Why Did You Just Kill Me?

I am relaxing on a soft, off-white, leather couch. There is someone sitting on either side of me. My legs are stretched out in front of my body, and my head is resting comfortably on the back of the plush couch. I am laughing and talking with my present company as I watch the people around me.

This appears to be a party at someone’s house. There are a lot of people everywhere, standing in front of me, drinks in hand, throwing their heads back as they have joyous conversation.  

There is an attractive man directly in my gaze. My eyes zero in on him. He is wearing a baby blue, thin, cotton shirt, lazily untucked over washed out jeans. It is rolled at the cuffs up to his forearms and slightly unbuttoned at the chest. He reminds me of the ocean. He has a brilliant smile. His eyes even seem to gleam. I can’t break my gaze from his beautiful face. He is mesmerizing. He notices me looking at him and flashes a smile my way. I return it, and our eyes connect in a depth which makes the room temporarily fade away.

I turn my attention onto the person to my right. I cannot see anything about their body. They are a filmy grayish/silver figure, a mirage, not seen, but more felt by me. Their presence is there. I do not know our conversation’s topic. I know I feel happy inside of a rare moment of physical comfort in the midst of strangers.

Suddenly the man in the blue shirt walks swiftly towards me. He has a gun in his hand. He moves faster than I can blink. The gun is pressed against the bottom of my rib cage, and he is pulling the trigger over and over. As bullets enter my abdomen, my body bucks upwards. We have locked eyes, and he has the same sideways grin on his face. Except he isn’t beautiful to me anymore. He is sinister and cold, uncaring and damaging. Now I see pleasure in his eyes, pleasure which represents his love of hurting other people.

I feel disappointment in him. Why would he do such a disgusting and horrible thing? I had felt that he was one of the good ones.

“Why did you just kill me?” I ask him, but before I can hear his answer the dream fades to black.

I awaken with tears sliding down my cheeks. The clock tells me it’s shortly after three. My heart feels sad as I drift back to sleep. Yet, when I woke back up this morning, my spirit was filled with anger at how disappointing humans can all to frequently be.

Ants At the Symphony 

I am back in my high school town. Although there are no beaches in Martin, TN, I am perched, legs crossed, in front of one. This small beach boasts crystal clear, soft blue water rolling in with a slow, tender tide. I am sitting in an ancient stone colosseum. It is as if it was lifted from a fallen city and placed where it grandly sits now.

I am wearing an elegant black dress, shoulderless and simple. I glance down at my toes, perfectly painted deep blue and tucked inside of toeless, black heels. My hair is coifed and sprayed perfectly in place. I am grandly dressed for the symphony.

I am perched alone on one of the stone benches, closest to the stage which has been set up with the beautiful beach as scenery behind it. On stage is a large orchestra filled primarily with strings.

The music surrounds me. I close my eyes, feeling the soft embrace of the cello and the haunting tears of the violin strings.

Suddenly my right forearm begins to itch. I look down and see a red bump close to my wrist. It looks like I have been bitten by a mosquito. I scratch the bump, and when I do, the skin lifts and ants come scattering out of the hole in droves, covering my wrist and hand.

I panic.

I wake up.

It’s coming out.

The Open Mouth Contraption

I am watching myself in third perspective. I am feeling myself in first perspective. I am doing both of these things at the same time as I sleep lucidly dreaming.

I am prone on a metal table. My head is secured with something, maybe a strap. I can’t quite make it out. There is a metal contraption holding my mouth open. It has been open for hours, maybe days. My lips are three times their normal size. They are cracked and dry. My throat is screaming for water. I fade out.

Now I am wandering through a market. There are vendors everywhere selling fruits, vegetables and various wares. The market is packed with people. I feel conspicuous and paranoid that I will be recognized. By whom I do not know.

My hair is grossly disheveled. I can sense that I am confused as to my whereabouts. I cannot make out the ethnic or planetary  race of the people manning the market stands. They are shadowy and fading in and out. I don’t know if they are human or if I am in another country on earth. I feel taller than them.

