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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. Now we learn it'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 the family story.

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

Was that wise? Even sane? It never occurred to me to ask what the early death of a ward does to the guardian.

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 backgrounds 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.