I watched the bear wander aimlessly through the woods. It found interesting morsels to eat among the bushes, and it became fat. It came to boxes of food that obviously belonged to someone else during its scrounging, and it sat down and engorged itself. I thought it unfair for it to eat someone else’s food. Whoever owned that food depended on it. That’s why they stored it. They could starve without it. But I didn’t say anything or try to scare the bear away.
Grandma Roux and Granpatta David stood between the animal and me. They were long dead, but there they were before me, still alive. I guess we were wrong. I was glad we were wrong.
The bear became fatter and more massive, and it turned towards me. Suddenly, it bolted towards me, covering the space between us with a gallop.
My grandparents didn’t seem to realize the bear raced towards them, towards us. They did not move. I watched in horror as the bear ran past my grandparents, towards me. Alongside the bear on both sides were tornados. There were dozens of them, and they slowly crawled across the landscape and destroyed everything in their path.
I ran through the woods to flee. I ran, and the beast followed me, sometimes closer, sometimes further back. It kept pursuing me.
I reached a ruined building and hid in the basement. The bear stalked me and found me. I saw the bear, and it had a man’s face and blue eyes. It grabbed my leg by its teeth and pulled me out of the corner.
Beau ran up and scared away the bear. I lept to my feet and ran. And ran. I ran until my legs became encumbered by vines, and I became stuck.
“Help it grow,” a loud voice rang out from everywhere. I stopped trying to run.
Beatan Dream Journal, Dream 23
I asked Xavi, “Imagine you are in the woods. You see a bear. What do you do?”
“I’d ride him,” Xavi said.
“What? Come on!”
“He’s imaginary,” Xavi said. “So, he’s fuzzy and pink and has a saddle. This bear tells jokes. You know? We have a good time together and become best friends. He tells me about this wonderful lady bear he knows, and he invites me to his bear wedding. Then….”
“No,” I interrupted her. “No. A bear. Like on Earth. So now, a bear that would live in the woods.”
“In that case, avoid it. I’ll get out of its way by sauntering off and leaving it to itself. Bears don’t worry much about people. Leave them alone. They leave us alone. Or so I read.”
“What if it were a grizzly bear.? They eat people. They chase after them. At least, they did on Earth. What if a bear came after you?”
“I would fly into the air high enough for it not to get me,” Xavi said.
“What?” I said. “You can’t fly.”
“I’d step into the building that I stood next to and lock the bear-proof door.”
“You’re not next to a building with a bear-proof door.”
“Then I get into a truck,” Xavi said. “And I drive away faster than it can run.”
“I’ll pick up the bear gun and shoot it if it didn’t stop.”
“No gun,” I told her.
“My flamethrower, then.”
“I make myself look as big as I can and stand my ground.”
“What if he kept coming?” I asked.
“I stab it in the eyes with my knife.”
“No knife,” I told her.
“I guess it is my day…,” Xavi said. “I will be eaten by a bear. Truth? I did my best. It’s my time…, I will…, I have a purpose in life, and that purpose is to nourish an imaginary bear. Why the query?”
“I had a swamp dream,” I replied. “More than once. It had a bear.”
“Papa Bear, Mama Bear, and Baby Bear? And they became grizzlies?”
“No,” I said. “Those damn Beatans. They keep giving the same dream. About a bear. And it…, the bear, not the Beatans…, chases me. I can’t coerce meaning out from it.”
“Papa Bear, Mama Bear, Baby Bear became feral?”
“No,” I said. “One bear. Not three.”
“The bear has a man’s face. And there are tornadoes. Houses are blown apart everywhere. I hide in the cellar, away from it. Beau comes and saves me.”
It’s good that Beau saved you,” Xavi said. “Next time you see Beau in your dreams, tell him to send me a letter. I’ll be mad if he doesn’t.”
“And I run away until a voice tells me to grow something. I don’t know what.”
“What happened to Papa, Mama, and Baby?” Xavi asked.
“One bear,” I said. “What should I grow? What do the Beatans mean?”
“That…, not to clash with your vision of doom…, but that sounds… hopeful,” Xavi said. “In the end. It started terrifying, but all’s well once it finished.”
“What? What do I do? How do I grow a thing if I do not even know what it is?”
“Work hard,” Xavi told me. “Eat slowly and enjoy every meal. Hold tightly the person… everyone you love. Avoid bears. When you can’t outrun a bear…, look for a flamethrower. And if you’re the entré for a bear, do it with courage.”