The Dream Board

“Thank you for coming to this meeting of the Board,” Derenges said, with a laugh, “as if you had a choice.”

The attendees nodded their ascent and murmured as one. The black obsidian table hung in the air, with its legs so small, and so well disguised, that it was possible to imagine that it floated, magically.

One of the two guards, holding a pike, shifted slightly causing his armor to clank.

“We have a long agenda today. There are two million human apes, and about a third of them need to have a memorable dream tonight” Derenges announced. “What themes do you have for the tribe of Asyrii in northern Iberia?” Derenges looked to its left, into the eyes of the person next to itself.

“If I may be so bold, sir, there is actually a larger problem this time, than the human apes” responded Bolinga. Bolinga was blue with a disproportionately large head with hollow protrusions extending from the top.

Derenges raised its eyebrow in query.

Bolinga continued, “The domesticated canines that the human apes have befriended and selectively bred from canis lupus… They are needing to dream now too, sir.”

“What benefit does giving them dreams have?” asked The Joungian. The Joungian’s head did not quite reach the table’s surface, despite having been propped up on several pillows.

“We had this debate when human apes evolved,” Derenges interjected, aggressively. “They can dream. They must dream. No debate.”

After some further discussion, the Board agreed that dogs should dream.


“Thank you for coming to this meeting of the Board,” Derenges said, with a laugh, “as if you had a choice.”

The attendees, sat around the obsidian table, nodded their ascent, and murmured as one. One of the two guards, holding a pike, shifted slightly causing his armor to clank. His pike had been necessary in the medieval times, but it was now symbolic – a nod to tradition.

“We have a long agenda today. There are just over seven billion human apes, and about half of them need to have a memorable dream tonight” Derenges announced. “What themes do you have for the d-people?” Derenges looked to its right, into the three eyes of the person next to itself.

“d-people are going to be warm tonight, so we need to make it vivid, and for some, scary” responded Heryule. Her voice seemed to slide from within, like it was covered in some glutinous material that might help a snail propel itself across rough paving. Her words slid into the ears of the other attendees who turned, in their various manners, to look at her.

“On what basis are you claiming that they are going to be warm?” demanded a very, very short person. “You cannot just claim this kind of knowledge without a source.”

Derenges muttered, “I recognize The Joungian.” It was aware that its recognition was redundant as The Joungian had already spoken, but it felt that to ignore the break in protocol would be to invite all sorts of further infractions. “Do you have any evidence, Heryule?” it asked.

“As I have explained hundreds of times – every night for decades, actually – the human apes have developed ways of predicting the weather. They call it meatyology, and they are getting more accurate all the time. The human apes in the d-people grouping are spread around a large part of the planet, but the vast, vast majority of them will be having warm or hot weather tonight.”

The Jougian looked to Derenges for permission to speak, and when it nodded, said “And for those for whom the weather will not be warm or hot?”

“Where it is cold, we will make them feel hot, and make them wonder whether they need a new duvet or whether they should open their fenestrations.” Heryule said. The exasperation in his voice made the slime-covered words feel scratchy as they slide down the ear canal.

“As you will remember, we delegated the other groupings to the Executive Director for dream science research in an earlier meeting,” Derenges declared, “So next on the agenda…”

Before he could finish, a pale, almost translucent being spoke up from the end of the table. “Your Derengesness, sir” Clive started, with such vomit-inducing, sycophantic, obsequiousness, that Derenges had to hold its throat.

Derenges nodded its head.

“I agree with the agenda item,” Clive continued, “that there are too many humans for us to continue giving dreams to. The issue is one of ethics, one of consideration for the minds and brains of a self-aware being that…”

Derenges shifted irritably and impatiently.

Some verbal goo slid out of Heryule, “Get on with it!”

“We can’t cull them,” Clive blurted.

“Of course we can!” exclaimed The Joungian, “We just…”

“No, no, I know we are able,” responded Clive, desperately, “but the human ape, and its domesticated friends and sustenance, though growing in number, are beginning to stop reproducing so much. We…. We only need to keep up this rate of dream production for a little while longer before their demographics look upon our workload favorably. How about we delegate some of the d-people to the Executive Director for dream science research, so that we do not get burn out?”

Derenges perked up as soon as there was a suggestion that involved less work for it.

Bolinga nodded, sagely, and then said, “But let us continue with the domesticated canine dreams on the Board.”

Clive smiled, kindly, towards Bolinga.

Heryule responded “They only bloody run.” His curse word caused the words to have a metallic taste as they slid through the air, seeking a way to be heard.

“I move,” said Clive, “a one third d-people delegation to the aforementioned Executive Director.”

“Seconded,” said a previously silent participant.

“All those in favor” Derenges said.

“Should we consider the consequences?” The Joungian asked.

“All those in favor” Derenges repeated, sternly.

The attendees murmured their approval.

Humans continued to dream, without being culled. Jake dreamed lucidly, and as he looked around his dream world, he wondered whether there were flaws in the dream world that he could exploit to get a glimpse behind the curtain.


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