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Claudine Gisele Fernandez

E R

M


E R M DREAMS written as i awoke and later edited

COLLAGES cut, pasted, drawn, & photoshoped

Claudine Gisele Fernandez


FIRST EDITION Plant Photgraphy, 2013 by Claudine G Fernandez. Text, 2013 by Claudine G Fernandez Cutouts taken from magazines or online sources collaged together by Claudine G Fernandez. All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conditions. Edit and Design by Claudine G Fernandez.


DREAM 1 A dad and his two daughters are on a train to a hospital far away. The eldest daughter is sick with the virus that plagues this time. When they’re on the train, he shows the special ticket he has for her in car 128. They go to their seats but as they walk, the other passengers give them strange stares. Always staring. In car 128 he finds families like his, consumed by the poverty and the sickness. When they arrive to the “hospital”, hospital officers round car 128 up. The father asks a train worker what is going and he just blankly stares and hushes: “run while you can”. The father and his daughters sneak behind the mob and manage to run into the forest. They stumble behind trees from a distance only to discover the people of car 128, naked with stamped numbers on their backs lined up into a building with a sign: “guinea pigs”. It is a horrible facility that uses the adults as slaves and sucks the life out of the children it experiments on. The youngest starts to cry. A woman in hospital officer gear swivels her head towards the forest. She sees, yells and chases.


As they run, the father finds an abandoned brick house along an isolated stream with no roof and with disintegrating walls. They have no choice but to try and hide there as the Others approach. But something wonderful happens! The house, sensing their need for protection, transforms. As they walk into the place, it starts metamorphosing before their eyes. Interestingly no one can see them, the house protects them and makes them invisible. And as the Others walk through the abandoned house and breathe over the hunted family, they sense no life. They leave. The girls, amazed, start commanding furniture and food and everything appears. But then the next day the father walks outside to pick up sticks to make a fire and the woman, still hunting, spots her prey him and runs after him. He hits her and gets enough time to run back inside. He disappears into the walls and she walks into the abandoned house only to walk through furniture and everything as if it didn’t exist... And then I wake up.


DREAM 2 I step into a cathedral. I am with friends I have yet to make. But as one of us walks through the door and trips, we rush in to help him, only to behold an unholy sight: we see corpses everywhere, their skins’ moisture sucked out. We hear a woman who starts cleaning up the mess. We rush to hide behind pillars, statues, anything we can find. We watch horrified as she shoves one of the victims in ice down a huge drain by the altar. The body gets stuck and from the drain you can see a faint glow from the ice. As we watch I sense a drop of water caress my cheek and look up. Over a dozen bodies hang from the cathedral’s chandeliers, dripping, waiting to be sucked down the drain. We stay until the woman finishes. The next day we go back to make sure we were not dreaming to inform the police. But the priest holds mass as if nothing happened. The sun is setting. We’re about to set off, assured, when I spy the woman. She is not alone, heading towards the back entrance of the church that leads to the belltower. We look around and decide to climb to the roofs of the neighboring houses and look out into the cityscape. We almost forget why we went up there in the first place. The sea is in the sky and everything is mirrored from its natural reflections.


But then we hear the bell and spy the woman is directing from above for her people to lock the doors after mass. We wait and watch in expectant horror as she descends and her people go in through the back door. We stumble off the roof and go to a nearby thrift store to dress in cognito. We enter through the back door and see more people dehydrated, their faces hollowed out and their eyes open ready to burst. We try to fight the woman and her people. She catches us all and kills us. An older man from the previous carnage, still seemingly alive, drags his body over to her. He is the mayor of the town. He wants to make a deal with her. To protect the children. She grabs our limp bodies, puts them in a confessional and covers us with her black cloak. The woman reverses back time and slowly we come back to life piled on top of the other. I feel the tips of my fingers moving, I feel the blood rushing through my body, I feel my eyes blink until my mind is awake... And then I wake up.


DREAM 3 I am back in highschool in my old house, in my old street. I always had a sketchy old man as a neighbor and there he is in my dream. He kidnaps me when my weekly carpool drops me off and takes me into his house— laboratory. As I am dragged in terrified, an awful stench dominates the place. He takes me underground where a man’s mutilated body is decaying. I scream and cry. My neighbor straps me to chair and makes me watch him deal with the body, embalming it to bury it. I stop crying and watch. He goes outside in the middle of the night, in the front yard and places my chair at the window so I can keep watching. He buries it in the front yard.


I live with him for three years. I disappeared from the world. He treats me like his ward. He always watches everything I do and expect I do the same of him and his work. He never hurts me. A friend, Tala, arrives crazed knowing that the bodies are outside. She starts digging them out from the yard to use in her artwork. The police find her, they find him, and they find me. My parents are shocked to know the whole time I have been missing I was actually right in front of them. I go visit him in prison and ask him why he never killed me. He answered because I was pure... And then I wake up.


