Caribou Dreaming

Caribou loved to dream. In dreams he always had company. His dreams were filled with family, friends, colleagues, followers, partners in crime, band members, lovers, chance met strangers, half remembered mentors, sidekicks and more to accompany his voyages through the many and varied lands that his dreams brought him to.

It didn’t matter that a dream didn’t make sense or that it jumped from place to place with no sense of internal or external logic because there was always someone to share it with. Always someone to offer a friendly word or a shouted warning or a warm look or a helping hand. Always a face or a voice not his own to share a moment with. Always non-judgemental, trusting and accepting.

The real world was strange and mysterious and also made no sense. Caribou knew when he was awake because that was the only time he felt lonely. Whether on his own in a graffiti sprayed alleyway or in a small throng listening to an energetic man selling knives or in a huge crowd stamping along to a sweaty hairy rock band he always felt that he was trapped by his nature to always be alone.

In dreams Caribou was free. He’d run down a leafy green street, enjoying the flickering shadows alternating with warm sunshine on his face as he lengthened his stride and ran faster and faster. The air flowing through his hair and across his face and chest was just cool enough to keep him comfortable and he felt like he could run forever.

The Headmaster (somehow taller than he remembered but definitely him) of his primary school ran beside him calling out encouragingly in his broad Yorkshire accent untainted by any pretense or affectation. “Come on, lad. They’re catching up. Get them feet moving”.

Risking a quick glance behind him Caribou saw the chasing zombie horde was somehow getting closer. Their slow shuffling gait bringing them constantly closer, no matter how hard or fast he ran.

Caribou ducked down a glass corridor and skidded to a halt. He slammed the heavy concrete door shut behind him just in time to stop the grasping claws reaching through and grabbing hold of his leather jacket. His Headmaster (what was his name? Caribou knew he knew but couldn’t remember and didn’t think it mattered anyway) leaned against a glass wall, stroking the sweat from his thin black moustache while patting at his head with a large red handkerchief dotted with white spots.
“They’ll be ‘ere any minute. What we gonna do?”

Caribou pointed down the corridor. “Inwards and upwards is the only way to go. We have to sail this bus to Cuba”.

The bus conductor sold Caribou and his Headmaster (were they his original eyes?) a ticket for half a peanut and a bucket of crabs and suggested they sit up front.

When Caribou reached the front he found a beautiful woman smiling at him from a long comfortably padded bench which stretched out before an enormous pair of red velvet curtains.

“Come and sit here, Caribou. We can snuggle while we wait for the end.”

Caribou didn’t recognise her but she was wearing a yellow summer dress so had to be friendly. He held her hand as he sat next to her and watched the curtains across the front slide silently open to reveal a giant movie screen.

The zombie horde flickered slowly into being on the screen and stared sulkily at Caribou and the woman in the yellow dress while they snuggled close together, whispering nothing to each other through soft happy smiles.

Caribou was at peace. He had the woman in the yellow dress, his Headmaster (Caribou had always admired the way he wore a suit) and the zombie horde for company.
All was well.