I am unsure what planet I am on. My lips are so dry they are vastly blistered. I focus my view in on my mouth in order to assess the damage. They are horribly cracked, dry and swollen. I am cupping my hand over my mouth to shield them, not from embarrassment, but from being recognized. I feel that the condition of my lips will give away that I have escaped. From what I do not know.

Who have I run from? Who am I hiding from? What am I looking for in this market? Something to moisten my mouth and throat.

I wake up at three a.m. desperate with thirst. I stumble down the stairs and fill up a glass of water that I gulp and re-fill to gulp again. Cake. I am craving sugar. I shove pieces of it into into my mouth to curb the sudden craving. My lips are actually extremely dry. I slather them with Chapstick before falling back into sleep. I awaken into the day feeling the sadness of this world’s indifference, and I escape to the woods with moistener for my lips.

Did I travel? Am I remembering? Or is this just a dream? This life is confusing.

The Three Black Hats

I am on an air mattress.  It is covered in a cotton sheet.  I am stretched out on my back beneath a soft fleece blanket. I am in the end room of a double wide trailer.  The trailer is nestled in a quiet neighborhood which is dense with trees.  There are no traffic sounds.  I am falling into sleep slowly.  

I may have passed time, into the REM and back out again because all I know is that I am lucidly awake.  I feel a prickling energy all over my body.  There is no pain.  It is electric.  Every hair on my skin is moving.  I can feel each folical.  There is a source pull.  It is coming from the large window on my left.  

I wanted to cover that window when I first arrived here, telling my nephew that it made me uncomfortable because it had only a sheer shell of a curtain. 

“Someone could stand out there and see me.”  I felt vulnerable. 

He assured me, attempting to comfort my cognition.

“It’s cool, Auntie.  No one around here will do that. Just don’t dance around nekkid.”
He did a hillbilly skip and we laughed, but I decided that this weekend I’m going to buy some thick curtains to cover this window. 

Now, on the same evening, I am here on this mattress feeling frozen with fear, having awakened in what seems to be the morning hours, two or three am.  I am wishing Inhad not waited.  I should have gone right then and bought curtains. 

 I know that I need to look at the window to be sure that I’m not just imagining things, but I am terrified to turn my head.  I am still, focused on my breathing.  I know someone is there.  I know it without a doubt.  Still, I have to see to be sure.  I finally move my head very, very slowly and just slightly enough to the left to give me an adequate view to see the window.  If there is someone there they shouldn’t be able to see through the darkness if I move slowly and just enough. 

Through the sheer of the curtains I see them.  Three men.  Side by side.  They are no more than five feet tall, each the exact same height.  They are dressed identical in dark suits and matching dark overcoats.  They have on button up shirts with maroon ties.  They wear black hats, like Hollisters, with maroon ribbons that match their ties.

Their hands are behind their backs.  I do not move. It crosses my mind that they may notice I am awake, but it seems insignificant.  They know already.  I slowly move my head back to the middle of the pillow. They are soulless.  They were not looking at me directly  but rather into the room as if awaiting orders from someone.  My heart is pounding rapidly, and I am dissociating.

I tell myself I am silly, but I am too terrified to glance again.  This will only confirm that I am not imagining all of this.  I am focused on going back to sleep.  I cannot be awake for what is going to happen next. 

“Go back to sleep.”  I urge myself. 

“Go back to sleep.” I say it over and over. 

I close my eyes. I think that I must go back to sleep so that I won’t feel what they are going to do to me.  I make myself laugh inside my head.  What a silly notion.  This shit’s not real.  Yet, beneath my attempts to convince myself, I know they have the ability to take one step and walk through that wall.  Then there will be no escaping.  They’ll be in the house.  

I tell myself that is also a ridiculous notion.  Because they’re reading my thoughts and know all of my plans.  So the best I can do for myself is to go back to sleep and get through it.  So I drift back down into the chasm of REM.

In the morning I will wonder if my memory was real or if it was really a dream.  I will wonder still. 

