I didn’t really want to look like a creep and write anything else soon that dealt with Wil Wheaton. But then I had trouble falling asleep last night as I was busy thinking about this site, and once slumber finally arrived, had this really silly dream. So here it is, short flash fiction style, typed up in about 30 minutes.
It all started at some sort of nerdy convention. I was walking over to a completely blank, unlabeled table against a wall where only one person was sitting.
“Hey, are you the guy who wrote the story about my wife?” Wil Wheaton asked. He was leaning over the wall side of the table as I approached, apparently eager to see me.
“That’s me,” I said, not knowing how he knew what I looked like. The pen & ink rendering of my forehead and eyes in my website header isn’t exactly photo-perfect, and was to my knowledge the only way he’d ever seen me.
“That was brilliant. You should come to my house. I have something to show you,” he said, smiling that big happy Evil Wil Wheaton smile of his, and as puzzled as I was, I obviously accepted.
“Sounds fun!” I said.
The next thing I knew I was standing in front of his house. That’s the rad thing about how dreams work. You don’t need logic or segues and can’t pinpoint any real moment where a scene change happens. It just does.
There was no sign of other people in Wil’s neighborhood and everything was completely quiet. I expected to see his dog jumping around, but saw and heard nothing coming from the house. In fact, we bypassed the house completely and I followed him to the rear yard. It turns out that in my dreams, Wil Wheaton has an old run-down convenience store on his property behind the house. It didn’t look unlike the Super-Duper Mart northeast of Megaton in Fallout 3, except smaller and with less raiders.
As he opened the door, a puff of smoke blasted our faces. After a second, I realized this wasn’t a grocery store at all. There was a torture chamber inside. The center of the room was hollowed out and filled with all sorts of elaborate pain-making mechanisms. Ground-based tables, chains from the ceiling, an array of spiked objects and everything else a good dungeon master might need. It was all there. I looked around and couldn’t see any logical way to get down to the chamber itself. At my current eye level, there were windows letting in sunlight, allowing me peer out at the back of Wil’s nice southern California house. He was paying no attention to any of it.
“Come here, check this out,” he said, urging me around the chamber. He guided me along the perimeter of the torture pit on a walkway, like a raised walking track around an indoor basketball court, which led to the back of the store. “This is where I give my lessons,” he said.
“Lessons?” I asked.
“Yeah! D&D lessons,” he replied.
‘Oh,” I said. “I didn’t… know you needed lessons for that.”
Maybe this explains the torture chamber, I thought to myself. Maybe it’s just an elaborate set decoration for Dungeons & Dragons. That would make sense, I guess, if you’re a famous guy who can afford to build a faux torture chamber in a convenience store. I had never played D&D, which I assume he knew, so I didn’t feel I had the right to call this unusual.
We got around the pit and stopped at a big ugly double door.
“It’s in here,” he said with slightly too much creepy enthusiasm as he pulled the doors.
As he opened the old, scraping metal doors, a large room appeared. A familiar room. A room that looked exactly the same as the last room we just walked through, but the torture pit was empty aside from a table and two chairs positioned in the middle, and this room had no windows. The area was way bigger than could have actually been there based on the exterior size of the building, but you know, it’s a dream.
The door to the last room closed behind us. I was puzzled.
“What do you think?” Wil asked.
“I… It’s pretty neat!” I replied, not really sure why this was here, what it was, or how impressed I was supposed to be. “It’s certainly… something. But why do you have two of basically the same room?”
“What do you mean?” he asked.
“Where’s all the stuff?
“Well the last room is the same as this, but with all the torture stuff.”
“The same,” I said. “Isn’t it?”
He looked confused as hell.
“No. What room?”
He turned around and reopened the door we just came through, staring at me with question in his eyes.
The previous room was gone. I couldn’t see his house out the windows anymore. There was no pit. This was an entirely different room.
It was the inside of a Denny’s.
“But… what happened? There’s no torture chamber!” I said to him, confused.
He stared at me as if I was saying the most ridiculous nonsense he’d ever heard. After a moment, he slowly walked up to the closest diner and picked up their plate of food, showing it to me.
“Are you sure?” he asked, shaping his eyebrows into a questionable slant.
We laughed. Everything became okay. Everything odd about the situation was forgotten about, as often happens in dreams.
“Alright, the lesson! Come on!” he said as he skipped away.