There was only one good thing to ever come from The Sister's obsession with MTV in the early-to-mid nineties: a segment on a TV show where a man talked about learning how to control his dreams to not have to put up with the nightmares. Reality TV Douche was explaining how he would have nightmares about his mother giving him hell, that he learned to ignore and even outright alter them. The possibility was beyond exciting. Until this point, the Boy had not even considered the possibility of finding an effective weapon, but it turned out he'd had one all along. The Boy quickly started reading books and formulating a plan: it was time to take back the night. he concentrated, memorizing the simple fact that he could control a dream if he worked at it. The Rocking Chair was trapped on the first floor, not able to effectively campaign. If he could challenge whatever it was that went into his room in a world of dreams, he had a fighting chance. He memorized the concept of controlling a dream down to the depths of his mind, repeating it again and again. If he wound up in a dream, he would not run. He would fight and he would win, because these were HIS dreams, and he was in control now.
That night, The Boy girded his loins. He did not actually know what that term meant, but he knew it was used to describe getting ready for a fight. Later research when he was older determined that girding your loins was in fact the term for strapping your dagger and belt at your side in Biblical times, which came to be a generic term for "get ready to rumble." The Boy took a moment to hug each member of the Stuffed Animal Armed Volunteers. This was the big one. What they'd all been working toward. They would watch the home front, for the Boy was going off to war.
He laid down in the top bunk, grinning. It was dream time.
Time passed, and the world faded. A new one opened up before him. It was the dark alleyway, the same one he had seen the contraption the Beast lived in. He could make out the brick-work of the walls around him more closely. These were some old fashioned buildings on a rainy night in Philadelphia. He did not know he was dreaming at this point, what he did know was that the Beast was here. The weight of the thing pressed down on him, and he fled into a side door he had not seen before, climbing up the nearby stair well as fast as he could.
He heard the beast stampeding up the stairs behind him. This was bad. He was monster-bait again.
Wait. There was something he needed to remember.
Dreams. It was about dreams. Dreams could change. You could change dreams. THIS WAS HIS DREAM.
The Boy, being a boy in this specific period of time, had watched all kind of TV shows from the era. He had watched his Fox Kids every Saturday Morning for a long time. His exact response was to shout: "WE ARE VEE-ARE!" And summon a suit of robotic armor around his body.
An aside: I'm turning red with embarrassment on reading this. Yes, The Boy watched the Power Rangers' series, as well as VR Troopers and Beetle Borgs. EVERYONE did back then. The Boy was so very...unsophisticated. And silly. Which isn't to say I'm NOT silly, oh I'm extremely silly, but I'm SOPHISTICATED in my silliness.
In any case, the boy spun around to face The Beast. Wait. This was not The Beast. This was a beast, yes, a brown monstrosity much like a dinosaur rumbling up the stairwell after him. It looked something like this. The boy reached down at his side, drawing an old Nerf Firearm. The fact that it was Nerf did not worry him, as The Boy knew full well that IT WAS NERF OR NOTHING.
Further Aside: STILL embarrassed at my younger self. In any case, Nerf has grown grander and more intricate over the years, using such improvements as Clips and Automatic fire. These were dreams above and beyond what I would find in my Childhood. The exact Nerf weapon he was using was of the old school. Using it required the manual feed of darts on the tip between each shot, with a small rack on the side to place Darts between shots. It was not the most efficient monster killing weapon ever designed.
After the first shot however, the dino-monster started backing away, breathing a wall of fire at The Boy in response. The Boy, to his credit, did not depend solely on his armor in his defense, dropping to the floor and using the angle of the higher stairwell he was on as a defense to block the flame. He crawled forward, loading another dart, and fired at the creature. The shot struck true, and the monster roared in fury, retreating backwards down the steps.
The Boy turned away from the beast, spotting a pair of double-doors. He kicked them open, fully confident in his Robot Strength to do the job. The door shattered open, and he started running down what looked like a hospital corridor. He took stock of the situation as he ran. He had no idea where he was going. He did not know what his objective was anymore. Where was The Beast?
He found a T- intersection. How did those secret agents on TV get past this sort of position? To heck with it! He was an awesome Robot guy! He rounded the corner right into the fire-breathing dinosaur, taking a blast of flame straight on. How did the dinosaur get all the way up here so fast??? The Boy decided that Dreams must not follow the normal rules of logic at about that point. The Boy was unharmed by the blast, but he staggered backward. He tried to load another dart, only to find the dart-rack empty. He started pumping the Nerf Pistol rapidly, somehow assuming that the air it would fire might do the trick.. The monster moved forward, and breathed fire again.
The boy blinked, waking up in the normal position on the top bunk in his room. He didn't feel half bad. This was a learning experience. He didn't win, but he sure as hell didn't lose. The Summer Campaign had begun.