Art by zgizgi (Tumblr)
It had been ten years in this one, and quite often, Howl forgot who he was within it. On that fateful day, he’d eaten a burrito that he’d found, lying forgotten, looking innocent enough (as far as burritos go). It turned out to be a Dream Burrito, and he’d been asleep ever since. What bothered him most about the whole affair (for it’s the small things that grow to be the largest annoyance) were the constant changes to his wardrobe. Howl had decided that when he woke up (and he did, on more hopeful days, imagine he could someday wake up), he would wear the SAME outfit for the rest of his life—never again would he find himself suddenly in a dress, or in the nude, or (worst of all) in cowboy boots!
A vision came to him now of his body, lying asleep under trees grown thickly together. Many times he’d seen this body of his real life lying there, and always he’d been powerless to help it wake up. Plants were starting to grow up, over, and all around it. A family of quail had built a nest in the crook of its arm. “At least I look peaceful over there,” Howl thought. “Nothing to do but sleep, and digest a magical burrito.”
If he was being honest with himself, he had been asking to fall into a trap like this. As his life continued to grow, and responsibilities mounted, more and more had Howl turned to his sleep for escape, even to the point of trying to replace life with dreams and ever more sleep. Of course, now that he had the enchanted rest he’d been yearning for, he was beginning to find it quite bothersome. Even the simple act of petting a cat held a risk here, where the cat would, often as not, become a burning candle, or a stale cake, or some other useless thing.
“Lord, wouldn’t it be nice to just wake up!” Howl exclaimed. A cloud of pink emotion- bubbles sprung up all around him as he said it.
It was at this point in the dream that a gigantic, beautiful whale could be seen swimming by. To you or me, this fantastic, intelligent, RADIANT beast would be a sight to behold, but Howl had had quite enough of Dream Beasts. He stewed in his private, pouting thoughts until they were interrupted by a great, loud fart from the whale. Distracted, he looked in the direction of the beast, and shouted in surprise: the beast had just pooped out a Dream Burrito!
“You there! Whale!” the dreamer yelled, and swam through air to address it directly. “It was you! You pooped out a Dream Burrito in my park, and I ate it, and I’ve been stuck in this dream for ten years because of you! I command you to help me wake up at once!”
The Dream Whale drifted along for a moment, blinking its great whale-eyes thoughtfully. “Eat this burrito here, and I daresay you will awaken,” it said.
“I’m not falling for that again!” Howl said. “Anyway, I just saw it come out of your butt! No thank you!”
“Suit yourself,” came the whale-voice, “but this one’s got guacamole…” and as the beast said this, it evaporated into a thousand tiny bubbles.
Howl held the fresh Dream Burrito in his hands, and hesitated. After all his pouting, was he actually ready to return to the land of the living?