Dawson Filter as He Relates to Lamp Posts

Twelve-Anne took a deep breath. The air tasted slightly different than the last breath she’d taken; less nitrogen-y, somehow. When she stopped to think about it, she couldn’t detect a terrible amount argon, carbon dioxide, neon, methane, helium, krypton, or xenon, either. The breath seemed to contain primarily hydrogen and oxygen. Peroxide? No, her lung infection didn’t seem to be improving at all. Ah, yes; water! This idea was supported by that her previous breath was taken in a space shuttle approaching the Atlantic Ocean.

She felt a tug at her wrist, which was promptly followed by the saving of her life as she was pulled up onto one of the larger pieces of the wreckage.

“Oh, hello Dawson Filter,” she said, brushing an ocean off of her blouse, “you have just saved my life.”

“That is accurate.” Dawson noted. He tossed a paddle-lengthed strip of metal in her hand’s direction. “We’re in the Gulf Stream now, so we’ll need to paddle like highly motivated ants to avoid Europe. Fortunately, however, I phrased the clause including work (namely the one about paddling) in the future tense; so we should have plenty of time before we need to start doing things.”

Out from his pocket Dawson pulled an object, with which he did a thing with for a length of time. (And no, Joanna, this story is not addressed to you, so our contest to see who can go the longest without saying the word “time” stands to one another stands. And even though the previous sentence had your name at the beginning, it doesn’t count either, because it is in brackets.) Twelve-Anne moved her eyepatch over her good eye so that she could rest undisturbed by the shiny pest we all call grit our teeth and call “the Sun”, and the Quest Committee’s raft drifted Northeast, carrying with it your emotional investments.

.  .  .

A man was named Hank, just like he was every afternoon; but on this particular day, he was flying a helicopter. It was sort of a job he had. He would fly defective lamp posts from Great Britain to the United Stated in a helicopter to deliver them to an Ohio exhibition dedicated to demonstrating that all British technology is defective, and America ought not trust the island on any matters ever until the end of time. The helicopter would generally run out of fuel and crash; and the exhibition would note that the helicopters were British-made. The reports Hank filed said the helicopters crashed, at least.

Hank looked through his window to see two human-shaped people sailing on a subpar raft. He took a sip from his glass of earthenware, and prepared to land on not-land.

Dawson looked upward, and, seeing that there was a helicopter in the direction he was looking, continued looking upward until he was able to look forward and still keep the machine in his line of sight. He nudged Twelve-Anne awake, and they agreed to accept Hank’s offer of “Get in the helicopter or see Europe; and I’ve gotten, like, thirty pamphlets from my boss in here why you should pick the former.”

“Where shall you take us?” Twelve-Anne asked, “Additionally, who are you? And hello.”

“Hi; I’m Hank; and I’ll probably wind up taking you wherever you like. Or better.”

“Manhattan would be peachy, if it wouldn’t be too troubling.”

“That sounds like a wonderful place to start over again.” Hank took hold of the copter’s controls, and did the sorts of things that make helicopters go to Manhattan. After an hour and four minutes of flight, the machine landed on a platform; and as the craft landed, so too landed the line representing the level of the opposite of the Quest Committee’s spirits on the y-axis when such levels were graphed.

This is to say that the Quest Committee’s spirits were high.


Dawson Filter as He Relates to Real Screwdrivers

Looking out of a window while simultaneously standing, Dawson Filter sighed. It was the first sigh in the rest of his life, he knew; but he also knew, as a side effect of looking out of the window, that he was on the moon. This is why he sighed.

“We are on the moon.” He told Twelve-Anne.

“I know, I saw the window.”

Dawson continued standing. He decided to think; and before he knew it, he was talking.

“Thing: We still need to save Sylvester’s life.”

“That works out nicely, given that I just created a twelve step plan for how to do so via my mind.” Twelve-Anne offered.

“That sounds like the sort of twelve step plan I would like to hear.” Dawson affirmed, words and all.

