Dreams By: Kelly Johnson © 2003

(Part 2)

The Hulk rushed down the shifting dunes that David Banner had constructed in his imagination. He always fought the man who held him captive in this desolate place, but now David was weak. The Hulk knew he was in pain, fearful and angry. David was very, very angry.

The Hulk pushed the limits of both beings' imaginations as he flew over the sand with a speed rivaling his own. He grimaced as he approached the image of Banner on his knees, with his hands over his head, moaning in pain. This human was especially weak, but had somehow managed to keep him caged in this hellhole.

David whimpered as the Hulk grabbed his shirt collar and pushed him over onto his back.

"No! You're not taking control of me any more! I won't let you!" The scrawny man lunged forward and started to beat his tiny fists against the creature's chest. The Hulk grabbed David's hands and put him on his knees.

The creature roared in David's face triumphantly as the sand-scape started to fade away.

*******************

The Hulk awoke from his sleep and shed the pathetic skins of David Banner. He let out a growl that sent the group who had jumped Banner running for their lives. The Hulk went after the fleeing weaklings, to show Banner how it was really done. He followed them out onto the deserted streets of the sleepy town. One of them was too slow and he was caught by the scruff of his neck. The man yelled as the Hulk lifted him off of the ground and threw him into a shop window. The others had turned to gawk at the sight, but went tearing off in separate directions when the security alarm began to blare.

The Hulk covered his ears, grunting in protest and walked away from the offending sound. He eventually found a quiet alley and once again, he realized how much energy it took to sustain his fury. The Hulk fought the drowsiness that threatened him as Banner's mind began to resurface.

He growled as the lack of energy sapped his ability to mentally pound Banner into submission. His eyes rolled back in his head as the weakness of the human condition washed over him, and returned his power to the confines of David Banner's psyche.

(Part 3)

David woke up in bed and sat up abruptly, sweating and shaking. He swallowed the lump in his throat as a tear ran down his face. He closed his eyes and waited for the mind of the creature to surface. His body quaked with the memories his subconscious had dredged up, and then it stopped. David sucked in a lungful of stagnant air and gasped as the creature chose to remain dormant until it could be free from David's control.

Even without the change, David felt drained from his struggle to stop the nightmare and wake up before the transformation into the Hulk occurred. He pulled the comforter over his head and grumbled in protest to his sleep being interrupted. He turned over in bed and waited for his alarm to go off.

****************

After an eternity of waiting, the alarm finally started to buzz as he stared at the number display with glazed eyes. He had been having far too many dreams and sleepless nights lately, and was beginning to think it was time to move on and look for the cure again.

David sluggishly got ready for his day of mindless janitorial duties at a local law firm and caught the early bus to work.

He arrived almost 20 minutes early, and Greg, the nightshift, was more than happy to let David take over. They exchanged silent "hellos" and went on their separate ways.

David put on his best face as the lawyers and executives walked over the newly polished floor. He and Greg had spent countless hours trying to keep the mirror shine on the floor, but it only took the about an hour of traffic to leave scuffs and dirt galore.

David pulled out the cleaning machine and began his pointless task of staring at the tiles as he polished. He knew that after lunch, the floor would look the same; but it was only a temporary job, thank God.

After he had finished the floor, he went into a closet and pulled out a large cart filled with solvents and paper products. He made the rounds to the restrooms in about an hour and went back to his small office to relax until he was needed again.

While he was sitting, he called his manager and discussed his leaving. He was given until 5PM to send in his forms, and filled them out while he waited for the afternoon rush.

It took him little time or effort to fill out the simple form. He sent it up to the executives before 11AM and went back to his office. He made himself comfortable and soon found himself dozing off into a light sleep.

*****************

David's lashes fluttered as Laura's face floated in front of his eyes. She smiled softly, as he watched it turn green and primitive, into the face of a snarling Hulk.

