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Green-Screen Angel

Dreamed 2018/10/18 by Wayan

Interviewer & ragged guardian angel in front of a green screen. Dream sketch by Wayan. Click to enlarge.

My mom always told us she had a miscarriage a year or two after having me. We just learned that's a lie. She had a daughter named Jill who lived years. Not to adulthood; her death affected us surviving siblings profoundly. Shaped us, really. Yet we consciously forgot Jill--buried her memory and bought our parents' lie.

Why? Slowly I learn that Jill had a guardian angel. I do too of course--her name's Silky. Maybe the angels helped to blot the painful memory.

Was that wise? Even sane? Can angels go crazy from grief? It never occurred to me to ask what the early death of a ward does to a guardian angel.

Turns out it isn't good. I see a TV interview with the angel--though it's part simulation. Behind angel and interviewer is a green screen, so a proper heavenly background can be pasted in later. It's distracting--way too bright, a green scream. I turn down the saturation on my TV till it's bearable. Now I can hear...

What I hear's grim. Jill's death has made her guardian angel slowly come apart. Psychologically, yes, it's visible even before angel speaks--hesitant, teary, blindsided repeatedly by waves of loss.

But he's also coming apart physically--actually fading. Ragged holes show that terrible green right through him. Angelic immune collapse! Do angels who fail their guardianship DIE? Yes or no, their fade-out tatters reality--and memory.

Yikes. I better stay healthy--do my best not to die on my guardian. Protection--and vulnerability--work both ways.

Who guards our guardian angels? We do.


NEXT DAY Pulpy book cover of 'Wood Sprites' by Wen Spencer.

Our library notifies me a book I want is here--dream-artist Paul Nash's autobiography. Walk up to get it. But what they hand me isn't Paul Nash--it's Wood Sprites by Wen Spencer--a gleefully pulpy science fiction novel! Rather than tell them it's an error I take it home and read it. When the universe elbows me, I listen.

The Wood Sprites are twin sisters, prodigies, growing up in New York City, unaware they're adopted; they're fascinated with Elfhome, an alternate Earth, about which little is known yet. They do impressive web research and stage the results as comic videos--they animate Barbie dolls in front of a green screen, so they can draw in Elf backgrounds later. Except... their videos uncannily predict real news from Elfhome--their wild guesses have a psychic edge. They're unaware they have millions of webfans.

The book's full of uncomfortable parallels to my real family & life.

  1. a tight sibling knot of child prodigies
  2. a streak of ESP in the family for generations
  3. the mix of brains & ESP alienating teachers & classmates, leaving them isolated
  4. web-famous, but unaware, as they ignore social media--they just like to make goofy art about elves.
Every point above fits the Wood Sprites and me, equally. Still, they're complex psychological parallels. Hard to rate their likelihood. I can see skeptics calling them all chance. Except point number five.
  1. That lurid green screen behind a mix of human & nonhuman actors!
How could a psychic hit be more explicit? A rare, unlikely image, sure, but also lurid; eye-searing. I knew the dream was flaunting it, flagging it as vital.

Sure, call that chance. Call me a turnip, too.