“Step 1:” She began, “Build a space shuttle out of scrap metal and love. Step 2: Fly said shuttle to Earth. To avoid death during this step, stay safe. Step 3: Sail from Point A to Manhattan. Step 4: Use foot to go to 79th Street. Step 5: Ensure that you are positioned outside of the only shack on the street besides Simôn’s Aromatherapy. Step 6: Take a brief moment to celebrate that you have reached the halfway point in your quest. Step 7: Open a door. Step 8: Enter the shack through the doorway, which you should have just rid of all doors. Step 9. Find Sylvester Denny strapped to a chair in a darkened room. Step 10: Remove Sylvester from chair. Step 11: Remove any desire to stay with chair from Sylvester’s heart. Step 12: Sail out of Manhattan, Sylvester Denny in hand.”

Dawson nodded and built a space shuttle.

“That’s all well and good, but the rocket would be marginally more useful outside.” Twelve-Anne pointed outwardly, “And it’s too dazzlingly large and sturdily built to fit through the door.”

“Well, if we can’t bring the rocket outside, I suppose we’ll simply have to bring outside to the rocket.”

“That sounds to be a real problem, what with the roof and everything.”

“And real problems require real screwdrivers.” Dawson said, tossing aside a jar of oatmeal.

Dawson Filter began to point around the room, and Twelve-Anne followed his finger’s ray with her vision’s field. He pointed first to the screws holding the ceiling in place; then to a table. On top of this table rested a line of screwdrivers, each glistening in the moonlight (Assuming that any light originating from, and not just reflecting off of, the moon counts as moonlight. This particular moonlight was generated by the lamps lining the walls of the room.) He ran his finger parallel to the line, muttering:

“So which is the real screwdriver?”

“Didn’t this room used to be empty, save for three cabinets, four lamps, air, a doormat reading “Alive”, and a rug?” Twelve-Anne asked anyone.

Dawson blew across the table. He cast a handful of dust onto the drivers; but it landed the same on all of them. The false screwdrivers seemed to nearly perfect replicas. He took one in his hand. It felt real; but of course it would. He set it down. He did this for several more; when Twelve-Anne suggested that they just try each one until one proved to be a real screwdriver, and the roof fell. This was the case for the first.

The drywall collapsed on a “Huzzah!” saying Dawon Filter, who took Twelve-Anne by the wrist, and ran into the shuttle. She pushed the only button he had bothered to put in, and the craft took off on a pillar of fun. The duo discussed their plans for the future, their mutual fear of dying alone, and other such nonsense.

They only had eleven steps left now, they knew; eleven giant leaps for mankind. Please forgive me for the previous sentence.

Dawson Filter as He Relates to Rugs

After turning around to face the time machine with which he intended to save his friend from the 2016 Manhattan explosion, Dawson Filter turned back around to ask the time machine inventor whom he happened to end up facing a question.

“Felix! Side thing: Why can the machine only go to one preset place for each year?”

“Time is hard. Stuff is relative and bad. I only had time to work out six hundred and twelve time ‘n’ space coordinates that work before my mind got bored.”

“Oh.” Dawson hopped onto the machine; and was joined by Twelve-Anne Stradivari and Babe Listowel, who were also on the quest. “So, 2015 or some such?”

“At the end of this sentence, I say yes!” Babe Listowel replied; turning a dial to 2015.

The trio’s surroundings became different, changed, if you will. The surroundings were, in order of weight, walls, a floor, a ceiling (interchangeable in order with the floor), three cabinets, four lamps, air, a doormat reading “Alive”, and a rug.

Babe Listowel ran, proximal phalanges in hand, off of the machine; until he was off of the machine, when he ran on top of the floor. He then stepped onto the rug, and fell; leaving a four inch deep rugburn in his skull.

“Ack! Pain!” Cried the aforementioned human.

“Oh, Babe, are you alright?” Twelve-Anne asked, “And can we give you a nickname? Babe is rather terrible, and I don’t want to make you suffer.”

“Thanks. You can call me the Autumn Tradesman. And no, I am not alright. my vision is fading to black, and my forehead feels like death.”

“Autumn Tradesman! We’ve to put pressure on the wound!” Dawson Filter suggested, “Such blood!”

“No! It’s my head, it’ll collapse if pressure is applied!”~The Autumn Tradesman

“Then what can we do?” Twelve Anne asked.

“Get me out of here! I can’t die here! Four lamps is too many for any room, and there isn’t enough else here to justify all of these cabinets!”

