Monday, May 12, 2014

Lost Dreams: Chapter 4 (Dreaming For The First Time)

The first time it had happened was when he was ten years old.  Six years ago, but he remembered it so clearly.

Odd thing about memory, Caleb thought. Some things are imprinted there, and others fade away right after they happen. Like this. That day he had the first dream that he could recall. I must have had dreams before that, he thought. But he couldn't be sure.

He was in his room. His old room.

Caleb's parents had divorced, and Caleb lived with his mother. Bedtime was their special time together.

His mother sat on the edge of his bed, her fingers sweeping through his hair. She was speaking to him softly. He remembered feeling warm and safe. And loved. He smiled and rolled over, pulled the covers into a tight cocoon around him and then wriggled around to find that perfect position. He took a big deep breath and yawned wide.

Young Caleb's eyes closed. He was already drifting off. She was still speaking softly to him, something about sweetness and dreams. Until silence. Sleep.

Caleb saw himself sitting in the kitchen, like he was watching himself on television. He watched himself get up from the table and open the refrigerator door. He took out the carton of orange juice, poured himself a glass, and took a sip. 

His mother was on the phone. The phone was on the wall of the kitchen right next to the dining room, and cord stretched from there into the dining room, where she sat talking. He was unsure how he knew, but he knew it was a very important call and she was not to be interrupted.

He shuffled across the kitchen floor, juice in hand, and peered into the dining room. She was sitting at the dining room table, her back to the sliding door. To his horror, he saw a red figure approach the door and begin to slide it open. Not so much a person as an energy source, and growing larger - the deep red glow spreading and spreading.

He screamed to warn her. But no sound came out. The glass dropped and shattered silently, the shards exploding outward in a circle like a ripple on a pond. And then the color drained from the room, sliding away, replaced by gray.

Caleb knew he was dreaming. That he was watching his own nightmare. He felt his breath quicken.

He watched himself run into the dining room to warn her. But he still could not make a sound. His mother looked at him and smiled. She lifted a her index finger - "one more minute, honey."

And then it was upon her and surrounding her.  Her eyes filled with fear, and she disappeared into the red, like she was riding the sunset down over the horizon. 

Caleb's eyes snapped open. 

He was disoriented, but looked around and remembered he was in his bedroom. He was shaking as he slid out of bed and walked to the door.  He was afraid to go upstairs. He took the steps slowly and walked in, looking for his sleeping mother in her bed. The clock read 4:30 AM. The bedsheets were wrinkled. She wasn't there. Not a trace. He somehow knew; he knew she was gone.

His dream was the last time he had seen his mother.

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