DREAM 4 My dream begins in the Mediterranean. Imagine the steepest hill you could think of...but of moving sand. It prevents outsiders from entering the area. We’re outsiders. But we came all the way from America! I’m not fully conscious of why I was sent here yet. I’m with a team of people I’ve never met before. In order for us to climb the sand wall, someone needed to be sacrificed to calm the sand spirits an old man said. As he speaks this word, a man slashes his neighbor. The sand turns red and calms. We all make it atop of the hill and the scene is excruciatingly beautiful— untouched. I remember my mission. We walk for days until we reach a richly ornate castle. We enter its old library and I cannot help but feel it is all magical. We’re looking for information. All of a sudden I hear a sound and we duck, crawling our way towards the adjacent room. There in the castle, is a court: a king, queen, and men and women all dressed in Renaissance fashion. We are in the past. The American government had been informed of this…in fact the whole world now was getting a taste of this piece of news: that Italy had become usurped by time itself. Our mission was to get to the past, for they possessed something we do not: power, a lost science.


I remember how we got in. A government official familiar with Machiavelli’s past, deep in thought, unearths the past knowledge necessary to get there. He allowed for them to come into the present day Italy...we’re in the assembly room and I see them arrest a girl (a spy for us) and they proceed to have her executed. We all disperse and I find myself running out of the castle. We need to pass through a magnetic field to get back to the present. As I hurry down the castle high up on its sandy dune, I run into tourists taking pictures. The people of that time period—amazed and petrified. I get to the border of the Modern World. They tell me they have kidnapped the King’s cousin from a few miles away. And she looks like me. I replace her. As his cousin, he takes keen interest in me—especially since I grew taller (5’4 for us is average in the modern age but in those days that was the height of a man). I had to cover up the fact that I was not connected to the modern world so they would not suspect I was spy. His right hand man is enchantingly terrifying. And he is a few inches taller than me—tallest man in the room. He must be a spy—but he is not. Alone, he tells me his mother had an affair with a modern day man—he had managed to enter through the magnetic field before people knew of its existence. He helped the king to take old Italy back from modernity. I am to marry him. But we hate each other... And then I wake up.


DREAM 5 Imagine a small French town. Everything is in shades of blues, greys, and blacks. I am there with my high school class, chaperoned by my biology teacher MR. Crockwell. It starts off happily. But then turns sour when one night a psychotic albino, bald, man cloaked in black, followed by a small possessed boy, destroy our field trip. We do not know they exist yet. More and more people are disappearing but we cannot find their bodies. We are left with cryptic messages at every site of the abduction, clues of pending death for the kidnapped. We are now told to leave outside our dorms in pairs and go into the field of poppies outside the town that is protected from dark magic. We’re not even safe inside. Im paired off with Sophia Diaz. We go there every night and pitch our tents. And when the sun rises, we return to a normal life. Only those who did not make it to the poppy field in time went missing. And one day walking in the town where everyone walks and socializes in fear, I see that man followed by the boy walk into the town’s church. I follow inside with Sophia. We make our way quietly to the second floor that overlooks the altar from a barrier of wood. We observe the albino man and his boy approaching the priest. I yearn to know what is going on out of fear and curiosity. I somehow manage to “leave” my body and enter the boy’s mind and body. As the boy, I look down to the book I


am holding. At the albino man’s orders, I open and turn through the pages. There, I see lists and faces of people. I stumble upon a page of the priest. I look panicked at the priest who stares back at me. The albino man pretends not to notice. I’m so scared, I leave the boy’s body and watch from above the pews again. The priest is terrified as the albino man speaks to him. I do not need to listen to know he is begging for his life. Then the man opens his mouth and sucks the life out of the priest until he vanishes. They turn around, ready to exit. We’re about to leave when the child looks my way. He knew I intruded. They disappear. We try to follow them out of the church but they are not there. More and more disappearances occur. People are terrified, even within the safety of the poppy field. People, through dreams, are possessed to leave the poppy field. The man is on the hunt. We are thus possessed with other children. But once I see the man waiting to greet us outside the periphery of the poppy field, I wake up from my daze and drag Sophia back who fell into temptation. I try to save the other children but its too late; they have crossed the line. The albino man and I stare at each other for minutes. I can tell that more than anything he wants me. The next day, in town, I go to the library and investigate. I analyze the