(Dreamt in 2010, Olympia, Wa)

Stream of Consiousness III

It is midnight and the rain is falling.  There are never torrents here in this land of evergreen forest.  She pours softly from the eave gliding down the tree leaves outside my window. 

I have knocking pain strobes in my eye sockets,  headache gone raw.  Sleep is a tender trinket dangling and taunting my view. 

Counting woolen lambs never led me to dream land.  What might I miss if I’m not aware to watch the night? What might my eyes exclude?  Where might I find myself wandering if I go down under?

My Oz is not the home Dorothy dreams of. 

There are teeth longer than devil nails chattering in the distance, while I wish on stars like the ghosts don’t exist.  I pull out fuck you guns, first my left, then my right.  I have the predators in my sight. 

Hush little angel. Don’t you cry. I’ll hold you as you say goodbye. How could they look into our eyes and think what they did was alright? 

I’m not in pain or angry.  At least not in this moment.  Answers are coded in light beams where truth is not what it seems, illusions are fueled by schemes and in the end they’re still screaming. 

But right now it’s me and the raindrops keeping my heart from stopping.  It’s me and the water. I flow. Mother. Sister. Daughter.  I am the eyes of my father with a shattered heart, left sore from too many wars. 

And his silence aches as I feel his heartbreak, the whispers of his tears.  Too many years lost.  Wind. 

But it’s just me and the rain again.   

The Kidnapped Baby

I am at a house. Rocco is here with my sister.  They seem to be a couple.  There is some kind of reunion happening somewhere in another state, and we are all preparing to fly there. I have been put in charge of transporting another couple’s small baby to that city.  I seemed to have agreed to this, and I am participating willingly in the plans.

There is a luggage set packed and ready to go. The larger piece has all of my belongings in it, and the smaller one is for the baby. It is filled with diapers and formula, clothes and bottles. I will carry the smaller one on the plane with me so that I have the things I need to care for the baby.

Now we are at the airport, and I am at the ticket counter with the baby in the stroller. The baby might be six or seven months old, very tiny, strapped into the small, easy to fold up stroller.  It is a boy with very little hair, fair skin and blue eyes. The ticket counter people sit very high above me so I have to strain my neck back to look up towards them. Suddenly I realize two things have gone horribly wrong. One. I left my purse in the backseat of Rocco’s car, so I do not have my identification to get my ticket and check in for the flight. Problem two makes me panic harder. They have accidentally checked the smaller suitcase, and I now have no formula, clothers, diapers or anything to care for the baby during the trip. I begin to cry and panic, not knowing what to do first. I feel confused because I am always organized and on top of things.  How could all of this have gone wrong?

I glance at the clock. I only have an hour. I see that we are close to the gate we need to go to. I don’t like being late.  An airline attendant comes around from the side of the counter. She has a sweet smile, kind eyes, dark curly hair that reaches her shoulders and is dressed like the rest of the workers in khaki pants and a dark blue polo shirt with the airline insignia on it. It is wings, like the wings they give out to kids when they fly by themselves.

I’ll tell you what.” She says sweetly to me. “I’ll watch the baby while you run get the check in bag and call your friends to bring your purse. Meanwhile we will hold the flight until you return so you won’t miss it.

Seriously?” I exclaim, overwhelmed by this kindness. “You would do that for me? Thank YOU!”

I breathe a sigh of relief. The baby will be safe. I will be able to handle business more quickly, and we’ll be on our way. I head down the walkway.

I am back at the ticket counter now. I have retrieved the smaller bag from the check in, but realize that I have no way to call Rocco because my phone is in my purse which I have left in the car. Shit, what will I do now?  I’ll have to catch a cab and run over to Rocco’s for my purse.  I wonder if they’ll still watch the baby and hold the flight while I do this? I look around to the side of the counter.

But the woman who is caring for the baby is gone. I look around at the seating thinking she might have just gone somewhere to relax, but she is not there.  The more I look, the more I realize that the baby has been kidnapped. She was not an airline attendant nor was the uniform she was wearing authentic.  She had stolen it and put it on, purposely tracking me to steal the baby.  I freak out and immediately get everyone involved. Suddenly there are police and airline workers gathered around me. They have locked down all of the airport exits and put out an immediate alert for the baby.

