My brain came up with quite the story last night. I somehow find myself lucky enough to remember it, so I will share it with you.
I am on a train to San Francisco. The interior of the train resembles the most run-down of public transportation busses. San Francisco supposedly has the opportunity to provide one with fantastic wealth in the midst of lawless, gang-controlled, no-longer-part-of-the-United-States California. During The War, anarchy had broken loose, and when a dictator took control after The War, he was only able to keep control over part of the U.S. and left the rest of the now-dissolved nation to fend for itself. He also decided to pull a mandatory role-reversal, forcing all the husbands to stay at home and be Moms while the wives went off to earn a living for their families. My mother (I refused to call my father my Mom despite the mandate from the dictator) had gone off to Alaska to try to find work, as conditions in the remaining United States had regressed to a new Depression. And I had decided to take the train to San Francisco to try to help support my family somehow.
Once I was done pondering the situation I was in and what had led up to it, the train (of course) arrived at its destination, and I disembarked, following the crowds that were also getting off as they walked to the right and entered into the dirtiest, grayest, cloudiest, most abandoned run-down city I had ever seen. The gangs that controlled SF were sort of like the gangs in the movie Newsies, each headed by a teenager or young adult male with nothing better to do. I was at a complete loss as to where to go to attempt to find a source of income, and wandered around the city for awhile, trying to avoid the various gangs and learn how the city worked. As I was wandering, I bumped into Mike, who introduced himself as the Prince of the Titanic. There were a great many rumors about him in the city, and though most of them weren't true, he did nothing to quash them as they allowed him to lead a life independent of gang control, wandering where he willed and doing what he pleased. That sounded terrific to me, and so because he was Prince of the Titanic, and because he was quite attractive to boot, I followed him around for awhile.
The dream skipped ahead here, to a point where Mike and I had completed our wooing and courting and gotten married. By this point, I had a pretty good grasp of how things worked in San Francisco. Jobs were practically non-existant. Candy existed only in the form of Sweet Tart packages, and it was an incredibly precious commodity that I learned to consume as soon as I got any, as otherwise it would be stolen from me. Mike once handed me a treasure trove of eight Sweet Tarts at once, and I was ecstatic, since I finally had enough to send home to my family, so that they could each have one or two, and it was the first thing of value I had which was worth mailing home. Mike and I lived in an abandoned apartment building. The apartment we had chosen for ourselves had a love seat with several tears that the stuffing was popping out through, and a creaky bed that had a white wrought-iron headboard and footboard.
We were in our apartment one day, when eight women wearing dresses straight from the 1800's burst in through the door. They demanded I participate in a game, the prize of which was Mike. He was highly sought after as Prince of the Titanic, and apparently my claim upon him was not completely solid yet. I do not remember what the game was, but I do remember that I busted out my best impression of Lauryn Hill singing Killing Me Softly, and the women hung their heads and left, defeated.
Another night, not too long after that, as we were laying in bed talking before falling asleep, I heard the jingle of a bell and something moving at the foot of the bed. We had already been through a Sweet Tart theft earlier that day, and so I was a tad jumpy. As my eyes had not yet adjusted to the dark, I held onto Mike and asked him if it was a rat. He took a look. I asked him again if it was a rat, and told him if it was, he should kill it. He kicked it, informed me that it had fallen off the bed, that it wasn't a rat, and that I shouldn't look at it. We stood up on our bed, and leaped together to the love seat to try to escape out of our one unbarred window. I heard the bell again, and turned around to see the mummified skeleton widow of Death, clad in Victorian mourning garb, with a bell around her neck. Her dress was black, her veil covering her hair was black, and the skin clinging around her skull and neck was also black. She had come, she announced, for Mike, and that there was nothing we could do about it, no escape was possible, she would claim her prize. I let go of Mike's hand and tackled her. Once she was pinned to the floor (mummified skeletons are quite feeble, after all), I wrapped my hands around her neck and tried to strangle her, quite unsuccessfully, as she was already dead. I informed her in the most threatening tone I could muster, that she could not have him, he was mine, and I would not part from him. Mike had sat down on the love seat by this point, quite pale, and watched as we argued his fate. I finally let her up off the floor. She straightened her dress, and yelled at me that I could have my Prince of the Titanic as long as I went too. That seemed perfectly fair, so I walked over to Mike and helped him up. She flew out of the barred window on the other side of our apartment, and hovered outside, waiting for us.
We walked to the window, and hugged each other tight as we were sucked into the darkness that awaited.