- Why Nicholas? He's a saint, and at least the third most worshipped Christian figure on Earth. And he has Odin characteristics.
- Some people say Nicholas is Santa Claus, hence the worship. Nicholas is incredibly powerful.
- Others say Nicholas was always fictitious - which makes him a Dreamtime creature.
- Yet others say Nicholas is the Christian incarnation of Odin. Or of the Teutonic sea god, "Hold Nickar". Or something.
- Some people say Satan is "Hold Nickar" too - that is to say, "Old Nick"... I must say, the gods and demons seem confused about their ancestry.
- But when one knows the reindeer legends of Nicholas, one learns... Nicholas doesn't have to drink people's hallucinogenic urine, because he knows where the reindeer piss after they eat the mushrooms! Diss-a-liss, hear them piss, soon it will be Christmas Day... or whatever.
- And as Death would have it, I know Nicholas already! We met in the realm of Death once.
- Nicholas was in charge of giving the gods some tasty reindeer urine for the ceremony. He says I have to drink it too, or else the ceremony's no good. Dammit. But the mushrooms gave me bad dreams, so this is like a do-over.
- But Nicholas is going to give a special gift to Loki today. Because I got here early, he's not going to give Loki reindeer urine, he'll give my urine!
- Nicholas, Oberon and I have to tell Loki, he's the true son of Oberon the elf king!
- That actually makes sense. In the Norse legends, Loki was the full-blooded son of frost giants - but he's not giant-sized. And he was "adopted" by Odin the god-king. Who's to say, Loki wasn't Odin's real son? The old gods are known for spewing their seed just for fun, as it were.
- One might say, Odin was never a god, so much as a concept. Oberon, Nicholas and I have each absorbed aspects of Odin. That makes us each Loki's father.
- Like most any god, Loki is a concept too. And concepts get around where humans don't. In parts of North America which never knew the Norse gods, Loki was known as The Trickster.
- Like most any son, Loki likes to rebel against his father. So when he found me in Nebraska, he couldn't resist playing tricks on me. Besides, Loki and I know each other from decades ago... Am I really that old?
- Thankfully, Oberon's now officially adopting Loki so I don't have to. Well, technically Nicholas is adopting Loki and appointing Oberon as guardian... Never mind Loki; I hate all children. I've gone to great lengths to avoid people calling me "Dad".
- This year, Loki's been playing tricks throughout the world, on both humans and superhumans.
- A couple of explosions in Iraq were enough to give Loki lots of excitement, from his point of view. From our point of view, Loki's excitement is the difference between a highly policed population and a four-way civil war... but this is great amusement for the gods.
- Earlier this year, Loki had a trick for superhumans too. He sent messages by squirrel to some of our black mages - and the messages were supposedly from the Ultimate Darkness. I knew this was a trick, but the ignorant mages didn't. The squirrels connected the mages to some reality shifters named Bit and Bug. And that's how this year's Nazi reality shift got started.
- More to my recent interest, Loki also messed with the Dreamtime crisis!
- The crisis got stirred up when a human got cursed with flame powers. That human was my friend Karla.
- Loki was behind that curse! The gods commissioned him to do a trick to clean the humans out of the Dreamtime. Well, I guess he did the job.
- On occasion, I take an oath of vengeance against those who harm me or my friends. Fortunately, this is not one of those occasions.
I'd say my meeting with the gods succeeded. I found my tormenter - and I helped give him a father figure to rebel against, other than me. So I expect he'll be leaving me alone.
And for what it's worth, I've made a god drink my urine! It's like I've played a trick on them, for once. That's probably as close as I'll ever get to messing with their lives the way they mess with mine. So I hope that's worth something, in the grand scheme of things. (22 Nov 2006)