But I know it is too late. My intuition tells me that the woman is gone from the airport with the baby. She had plenty of time to get out while I was gone.  Fuck.  What the hell was I thinking to trust her?  I mean, she had on the same uniform as the rest of the employees, so why wouldn’t I trust her?  My eye notices a magazine stand.  I instinctively grab a newspaper knowing it will give me a clue of where the woman has taken the baby. I flip directly to the wanted ads.

There its is, an ad that says:

Open Heart Church

Bring your children to our wonderful Sunday school!

They will play and get good meals while mom and dad relax.

The advertisement goes on to list the address, inviting families to freely attend their open house sessions and stop in any time. I am filled with sickness inside.  I see everything they are doing, killing parents, taking children, controlling people inside of the building, and I know immediately that this is where the baby is. They are taking children. They are spending time plotting, stalking and kidnapping children by luring in families with happy go lucky advertisements.  I explain everything that I see and know to the police.

This place right here. This is where the baby is.” I point to the advertisement.

They look at me skeptically asking me how I know. I cannot explain to them how I know. I have no facts to back me up.

I just know. I am telling you! The baby is there.”  I say it matter of fact and firmly. “Please, just believe me.  Just go check there. Please just check.”

I am begging for them to not rule out the possibility because I know if they just go, they will find the baby without a doubt.  I believe they will find more children there also.

Now I am suddenly back at Rocco’s to grab my purse. I feel there is a police car that has taken me there, pulled up in the driveway behind Rocco’s car.  Rocco and my sister have come outside of the house.  I hurriedly tell them the baby is missing and a brief summary of what happened. My purse is in the back seat of Rocco’s car. He has left the windows down, and a flash flood of rain has made everything in the car soaking wet. Including my purse. I grab it and realize that because it is leather, everything inside of it is dry. I am elated that my identification, cards and other belongings inside the purse are safe.  I sling it over my body knowing that the leather will dry over the next few hours.

Now I am suddenly in front of a street in an average subdivision. There is a huge sprawling house in front of me with a makeshift sign on plywood that has the name of the church on it.  It is the church from the newspaper advertisement.  Police are everywhere around me. They are asking me am I sure the baby is inside. I assure them that I know the baby is in there. We stand together, as they strategically discuss how to enter the home undetected.

Panic is filling my chest. What if the kidnappers kill the baby? What if they hide the baby since the house is so large it appears to have many rooms? What if they escape with the baby? How am I going to tell the parents that I have lost their precious infant? I am filled with despair, worry and sadness for the situation. Everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong, and I will have to be the one to explain it.

Now I am suddenly standing inside the front door of the home where the baby and his parents live. There is a hallway directly to my right.  There is a piece of paper upon which there is a note written from Rocco and my sister. It has fallen, face down on the floor of the hallway. I realize that the parents did not even see it or read it because it fell when they walked in the house.

It says “Angie took the baby on with her so you two don’t have to worry about it. See you there!

I look into the living room. There is a love seat. I can sense there is a woman sitting on it to my left, but I can’t quite see her because the doorway into the living room doesn’t allow my eyesight to see that far in. All I see is the man sitting directly in front of me on the other end of the love seat. He is talking to the woman.

I am dumbfounded.

It’s O.J. Simpson. But he is old, quite old. What the hell is O.J. Simpson doing here, I am thinking to myself. I am questioning if it is really him.  Yet, I know, that’s fucking O.J. Simpson.  I am standing there thinking “this is the most bizarre shit that I’ve ever experienced.” He is talking to the woman and has not noticed me yet.

I’m not all of those things that they say I am.” He is saying gently to her. “I am really not a bad person inside of myself. I’m a good man. A lot of that is lies.”

Then he leans towards her as if he is going to kiss her, and she seemingly must have pulled back because then he says,

Oh, so you don’t want to kiss me, huh?”

I sense his mood change to irritation, and I wake up.