I’d like to preface this with a disclaimer. I dream a great deal and they are usually quite strange. I’m also fortunate enough that I have fairly good memory retention when it comes to my dreams.In retrospect, they almost never make sense (aside from a few recurring themes), but hey, they are dreams, and while dreaming logic is rarely a factor. Last night I had one about sloths, particularly a roving army of sloths (think of something like the present day sloth and the giant armor plated sloths of the Pleistocene. When my girlfriend woke, I shared the gist of my nocturnal musings with her and she laughed her ass off. Then she insisted I write this dream up and share it with everyone. I agreed and thought it would be fun. So without further adieu, I present to you, My Sloth Dream.
I was home alone. My family had gone out for some reason or other, leaving me to sit on the couch and play video games. I was in the middle of a heated gun fight when I heard the door that lead from the house to the garage open and close. Family must be home, I thought. “Hey guys, how was the outside world?” I ask, receiving only a grunt in response. Suppose it’s best I don’t pry further, I thought, turning my attention back to the hail of digital bullets flying at me. After a fury of mashing buttons, dexterous analog stick manipulation, and cleverly thrown grenades, I emerged victorious.
Leaving the game lobby, I went downstairs to see where my family had gone. Much to my surprise I found the garage door slightly open with the bathroom door adjacent to it closed. Well that explains the grunt, I said silently to myself. I walked through the living room to the kitchen, a common gathering place in my household. Instead of finding a relative I found the kitchen a mess of opened cabinets and doors. The floor was covered with a blanket of half-eaten-then-discarded food. Wow, Mom’s going to be furious when she sees what Josh did to the kitchen, and I don’t want to be around for that. Probably for the best I make a hasty retreat back up into the game room. Making my way back through the living room and towards the stairs I was greeted by the sound of running water and a luminescence that I knew came from having the bathroom light on with the door open. Turning to see who was in the bathroom I was greeted by a confusing sight. A beast covered in coarse hair with long, gangly arms stood at the sink. It was about my equal in height with dark beady eyes and vicious looking long curved claws. It was washing its hands– there was a man-sized sloth in my family’s bathroom washing its hands.
“What the hell, sloth?! You can’t just come into a person’s home, eat their food, and use their bathroom whenever you want! We’re civilized people here!” The sloth looked over at me and drooped its shoulders, its eyes falling to the floor.
“I’m sorry.” Its reply was slow and thick, like it was speaking through molasses. It felt like I was talking to Eeyore. It turned off the water off while its claws were still soapy. Its eyes never leaving the floor, it slunk out into the garage. The sloth’s morose demeanor made my heart sink. I called out to it. “Sloth….just…in the future, ask, alright?”
Its reply was still laden with shame, but there was a slight inflection of brightness this time around. “Ok.” It ambled off through the door and out into the sunlight. Forgetting the catastrophe in the kitchen I made my way back up the steps, taking them two at a time. It was time to kill some more noobs. Before I made it all the way to the top of the stairs I heard the familiar beat of helicopter blades and the high pitched whine of a jet engine. “Shit! I must have stayed in the matchmaking lobby!” I charged up the stairs and another unusual sight greeted me as I crested the top. A jetplane-like craft was landing in my driveway, slowly descending in a stable hover. Springs squeaked as the craft settled, its engines winding down. Turning around, I ran back down the stairs and burst through the smaller garage door as a dozen or so men in military uniforms streamed out of the plane’s belly. They quickly fanned out, communicating with each other in chaotic shouts and hand signals, “Spread out and search the area! It was here just a couple minutes ago! Find the sloth!”
“Just what the hell is going on here!” I shouted, trying to be heard over the other men and the jet engines. A well dressed man with an air of authority and a shielded fighter pilot helmet stepped out of the craft as it finally finished winding down. “Someone answer me!” I demanded. As if I wasn’t even there, the military men began moving through the front yard. When the man in the pilot’s helmet began issuing orders all the others fell silent. I thought he sounded incredibly similar to Skeletor. I followed them through the yard, constantly trying to get their attention. It seemed completely futile until I picked up a stray soccer ball and lobbed it at Skeletor. The ball struck him squarely in the helmet and he turned to look at me.
“Oh hello there!” I thought it was extremely odd to hear such a pleasant greeting in the Overlord of Evil’s voice. “We’re here looking for a sloth, have you seen one?”
“One came into the house and tore up our kitchen then used the bathroom without even asking a couple minutes before you landed.” I replied.
