Valueford College

I was with my mother and father. My mother wanted to visit a college in the mountains known as Valueford College. She did not say much about it but I was opposed to going there. I believed it was not a real college. The campus was situated on a hillside in a forest with a stream that ran along the road. On our way we stopped to examine the carved wooden owl artifact and held it. My mother said this was the only one in existence. I disagreed. It was one of 8 in existence. Another man confirmed this to be true.

We went inside the auditorium with the other parents. The auditorium was painted a light green color and full to capacity. The speaker began to talk about the college from a podium on the stage. Above us, he said, were the children with tubes. There were thousands of them, he said. I looked up. There was a balcony but I saw or heard no children. The speaker told us the history of Valueford. Suddenly a piercing noise sounded and then many other high-pitched squealing noises and all along the balcony the children with tubes appeared. The children had colored plastic masks over their mouths with tubes running from the masks into their noses and ears. They made a muffled squealing noise as they shouted down on us and shook their fingers. I could feel the spittle of these children hitting me. I did not wish to offend them so I sat, but then after awhile, when I saw others getting up to exit the auditorium, I excused myself.

I walked into a meeting. There were a number of people sitting around a rectangular table listening to a man pointing at a chart and making a presentation. The room was small and I tried to slide along the wall behind where they were sitting. I was trying to get to the door on the other end of the room. My navy blue sport coat caught on something on the wall. I was stuck. I stood there watching the presentation and kept trying to secretly pull my sport coat from the wall. The Middle Eastern man sitting in front of me realized something was wrong. The meeting stopped and he stood and helped me out of my sport coat. It was a tack holding my sport coat to the wall and he freed my sport coat. I thanked him and apologized for interrupting the presentation.

Later we were in the foyer outside the auditorium. My mother sat to my left and my father to her left. A skinny young boy sat next to me. He was shirtless and his face was very thin. I imagined he was a child with tubes but the tubes had been removed. He turned and started to mumble to me. He made fists of his hands. The only word I understood was “guerrero”. He was a warrior. He punched my thigh but not too hard. Then he punched the couch between my legs. I pulled up my sleeve and showed him my bicep. I was a guerrero too. I wanted to deter him from doing any more punching. He was making the high pitched squeaking sound of the children with tubes.

Then my alarm went off and I woke up.

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