Doctor Remington's Sleep Emporium: Tales From The Dreamscape

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Post by bungobaggins Mon Jul 20, 2015 12:30 pm

One

I

“What’s wrong, folks? Is your humdrum job grating on your mind day and night? Stock market troubles got you down? Inner-city violence and street-riots keep you up at night? The second cold war and random terrorist attacks threatening you and your family’s very existence?” The lanky man in the white lab coat and thin black moustache grinned. His face invaded the frame of the television set as pools of light began to reflect in his green eyes.

“Then come on down to Doctor Remington’s Sleep Emporium! Guaranteed the best night’s sleep you’ll ever get! No more dangerous and addictive pills, no more bogus hypnosis cures, no more restless nights! We’ve served over 10 million people just like you!” He pointed his finger directly into the camera.

“Let’s hear what they have to say about Doctor Remington’s Sleep Emporium, the ultimate cure for your insomnia!”

A microscopic disclaimer appeared in the corner of the television screen that read: “Paid Actors.” Several testimonies extolled the benefits of Doctor Remington’s product.

A bubbly, 20-something blonde.

“This was, like, totally the best thing for my en-som-knee-ah! See, me and my besties were worried about total annihilation and new-q-lar holocaust! Couldn’t sleep for, like, a week, but, like, Doctor Remington and his assistants totes fixed me up and now I sleep like a baay-bee!”

A burly construction worker.

“Mass street-riots made me so afraid to go to work that I couldn’t sleep at night. So I decided to give this a shot. I walked in to my closest Sleep Emporium and I knew I had made the right choice. The staff was so polite and friendly, and I could tell right away that their number one priority was for me to get the best sleep of my life. Thanks, Doctor Remington!” The muscular man slowly lifted a thumbs up into frame.

A middle-aged woman.

“Recent terrorist strikes and impending war kept me up at night. My marriage was falling apart. I was so afraid I wouldn’t let our kids play in the fortified bomb shelter in our enclosed backyard. But thanks to Doctor Remington and the staff of the New Phoenix Sleep Emporium, I’ve got the rest and confidence to face the future, no matter how bloody and violent it may be!” She looked directly into the camera, tilted her head slightly and smiled so wide it must have hurt.

The lanky man in the lab coat returned.

“That’s right, folks! Happiness and peace of mind can be yours at Doctor Remington’s Sleep Emporium! So hop on your nearest rail system and come on down! Over 5,000 locations across the greatest nation on God’s green earth!” A cartoon map of the United States appeared and little red flags began popping up all over it until the map was completely covered.

“We’re open 24/7!” The lanky man winked.

“And now, just in case you’re not convinced, for you first time customers, a real special treat! Your first session is only $99.99! That’s right, boys and girls, cheaper than a tank of gasoline! Take it from me, Doctor Remington! Confidence, success, happiness, and most important of all, sleep, can all be yours at Doctor Remington’s Sleep Emporium!”

A hurried voice announced in an indecipherable flurry: “Doctor Remington’s Sleep Emporium is not a replacement for natural sleep. This method has not been evaluated by the FDA, and is not known to treat, detect, or prevent any illness.”

Doctor Remington waved as the camera zoomed out and the paid actors stood at his side, also waving at the camera. “Come on down, folks! Sleep is waiting for you!”

The commercial ended.

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Post by halfwise Mon Jul 20, 2015 7:01 pm

I like the way you mix the modern world and science fiction. Speaking of which, did you ever finish the Atlanta glowing wall saga?

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Post by azriel Mon Jul 20, 2015 7:16 pm

bounce I like this Very Happy

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Post by bungobaggins Mon Jul 20, 2015 7:56 pm

halfwise wrote:I like the way you mix the modern world and science fiction.  Speaking of which, did you ever finish the Atlanta glowing wall saga?

Not yet, that one's on hiatus for the moment. Wasn't sure of my next move so I needed to take a break.

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Post by Mrs Figg Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:46 pm

Very Happy intriguing stuff
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Post by Eldorion Wed Jul 22, 2015 3:10 am

I enjoyed the first part. I've been liking your offbeat fantasy ideas, bungo. Smile
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Post by bungobaggins Wed Jul 22, 2015 8:45 pm

One

II

“...which is why we will be working day and night to uncover the leaders of this new terrorist organization and eliminate them and their followers. The safety of the American people is our number one priority, therefore we cannot comment any further on any progress. But hear us clearly, HIT will be brought to justice.”

“Mr. Secretary! Mr. Secretary!” The bulky, aging man turned and exited the room swiftly, ignoring the reporters queries. The news broadcast returned to the studio, and two overly enthusiastic teleprompter readers.

“Isn’t that just great, Tchad? Don’t you just feel so safe?” A 30-something brunette with a large mouth cackled.

“I sure do, Sera!” A man with spiked blonde hair and teeth as white as pearls. “Let’s head over to Timm with the weather! Looks like we’ve got sunny days ahead, tell us all about it, Timm!”

