I had a terrible dream this morning, terrible in that it was a complete and completely do-able idea for a science fiction story that would also fall directly in line with the very kind of crap I can’t stand. I can already see the cute little stuffed versions of my main creature all lined up in shelves at Disney or Pixar or Apple stores or wherever such garbage is sold. I can see refrigerator magnets, t-shirts, posters adorning little kids’ bedrooms and the visions won’t stop. They keep pouring in. I need to exorcise this idea, get it out of my head. Maybe if I write it down?
A few years ago I wrote a story called “Unwritten Rules of Impossible Things“, in which some undefined aliens inhabit the bodies of people in order to accomplish a task they could not achieve using their real bodies – because their real bodies sag and sink under the Earth’s gravity. What they build is a way to get the fuck off this planet, on which it seems they had arrived by mistake or by accident. Almost nothing is known about the creatures because the story is told from the point of view of one of the young boys who happens to get caught in the middle of the action, lured to a mysterious “ghost house” in order to get a better view of the alien goings-on. Kind of a fun story. It was based on a house on my street where the owner, apparently an avid hunter, keeps an enormous stuffed African Kudu Bull in his bedroom, which made us curious as we walked by, which is exactly how the boys got themselves into the mess in the story.
So this new story, the one that came to me in a dream, is about the creatures. It’s a different story – not the gravity/getaway plot – in which they (there are two of these creatures) are in reality very very large but have the ability to shrink into a human-sized body. And the necessity. They have to fit in, otherwise they are quite visible and very vulnerable. One of their vulnerabilities is that they can’t help giving themselves away. They are susceptible to wifi remote commands which make their bodies change color, like a Philips Hue “smart” light bulb. In their natural state they look like rounded cubes, mainly white but dark grey around the sides (the stuffed versions on sale at Disney are very Minion-like) with friendly smiley faces which conceal their true emotions. Those emotions are expressed by their colors – White being their natural state of being contemptuous, sarcastic, superior and smug.
The story is of course about fitting in and getting along, growing and changing, accepting and coming to terms with humanity, while absorbing the happy-go-lucky, optimistic and kind nature of their one true friend, the human youth who helps them out (I’m undecided on gender, etc .. of this human so far). The youth did not explicitly appear in the dream, nor did the creature’s companion, though they were both implied in the very nature of the story. The youth will also have a companion, some acutely defined counterpart, worldly to his or her innocence, sharp to his or her dimness, dark to his or her light. The main creature, protagonist if you will, was named Hue in the dream – the perfect commercial crossover, sponsored by Philips, integrated with the vast Internet of Things via bluetooth, which leads to comical misadventures in which various “smart” household appliances inadvertently cause Hue to change colors under comical circumstances (disclaimer: I currently work in this field, and it’s seriously aggravating).
I hate this story already. It’s a good thing I’m in a non-writing mode – I haven’t written a thing all year and am planning (hoping) to make 2016 the first year in over a decade without writing anything.
I don’t want to write.
Especially not this story.
At least not until I can figure out how to make it something truly evil.