The Autumn Tradesman clasped his hand to his head, staggering away, moaning in agony, doing everything else that he happened to be doing at that moment in agony, and pulling from his pocket the Illuminati for the Blind’s Guide to Being. He opened the door, revealing that they were stationed on Earth’s moon. He dropped the book, and waved.

“You can’t not stay with us for one last hurrah in your final moments, Tradesman!” Twelve-Anne said through sobs.

Babe pointed at the guide. “Doubling the negative does NOT double the fun, Twelve.” He turned away.

Twelve-Anne directed her words at me and screamed:

“Stop it! You don’t have to let him live, but author, whoever you are, stop writing my life as a joke! No one will even get the double the negative, double the fun reference! Why can’t you just let us have one meaningful conversation while we’re here? This is not about you, and it isn’t about your audience, who I have a hard time believing really exist. This is about us down here who have to live between the lines. Don’t make those my friend’s last words. He’s fantastic, and if you’re going to kill him off, don’t write him to leave this room. Let him die at our sides as our tears wash away his blood, and let the sun set just as he takes his final breath so that we can cry over his body through the night.”

I sighed. Babe Listowel turned away again. He took a step, winced, and as he strode across the doormat, his four shadows fell across the word “Alive”.

Dawson Filter as He Relates to Whiteboards

Dawson Filter and the Felix Sports had been staring into each other’s respective eyes for four minutes when this sentence takes place. Dawson had posed a question, but the time engineer neglected to hear him; and so they stood in silence, save for the faint hum of a nearby milkman, a breeze, and an assortment of other variables I can’t be expected to account for.

“Shall we do introductions, then?” Felix suggested, feeling that introductions should be done.

“Yes.” Dawson affirmed, “I’m Dawson Filter, and these are my quest mates, who also have names.” He motioned to his left and right to bring attention to the people there.

“I am Babe Listowel, rocker and 1782 incarnate. I enjoy croquet and long walks on the beach.” Said the being on Dawson’s left.

“And I am Twelve-Anne Stradivari.” Said an honest person.

Felix looked away from the others to be able to look more fantastic when he turned his head to face them directly and say: “I am Felix Sports.” He found that it was nearly impossible for a man with his number of heads to face over one (or fewer than zero) people directly, but the effect was impressive for at least Dawon. Not even effects can last, however, and before long, other things were happening.

“The reason we came here, Mr. Sports,” Twelve Anne’s sentence started with, “is that there is one in our group, named Sylvester Denny, who is in the Texan district of Manhattan in 2016, thirteen minutes before the city explodes. As you built the time machine in which we gallivant, (which I strongly suggest to my quest mates we stop calling ‘The Tumour‘, for reasons of class) we were wondering if you could please tell us the rules of time travel; like is it possible to stop the city from exploding when we apparently didn’t.”

“Ah, yes,” Felix said, in the way great men tend to, “now that is a concern worth having. Yes, you can change things as you like. Physics aren’t nearly as persnickety as they’re often portrayed in fiction. Time doesn’t move just two ways, history as a unit progresses just as easily as you progress through history. For every second that passses from your perspective, a ‘second’ also passes in time’s other plane, provided it has just two.” Felix pulled a whiteboard from his pocket, and began to draw for the Quest Committee.


“When you travel through time, you only change your position on the axis we’re all aware of, staying in the same spot on the special one, so you enter a new history. Were you to kill your father in the past, you wouldn’t cease to exist, because you didn’t come from that history. You wouldn’t be born in that history, so there would be no one to kill your father in the history below it; and you would be born in every second timeline. Your friend already blew up, we know that for certain, but you can save half of his iterations.”

“You have very neat writing.” Twelve-Anne commented.

“Do you know the True Meaning of Feelings?” Dawson asked Felix, hoping to complete his primary quest before the one in which he saves his best friend’s life.”

“Oh! Are you members of the Quest Committee too, then?” ~Felix Sports

“Well, yes, we are are its founders. We weren’t aware that other members existed.” The Committee said in unison.

“We do. Fairly large counter-culture, actually.”

Dawson, Twelve-Anne, and Babe Listowel decided to think upon Felix’s sentence. Some time, at least. They put it on their agenda. But first, they had a Sylvester Denny to save.