clues he initially left behind in the first abductions. When I read them, I always felt eyes staring and when I would turn around I would catch the little boy just as he hides behind the library stacks. Its as if he wants me to follow him. Although I know it is a trap, I follow. He intrigues me. Sophia arrives just in time before I give myself in. We go to Mr. Crockwell and the police. I attempt to tell them what is going on when I see the albino man watching us from the opposite street. I scream so the police can try and catch him. He is misleading them. I know it inside me. I do not follow his shadow but go into the nearby bookstore. There, I sense him. I know he is here but he has taken the face of someone else. As I scrutinize everyone inside, I detect his cold spirit. With bold courage, I grip his sleeve and pin him against the wall. He is stronger than me but lets me try to intimidate him. I ask him what he’s doing, what he wants. He tries to caress my face. I’m angry now and demand to know where his victims are. He puts his finger to my lips and tells me if I’m good I can have Sophia back. In horror I realize I had not seen her in over two hours. He smirks and suddenly something “clicks” in my head. I understand everything like a movie playing before my eyes. I know, I know. I am lifeless.


The albino man takes my hand softly and drags me towards a wall in the main hall of the Town Council. There, at the center, is a hole in the bricks with an engraving. I put my hand inside and find a note. I look at the man and he looks at me. I open it and it tells me to step through the door. But I do not see a door. I ask him what he means and he laughs. He takes the note and suddenly vanishes. I know the room with the people must be on the other side. I have the town dispatch bulldozers to tear down the walls. We bring it down but there is another wall with a door. The authorities yell to wait for the police before going in. I do not listen and rush through the door. I come upon a dark room with a bridge along its fours walls and below a pool of murky water. With each step I take forward, the pool slowly illuminates in bioluminescence and I see bodies in the water, neither dead or alive. I shriek and howl. At the center, defying gravity, floats a girl. The albino man claps as he glides out of the darkness. He claps just for me. To congratulate me. Mr Crockwell and others finally follow through the door and are shocked to find me staring at the floating girl. The floating girl is me... And then I wake up.


DREAM 6 Its an apocalyptic era. A virus has plagued the earth and when your time is up you metamorphose into a giant zombie clown or over-sized insects. The zombies still maintain the human desire for organized bloodlust. At night the zombie clowns fetch the humans not yet infected for a wonderful game and a delicious feast. My high school friends and I are those victims tonight. They round us up outside a huge college cafeteria. It’s all foggy and black. Its hard to believe only a few months ago it was bright. The clowns’ mouths water. They really want to play with their food. All of a sudden the doors open and we enter. At first nothing. Then we hear the people of the first rows scream. Once inside, my friends and I realize why: heaps of bloody dismembered bodies decorate the floor. They were yesterday’s batch. They didn’t even clean up their game. We huddle in a circle, praying and crying, readying for our fate. An hour into the madness, we hear the first shriek of pain. A little boy is ripped apart and thrown at us. Its begun. The clowns encircle us and attack. I run around and hide. They are so out of control they do not see me run off to the second floor. I sense no one. But then a huge caterpillar surprises me and I yell. I do the only thing I can do: run. I run, run. Until I get the idea to throw myself out of a window... And then I wake up.


DREAM 7 I’m walking along the shore of a beach. It is nearly nightfall. From a distance, I spy a massive gray form up ahead. I skip forward to see what it is. As I move closer and closer to the non-descript mass, I realize its a washed up whale. Beautiful and monumental, she looks straight at me. And then shock consumes me. She speaks to me. Her deep echos tell me to cut her open. I tell her no! She tells me I need to do it before she dies. I need to save what’s inside her. When tears start running down her face, I take the courage and grab a sharp shell on the floor. I place it where she instructs-right at her center. I carve into her flesh with my eyes closed. Her screams make me stop but she yells at me to continue. When the blood is flooding out, I’m thrust backward onto the sand. All red. She tells me to hurry with what strength she has left. I feel so sad. I get up and carefully make my way to her core, leafing through her flabs of flesh. I then see something glow. I dig deeper and feeling a very soft cushion, I bring it out. Its a womb! Its a wimb with an iridescent lining revealing a miracle: twins head to head, breathing inside. I’m holding these small bodies in my hands and looking constantly back to the fleshy remains of its original container.


I notice the whale is departing. I caress her face and whisper asking what should I do for her. Her eyelids suddenly flash open and she tells me to run. Take the twins far away and raise them. The government cannot find or have them. As she speaks her last words, I hear trucks pull up far off the beach. I understand what she says, kiss her goodbye, swaddle the womb in my sweater and place it in my bag. I cradle the bag in my arms making sure the mysterious babies are safe and bolt off into the woods. I run and run forever... And then I wake up.


R.E.M. By Claudine Fernandez  

A collection of dreams, photography, and collages of found images. / Brown University / Department of Visual Arts

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