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  • Writer's pictureMurph

What If Hunter S Thompson Wrote Dune

Fear and Ruling on Arrakis

"Space, the final frontier" - The Narrator We were somewhere on Arrakis right in the middle of the desert when the spice melange began to take hold. I turned to Paul and said "WE CANT WALK HERE, THIS IS WORM COUNTRY..." And suddenly this great tremor shook the ground and you could see a wild beast a million miles long, slithering across the desert tossing its wormy body, throwing the spice into the air. It plunged back into the depths as if it was nothing at all. I inhaled deeply, grabbing hold of the melange in huge breaths like a frenzied madman. Paul looked as though he had seen nothing. He lifted his hand from the sand and let the little bits of Arrakis fall through his fingers. I watched as the wisps of spice floated about, reaching out like a hand towards me.

"Are you dreaming, or is this just me" He said

"Never mind about that, it's damned hot out here and the sun's getting high"

I took the young Paul Atreides by his arm and dragged him back in the direction towards Arrakeen. Paul stumbled over the loose sand barely awake, struck by something awful. I could no longer see his bright blue eyes. Instead, there were arrows pointing me where to go. The arrows smiled, those armless beasts, freaks of the high desert guided me along our path towards what? Destruction, success, total annihilation by the emperor and all his goons, but to what end? Or will it be some unforeseen treachery by the worms, by the spice? Only the dreams will tell.

One step in front of the other was no good. Paul walked as if drunk on the thousand year old cellars of house Atreides. I mimicked the poor fool, if only to keep him from getting self conscious and found within me the natural rhythm of the sand. Or was it my own heart? It was a bad heart, not good for the deep ocean, the cold center of stars, or the violent blazing heat of Arrakis. I was only partially prepared. My doctor, that slimy grease-bag had given us two vials of water, and I made sure to make an offering to my suit before we left. We could last a full month out here at night, but under the high sun, we would be worm fodder within an hour. The problem was, we weren't anywhere close to Arrakeen, and the Fremen were closing in.

I took a swig, finishing the first vial of water. The few drops were heaven, but barely enough to lubricate my parched throat. It hadn't been more than a week ago, I was sitting on the beach, surrounded on all sides but one by crisp cool open ocean. My tab was taken care of, and the rest I so desperately needed was equally paired with copious relaxation and a mainline drip of something the nurses were quite hush hush about. I shut my mouth and enjoyed bright lights sparkling around my shut eyelids. I was in their hands. Succumbing myself entirely ceding control and expecting nothing back. I was in the depths of enjoying one of these treatments when a mermaid swam up and handed me a letter. She kissed me on the cheek, and I woke up an hour later on the breach, apparently cured, dressed, and staring at the unopened envelope.

The Duke, leader of House Atreides wanted me back at work. We were to pack up and leave for Arrakis by the morning. Two star jumps later and I got my first taste of the spice. The terrible spice was endless, and everywhere, yet no matter what I did, how much I found, I wasn't satisfied. I was healthy and strong, faster and better, yet I couldn't get enough. I wanted more. This was nothing compared to the worst of what I could find at home. What I would give in this moment to dive into the tidal pools of my youth, spear a gilly, lay it across my back and let the poison slowly seep in, destroying the better part of a month. The purging and wasting, the awful nightmares and highs as tall as space were familiar, terrible, awful, but at least something I could understand. This spice was a completely different creature altogether. I was used to taking things, but never before was there a drug that took me.

Paul lead us through a cloud, I inhaled letting the spice climb through me and become part of me. I was so hot, but then the spice took hold and and a tremendous shiver sent the cold through me from foot to finger. The sweat pouring from me into my suit was a lie. My body told me I was dying under the high Arrakis sun, but the spice told a different story. I felt each drop wick off me, to be carried, cycled back through the suit to be taken in once more, the endless circle of life. Was I just a drop of water, waiting to be recycled back into the creature of a great beast?The answer came faster than I expected. The ground shook once more. Our steps were too heavy. It was awake. The great beast rose form the sand. Paul turned to me, the fear exploding on his face. The poor fool, I was hoping it was just my eyes. If he too had seen the worm, that means they were actually there. I'd like to say that it never got too weird for me, but staring down the gullet of the great beast, I genuinely considered amending my statement.


This was inspired by B-52, who took some of our conversation during the Tarzan episode and came up with more or less the line below.

"We were somewhere on Arrakis right in the middle of the desert when the spice melange began to take hold. I turned to Paul and said "WE CANT WALK HERE, THIS IS WORM COUNTRY...""

I found it inspiring and decided to keep going. I hope you enjoyed.

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