A green hand blocked the face as it came at David. He turned to run away, but the Hulk grabbed him and held David inches from his its face. All David could make out was a giant, green, growling blur. There was a sharp pain in his spine as the Hulk crushed David's neck in his grip. David cried out in pain, and opened his eyes.

He fell out of his chair and dragged himself towards the bathroom as he felt his body bulge with intensity. He watched his hands grow as he pulled his paralyzed body to the little door. The room was becoming darker as his clothes shrank and tore, and his skin turned different shades of green. The mid-change being shook from the fierce internal struggle that raged inside. David groaned loudly as the Hulk overloaded his mind with rage. His body lost the battle as it dragged its powerful muscles along the worn carpet, but David's mind fought with all of the power it could muster against the strong primal instincts invading it.

Inevitably, David's mind collapsed in exhaustion as the world and his existence dissolved into the dunes of his imagination's recesses.

(Part 4)

David was trying to re-create Caroline's hypnotherapy sessions, when he saw the Hulk appear on a dune on the horizon.

"Let him get closer now." David heard Caroline's voice as well as his own.

The Hulk heard them both as well. It was his signal to appear, and he ran along the dunes to meet the man that was challenging him.

"No! Don't come any closer!" Banner put up his hands and tried to ward off the Hulk. Having nothing else in his arsenal except losing control, Banner tried something else. "David! Stop!"

The Hulk stopped dead in his tracks. Banner lowered one of his hands, and stood a green arm length away from the creature.

"That's it. Stay there." He ran over to a crane, just like the one he had imagined with Caroline. He pulled a red lever, and another safe dropped over the Hulk, imprisoning him.

The Hulk knew how to play this game, he had an imagination as strong as Banner. The Hulk took his time, and ran his palms gently against the cold steel, and found a spot that pleased him. He then began to pound on the steel with unparalleled strength.

Outside, David watched as the Hulk began to pound out dents in the walls of the safe. David concentrated with all of his might, trying to find a way to reinforce the failing walls. He thought about what Caroline might have done, and looked solidly at the steel box.

The Hulk continued to thrash around the safe when he felt the walls stiffen and grow stronger. David's thoughts of Caroline permeated the prison and the Hulk began to slow his efforts. The recollection drifted to Laura and the thoughts of her last happy moments with Banner. The Hulk sat down pensively, and began to relax. He became tired and non-combative, pausing in his struggle to free himself. Suddenly, the image of Caroline in his arms and Laura in the car flooded his senses and his anger was rekindled. He stood up and pounded even more fiercely on the walls, breaking them down in moments.

David stepped back as the Hulk roared and came in his direction. He had managed to hold the Hulk longer than he ever had, but the result was overwhelming anger and hate washing through his body. The creature came at David and pushed him to the ground. The Hulk put his foot on David's throat and threatened to kill him. David tried to pull himself out of the hypnosis, but realized that as much as he had learned from Caroline, he still couldn't control the hypnosis enough to recover from the imaginary world he was in.

"No! Please, don't!" The Hulk growled and put a little pressure on David's throat, choking him. "David! Stop it!"

The Hulk backed off and let David off the ground. David began to concentrate on the real world around him, counting as Caroline's voice accompanied him. Just before he reached the count of two, the Hulk lunged at David, breaking his concentration and the trance.

******************

David woke up with the transformation half-finished. He closed his eyes and tried to reenter the hypnosis, but found that the growing consciousness of the Hulk was standing in his way. He heard it bellowing in his mind and feared the exposure of the Hulk, having only been in town for one day.

"Okay, David. Just relax, calm down a little." He smirked as he talked to himself, but realized that the transformation slowed down slightly. He lost the concentration as the laughter began to dilute his focus. The Hulk rose up and took over David's body, as his eyes grew wide with fear. The Hulk stood up out of bed, tossing the shredded nightshirt across the room. He snarled and smashed out of the motel window and ran off into the night, determined to show Banner that he was the stronger being.