Intertextuality exercise: Dreams Make More Sense

Date written: September 30th

Target audience: teenagers

Possible place of publication: in a teen’s novel

Dreams Make More Sense

Mark woke up feeling very befuddled. He just had the weirdest dream he could ever remember having. As he lay in bed shaking and exuding cold sweat onto his blankets, yet feeling frozen, he could still hear the roast turkey’s evil cackle as it chased after him in a forest of marshmallow trees that were on fire.

The dream had started like any normal dream. Not that Mark’s typical dreams could be considered normal, but this dream’s beginning felt like just the average amount of weird. As it continued, however, it went way beyond weird and plummeted straight into downright ludicrous- perhaps even mocking.

As he sank into REM sleep, Mark found himself in the kitchen, about to cut open a roast turkey. This was logical, as Thanksgiving was to be in two days. Then suddenly, a clown came rushing in through the front door and throwing his hands up, yelled “WAIT!” He stepped around a startled Mark and pulled a pocket watch out of the turkey.

“I almost forgot the time!” He smiled with relief. Mark only nodded with understanding. The clown flipped the watch open and gasped.

“I’m late!!” He wheezed, and whirled around to rush right back out the front door, which had in the meantime grown a donkey head.

“What’s the password???” The donkey demanded.

“Huh??” The clown stopped short.

“Yeah, what’s the password?” A bunny rabbit hopped inside. “Hey, that’s my pocket watch!” It sighted the item in the clown’s hand and hopped up to snatch it right out of the clown’s grasp.

“Oh my gosh I’m late!!” the bunny gawked at the hands on the watch. They started spinning around and around and around, faster and faster, and then text appeared on the clock face, spiralling around the circular contours, until it filled up the whole crystal and turned it black.

“Ah!” The bunny squealed.

The donkey head made a tsk tsk sound. Mark still stood in the kitchen, holding his knife, observing the perplexing scene in front of him, feeling… well, perplexed. Then he remembered his task at hand and turned back to the turkey. Except that the turkey had now turned into a chicken. It rose up on its scrawny feet, and out of the body popped a live chicken head, feathered chicken wings, and a peacock’s tail. Mark gaped at the mutilated creature that he was about to cut up for his dinner. “Who are you???” He asked.

“I am your past life!!” The chicken wiggled its eyebrows – it had eyebrows! – at Mark. “Ummmm” said Mark.

“Hey! What did you do to my pocketwatch???” The chicken gaped at the blackened watch that the clown (who was now dancing around the living room) had pulled out of its stomach.

“That’s mine!!!” It stalked over to the bunny, and was about to gobble the watch up again when the black watch crystal turned into a goblin face and started talking.

“I don’t belong to anyone, eh. Yo, listen up to me now y’all, I drum by my own beat, no one ain’t telling me what I’m doing or who I’m being eaten by.”

“That’s right!” The bunny reared itself up on its hind legs and put its furry paws on its hips.

Mark set his knife down. The chicken must have sensed this, as it whirled back around and looked at it.

“You were going to kill me??” It asked Mark accusingly.

“You were already dead!!!” Mark exclaimed.

“Nonsense!!” The chicken blurted out and wobbled over to Mark, flapping its wings.

“I’ll show you dead!!!!” Its beak stretched into a creepy leer, and the chicken blew up to twice its size. It started running and running, and so did Mark, yet they did not move from their spots on their kitchen floor. The bunny started multiplying itself, until there was a huge heap of bunnies quivering on the kitchen floor. The donkey brayed. The clown kept dancing and started juggling with the most precious plates and cups Mark’s mom had. The cups and plates started singing “whoop de dood de doodly doo!”, spinning around faster and faster with the clown’s careless toss. The bunnies kept on multiplying, the mountain of furry bodies growing higher, and the donkey and cutlery joined in the clown’s juggling choir. Mark and the transfigured turkey kept on running. Marshmallows started tumbling down from the ceiling, growing into a forest, which promptly lit itself on fire. “Heh heh heh heh heh heh!” Cackled the turkey.

And that’s when Mark woke up. He shook himself like a wet dog and got off his bed. He stretched every part of his body and looked around his room. His eyes fell on the pocketwatch his uncle had given him the day before. He shuddered and quickly slammed it closed in his desk drawer.

He shuffled down the stairs and into the kitchen. There, family members which had arrived the day before to meet up for Thanksgiving, were already gathering. Mark’s mom was arguing with his aunt.

“I thought you were going to bring a turkey!!!” She exclaimed.

“No, I specifically remember you saying you would get one!!” The aunt rebutted.

“How am I going to find a turkey at this time?? The store was already so busy yesterday and there weren’t many turkeys left, you know that we only have a small food store near our house!!” His mom fired back, near yelling now.

“Okay why don’t we just get a chicken then? I’m sure there’s plenty of those.” Mark’s aunt said, attempting to be pacify the argument.

“A chicken? A chicken for Thanksgiving?? Why don’t we just go out and shoot a peacock to eat then???” Mark’s mom started sounding almost hysterical. “A chicken, for thanksgiving.” She muttered under her breath.

“I don’t think it matters since the turkey will grow a chicken head and feathers anyways.” Mark mumbled to himself and slumped down at the dining room table. His mom and aunt both turned to stare at him.

“What?” They asked in synchrony.

“Oh, nothing,” said Mark. “I had a bad dream.” He rubbed his forehead.

“Oh I’m sorry.” His mom replied. “Here, have some hot cocoa, you’ll feel better.” She set a cup of steaming chocolatey liquid in front of him.

Mark stared at it. It was one of the precious cups that the clown was juggling in his dream.

“What’s wrong?” Mark’s mom noted his discomfort.

“I’m not going to sing??” Mark asked, shuddering, still a little traumatized. “With the clown?”

“Oh that’s right! We hired a clown to come and entertain the kids until dinnertime, so they stay out of the way. He should have been here fifteen minutes ago…” Mark’s aunt checked the clock.

A second later, there was a knock on the door, and the said clown stepped into the house. It looked almost exactly like the one Mark had dreamed of. He drew in a long sharp breath and nearly knocked over the hot cocoa in his scramble to get up from the table. His little cousin traipsed into the kitchen, holding a large cage.

“Hey Markie, lookit my bunny-bun-bun!” She squealed happily. Mark looked at the innocent looking creature in the cage. He blinked. The bunny blinked back.

“Are you sure there’s only one?” He asked uneasily. Another cousin skipped in behind the little girl with a huge bag of marshmallows, giggling gleefully. The other little kids started gathering around the clown, who was talking to Mark’s aunt while taping a pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey on the door. Mark looked at his cousin, then back at his hot cocoa on the table. He looked at the donkey on the door, then at his mom. He thought of the pocket watch in his drawer and shuddered again.

“I’m going back to bed.” He mumbled. “Where things make more sense.”

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