I had a dream that I was on Mars. I was part of the first human colony there. There were like 20 of us. Sam was there too! We had a pretty big building that we lived and worked in, conducting science and construction projects. There was also an orbiter that took pictures on interesting things on the planet’s surface for us to go look at.

One day, a picture came in that had us all scratching our heads. We couldn’t tell exactly what it was, but with all those right angles and patches of color, it definitely looked man-made. “Is somebody else on Mars?” we asked. But no other country admitted to sending something up there, and that’s something you’d brag about!

So we went and checked it out. It was a goddamn pool table! What the hell was a goddamn pool table doing here on Mars???

We went back to the base and started talking excitedly about it. Sam started looking real sheepish. “I think it’s time you met my mom,” he said. Sam’s mom came from around the corner. She appeared to be claymated. She was spunky.

We tried to accept her presence, but Sam made it clear that questions like “How did you get here?” and “Why are you animated?” were going to be incredibly awkward to ask. We figured she would reveal these things in good time.

We got a whole lot more curious when she exhibited an ability to walk around outside without a spacesuit. For example, to play pool with people. She developed a habit of sleeping in the airlock with the front door open.

Then she started doing weird things. Apparently, she had magic powers to turn things into other things. She would turn useful things into useless things that amused her. She would magically teleport things around.

One day, she turned one of our people into a potted plant. This finally gathered all the people together as an angry mob. They were going to figure out what the hell she was. She was going to answer some goddamn questions, goddamnit.

The crowd armed themselves. I told them that this was a very bad idea. She has a demonstrated ability to magically do anything she wants. I thought it best not to antagonize her. But they didn’t listen.

The crowd confronted her. She didn’t answer their questions. They opened fire. All of them vanished.

Sam and I were left. Sam’s “mom” revealed that she wasn’t really Sam’s mom. She had just been using her powers to make him think that. Instead, she was some sort of magic being (we still didn’t get any specifics), and she goes around and finds new civilizations and destroys them.

“Destroys them? Why?”

It took her awhile to think about why. “For fun,” she shrugged.

“But we don’t want to be destroyed,” I said.

“Yeah, I usually save a few people. Cuz that’s also fun. You can be one of them if you want.”

“I’d certainly like that, but I think I’d like for nobody to get destroyed.”

“Okay, I’ll not destroy your civilization if you can promise me that you’ll never go into space ever again.”

“Well, I can promise that I‘ll never go into space ever again. I can probably convince people not to go into space for a couple of decades. But what happens if we do eventually? People are very hard to control, in that way,” I said.

“Really?” she said. “Never mind, then. I’ll just go ahead and destroy civilization.” She snapped her fingers and I was on some earth-like planet with about 20 people. The only survivors.

We tried to live on, but there were some divisions. Some people were trying to re-create the system of money. I argued that this was a big problem in the past and that it was unwise to try to recreate it. I said that I wasn’t participating in it. There were arguments.

One day, that claymated lady came back to check up on us. I begged her, if she could, to undestroy society. To bring back at least some of the people that had been destroyed. She listened to my pleas and then she said “ohhhhh, all right.” She snapped her fingers and teleported us all somewhere. There were other people there. Another group, about the same size as us. We were surprised to see them, and they were surprised to see us. Each of us thought that we were the only surviving people from the destruction of the Earth.

In fact, it turned out that she had just teleported us all to random places on Earth, in groups of 20, and told us that the Earth was destroyed and that we were the only survivors. She hadn’t actually killed (that many) people.

“What,” she said. “You guys can’t take a joke?”