“That’s probably the one we’re looking for, that’s his modus operandi. Why don’t we go inside and talk about it? My men will keep searching the area for him.”
“Sure, sounds good.” I still kept expecting this guy to say something like ‘I’ll get you next time, He-man!’
We walked back to the house together, and I explained my encounter with the sloth in greater detail. He listened with rapt attention the whole way. As we walked through the front door, I asked “So just why are you guys looking for this sloth? He seemed pretty harmless to me. A little rude sure, but he left without trouble when I told him he had to go.” Then Skeletor shoved me into the kitchen. I was stunned to find the kitchen was spotless, and even more surprised to find my family being held at gun point. I wonder when they got home? I asked myself.
“I hate to work in a dirty room, so I had my people clean it up.” Skeletor said behind me. His helmet was still on and the visor covered the majority of his face. Suddenly Skeletor wasn’t much of a nice guy, this was more like the Skeletor I knew. “So, which one of you has the ring?”.
“The ring? What, are you from Mordor?” My younger brother asked.
“The sloth army control ring, you idiot! I know one of you has it!” Skeletor’s voice was pitched with rage.
I subconsciously thumbed the the sterling silver wave ring I always wore, wondering just what Skeletor was talking about. He went from family member to family member, looking at each of our hands, cursing and spitting venom each time he failed to find what he wanted.
“Fine you don’t want to give me the ring! I’ll show you what the sloth army can do!” He looked like he was about to strike someone. But instead he turned on the TV, changing the channel to display something that looked like the weather forecast for the state of New York. I wasn’t really interested in the weather, so I reached into my pockets, hoping to find something entertaining. Pocket number one was completely empty, but I found a thin hoop of metal with a nub on one side in pocket number two. I pulled it out and looked at it, it was a slender golden ring with a small green stone set at the top of it. Weird, I’ve never seen this before and I have no idea where I got it. Skeletor was waving his hands wildly and screaming something about the sloth army rolling over the United States of America like wave of slow destruction. After some more yelling Skeletor stormed off, I wasn’t really sure what he had said. All I knew was that this Skeletor was a lot more boring and less dramatic than the real Skeletor. I wondered if his voice was even his real voice, or some kind of impression he did to try and scare people. Bored I slipped the ring on my finger, and immediately I felt the rage of hundreds of thousands of sloths coursing through my being. It was almost too much, being connected to that many sloths at once, but after the initial shock of it subsided I felt…powerful. Immediately I redirected the sloth army that I now knew was roving through New York, beckoning them towards my home in North Carolina. I kept my hand in my pocket so no one could see the ring.
A little bit later Skeletor showed back up, as soon as he walked into the room my brother asked “So, Sauron, if you pull back that visor, will I see a giant flamey red eye?” Skeletor ignored him and turned towards the TV, “I KNOW ONE OF YOU HAS THE RING! THE MASS OF SLOTHS HAS CHANGED DIRECTION! WHICH ONE OF YOU HAS IT?” Skeletor sounded like he was going to blow a gasket. We all stared on in relative silence. “Fine, we’ll search your pants for the ring then!” One by one, we were forced to stick our legs out, holding them rigid and shaking them, kind of like we were doing the hokey pokey. Before it was my turn I slipped the ring off my finger and let it drop into my pocket, losing connection to the sloths. It was a hard thing to do. I stuck out my legs and shook them, causing vibrations to travel up my body. When I was on the second leg, I heard the distinctly metallic clink of of a small metal object, say a ring, falling and hitting the tiled floor. Panic surged through me and I looked down in horror. On the ground at my feet lay a shining gold band with 7 clear stones in it, one large one in the center and three smaller ones to each side. Relief flooded my system, washing away the panic. Then I wondered, Who’s is that and how in the hell did it get into my pants? Skeletor bent down to pick it up, hurling it across the room. Storming out of the room, his voice trembling in frustration. “I’ll be back!” I began thinking of ways I could further confuse him, what could I tell the sloth armies to do that would throw him off the idea that I had the ring?
And then, I woke up. I’ll never known it if was a skeleton face, or a giant, red flamey eye hidden behind that fighter pilot helmet and visor, I’ll never know why Skeletor wanted the ring, I’ll never know why there was a man sized sloth using our bathroom. I’ll never know all these things and many more. But worst of all, I’ll never known what I could have accomplished with an army of man sized sloths at my command.