Read part four before continuing.

I hang my head as Robocop leads Jenny and I through the streets of the circuit. The events of the past few hours race through my head, struggling to coalesce into some sort of sense. The more I think about it though, the less sense it makes, the more confused I get. The people around us continue to perform as we walk but they slowly turn more and more inhumane. It’s hard to explain: they still appear human but slight changes mar their visage as we move.

For example, one woman has ears that are nearly as large as dinner plates. They aren’t the kind of lobes you sometimes see on people that wear heavy gauges in their ears. Those I could handle more readily as I can understand that. Hell, Jenny has two large gauges in each of her ears. She nods her head softly as we walk, seemingly not noticing any of the oddities that are engulfing us.

“How can you be so casual?” I say.

“Huh?” she says, turning at me with her eyes half open. If I didn’t know better, I’d say she was stoned out of her gourd. However, I have no idea how that would be the case. The people around us stare as we walk by, as Robocop clanks and chimes as he walks. The whole circus is alive with the sounds of performance but you can still hear Robocop above all of them: it makes no sense.

“You just don’t seem…affected by any of this,” I say.

“Oh, you mean the circus and the Dig Dug and all of that?” she says with a slight, wry smile. It is becoming more and more clear to me that part of her is really enjoying what we’re going through.

“It is becoming more and more clear to me,” I say, “that part of you is really enjoying what we’re going through.”

“Why’d you say that twice?” she says and I realize I’m thinking out loud again.

“Just answer the question.”

“Oh sure,” she says, “I’m enjoying it.”

“How can you enjoy the insanity that we’re going through? We’re being led through a sprawling, unending circus that exists inside of a hospital that we fled to only moments after escaping my exploding car. A car that, need I remind you, was inflated by Dig Dug, an 80’s arcade character.”

“That’s what’s so fun about it,” she says.

“The insanity is fun?”

“Of course,” she says with a slight laugh, “crazy dreams are better than boring dreams don’t you think?

“You think this is a dream?” I say. Robocop clenches my arm tighter as we walk. I feel bruises breaking out on my arm.

“Damn it don’t squeeze so hard,” I say. Robocop squeezes a little bit harder and then releases his grip some more.

“Although I have no reason to show you mercy,” he says, “as you have violated the law, I will momentarily relieve the pressure on your arm if it will stop you from talking so much.”

Jenny laughs out loud and digs through her purse. Robocop is not holding her arm but she isn’t attempting to flee. She’s going along with this willingly without a fight: apparently, I can’t be trusted.

“Damn right you can’t be trusted,” she says pulling out some lipstick. She smears some on her lips, puckers them up and laughs again.

We walk quietly for a moment before I remember my question.

“So you think this is a dream?” I say.

“Of course it is,” she says. “I have wild, vivid dreams like this all the time.”

“But if this is a dream,” I say, wincing from the pain in my arm, “how do you explain how I’m here at the same time?”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean, how are we dreaming the same thing at the same time?”

“Who says we’re dreaming the same thing at the same time?”

“How else could we be here at the same time otherwise?” I say.

Jenny laughs and shakes her head. She rubs her hands together and continues to giggle. She seemingly can’t get enough of this situation.

“Who says you exist at all?” she says. “As far as I know, you’re just a dream boy. In fact, I know you’re a dream boy. Because I’m dreaming.”

“But I know I exist.”

“Yeah but I don’t know that,” she says.

The thought humbles me into silence.

As we walk, a large building begins to emerge on the horizon. It’s obviously huge but exists only as a tiny dot on the horizon as of now. As we move through the streets (and it feels as if we’ve been moving for hours and hours, with the people around us turning more and more inhuman. I’m afraid they barely look even human at this point, more beast than man) it becomes clear to me that we are heading towards the building.

“What is that building?” I say, nodding my head. Robocop squeezes my arm a little harder.

“It’s central processing,” he says. “It’s where I’m going to book you.”

“Central processing?” I say.

“Looks more like a castle,” says Jenny and she’s right. The towers stretch high into the sky, seemingly trying to touch the wind and clouds, capturing it up and holding it all for itself.

“How poetic,” says Jenny. I look over at her as she lights another cigarette. Robocop doesn’t stop her. She nods towards Robocop. “I think he’s got a little crush on me.”

“I feel no emotion,” he says. “You smoking is of no threat to me.”

We walk in silence as we finally reach the gate which lowers slowly as we near it. It’s surrounded by a moat filled with alligators, piranhas, and doberman pinschers with gills. It’s incomprehensibly surrounded by palm trees and coconut trees lined up in rows and columns along the sides.

“Bitching,” says Jenny as she stares down in the moat frothing with the fury of a waterbound doberman. “This is my best dream ever.”

To Be Continued

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