“That’s right, Tchad…”

“I’m tired of this shit, I’m changin’ the channel.” A heavy set, hairy man lifted himself from his seat and passed his hand twice over what appeared to be a button on the television. The channel changed and the screen was now full of furry, colorful, mascot-sized bear-like creatures sitting around a jar marked “P-nut ButR” scratching their heads.

“There, there, yes, yes, that’s much...” The man’s voice trailed off as he returned to his seat.

The 11:23 high-speed commuter rail from Dubuque, Iowa to Des Moines hummed across miles and miles of open farmland under dark and cloudy skies. Jessika stared out the window. What she wouldn’t give to see the moon, even if only for a few minutes. Anything to take her mind off everything. The moon would be perfect.

Jessika turned to the television screen (one of five in the rail car) and noticed that the bear-like creatures were now doing the Hokey-Pokey to the tune of “Camptown Races.” The fat man laughed and slapped his knee. Jessika rolled and closed her bloodshot eyes. Maybe this was it, maybe it was finally time to fall asleep.

“Yeah, what a riot that would be,” she said to herself as her eyes opened.

“Oh, you like this program, too?” The man looked at her anxiously, desperately hoping she would help justify his taste in entertainment.

“What…? Oh, no, I was just…”

“Hmmpf!” The man turned back to the television as the show went to commercial.

“What’s wrong, folks? Is your humdrum job grating on your mind day and night?”

“I’m unemployed!” The fat man blurted at the television screen. He proceeded to have a one-sided conversation with Doctor Remington and his troupe of paid actors as Jessika began to tune out the noises in the car: the hum of the train, the man, the television (she was all too familiar with this commercial by now).

She pictured in her mind the Des Moines Sleep Emporium, imagining what the building would look like, how it would smell inside, her own personal sleep chamber, the feel of fresh linen on the bed, what sleep settings she would select. Jessika was a first time customer, going to take advantage of the “cheaper than a tank of gasoline” offer, but she had heard all about her friends experiences at the Des Moines and Minneapolis Sleep Emporiums (all glowing recommendations, of course).

*Bing-bing-bing* A cheerful electronic voice chimed in over the television, “High Speed Commuter Rail 1123 from Dubuque to Des Moines will be arriving in 15 minutes. Please remove all personal effects as you exit and have your appropriate identification papers and/or card ready for production upon demand. Thank you for choosing Iowa Rails! Good luck, and have a safe day!” It was almost menacing.

Jessika looked out the window, craned her neck towards the dark, cloudy skies, and sighed.

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Post by David H Wed Jul 22, 2015 9:10 pm

Nice writing Bungo! It seems to me it reads almost more like a screenplay. Is that intentional?

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Post by bungobaggins Wed Jul 22, 2015 11:40 pm

No I don't think it's intentional. I like when things read smoothly and I don't like huge paragraphs, so I think I subconsciously try to stick to that.

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Post by bungobaggins Tue Jul 28, 2015 3:06 pm

One

III

Jessika squeezed her way off the train car into the bleak rail station; the train had been rather full for a Tuesday evening. Five security checkpoints marked the stations exit, each guarded by a transportation security officer. The five lines were filled up quickly and Jessika took her place in the third line, the fat man waddled up behind her.

The man began to ramble at her, carrying on a nonsensical conversation with himself as Jessika nodded while staring up at the skylight, clouds still passing overhead. The clock on the wall ticked. One minute, two minutes, five minutes. Jessika rummaged through her purse and readied her federal, state, and transportation identification cards.

Finally through the checkpoint, Jessika headed up the stairs to the “oh-so-popular” city of Des Moines. Behind her she could hear the fat man arguing with the security officer, and what she could have sworn was the sound of a taser. Her pace quickened.

Doctor Remington’s Sleep Emporium of Des Moines was located on the outskirts of the city in a large strip mall.

“Not exactly what I was expecting,” Jessika said aloud as the cab pulled up, passed a closed Hy-Vee and parked parallel with the curb. In fact, everything was closed in the strip mall, apart from the Emporium. Its bright blue neon lights flickering in the crisp, autumnal, Iowan air. A smaller green neon sign declared, "WE'RE OPEN! COME ON IN!"

“Yeah, they don’ make ‘em like they used tah, that’s fer sure,” the cabbie remarked.

Jessika exited the cab and stood in front of the Emporium as the cabbie sped away to his next fare.

“Well, you’ve made it this far, still sure you want to go in there?” An old, homeless man sitting outside the Hy-Vee called to her with a raised voice.

“What? Of course! Besides, what business is it of yours anyway?” Jessika’s retort had an air of incredulity; did she even believe herself? There was nothing dangerous about this, sure it wasn’t FDA regulated, but neither were vitamin supplements, and those were okay for you. Weren’t they?

“I’ll tell you what, just for you, I’ve got this great stuff they don’t make anymore. I think they called it “Night-quill.” It’s my own special brew, it will put you right to sleep!” The old man proudly displayed a mouth with five missing teeth, the remaining either brown or yellow.

Her eyes bulged and her stomach retched.

“First one’s free!” The old man shouted as Jessika hurried inside to the safety of the Emporium.

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Post by azriel Tue Jul 28, 2015 5:02 pm

I like the Noir feel to this Nod

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