Copyright 2015 MillieAnne Lowe, Oceanside, California
Deep into the thicket of the Saratoga Hills frogs and crickets sang in harmony by the creek. The soft glow from the remaining embers in the fireplace of Robin’s home created shadows all around the living room. Haley, Jeanne, and Krista had fallen asleep exhausted upstairs in their shared bedroom.
George and Mattie had also fallen asleep in front of the fireplace with their arms about each other. A grunt from George broke the silence and woke Mattie. She watched in surprise as his right leg kicked out and his right arm came up in the air as if to defend himself.
“Wake up, George. You’re having a bad dream,” she whispered in his ear. As she brought down his arm with a gentle touch, she asked, “Are you fighting someone?”
He didn’t respond.
“Say something, George. Stop staring at the ceiling. Look at me.”
“I’m attempting to recapture the remnants of a dream I had.”
Mattie understood what he meant and patted his arm. “It must’ve have been a bad dream. Your brows were knit together and the furrows on your forehead were so deep, I could grow rice there.”
“You do make waking up a joy, dear. But yes, the dream was dark, scary, and frustrating. More so for the two women in it though,” he said. “Two things are bothering me. I heard a young girl screaming, and then saw a woman struggling and she seemed unable to speak.”
When he stood and offered Mattie a hand to get up, his tall figure reminded Mattie how special he was. “No one around this area is as tall, lean, and strong as you are,” she said as she stood and put her arms around him, and held him close.
“You feed me right,” said George. He tussled her hair, and kissed the top of her head. “Now, getting back to what I saw. The visions I had don’t make any sense. At times, I stood right next to the woman lying on the slab of rock, unable to move. I couldn’t make out what was causing the terror in her eyes.”
“Were you fighting against someone right before you woke up? You jerked your leg up and then your arm shot out like this,” she imitated how his arm rose up in a right angle.
“I don’t remember fighting or moving. I just watched and listened.”
“What did you see?” asked Mattie.
“It’s confusing. Because what I can remember comes back in broken parts, and not in an order as I experienced them. There’s more coming back. Strong gusts of wind blew against my back and the chill in the cavern-like place made me feel a stinging on my skin. Nothing there felt good. The woman on a slab of rock wasn’t moving but I sensed her struggle against something that seemed to be holding her arms and legs in place. She seemed terrified of something near her but no one else was around, just me.”
“I hope,” said Mattie, “she woke up from the dream when you did.”
George paced back and forth in the living room, combing his fingers through his short grey hair and then stroking his mustache. “I don’t think that’s it. Tonight, I tapped into someone’s horrible experience. Do you remember me telling you, Mattie, about tasting evil?”
“Did that happen again in this dream?”
“Yes, it did.”
“Goose bumps always rise on my arms when I’m scared. I’m scared now.” She rubbed her arms. “George, I remember how you described feeling surrounded by evil, and how you could smell a distinct odor and even taste it.”
“Yes, and when the smell of evil became stronger, the woman’s fear heightened. Tonight, I tried to escape the stench invading me through my pores. The taste of it was unlike anything I had ever experienced. Not even in any war zone. I wanted out of the dream,” he said as he brushed the top of his hands. “I don’t know why I had any part of this.”
Mattie took his hands in hers. “You’re trembling, George. When you were trying to get away from the evil, is that when I woke you?”
“No, not yet – I’m recalling other things now. I see stars twinkling over a city covered with lights, a dense fog lays over the ocean like a blanket, and a partial outline of a bridge. It has no lights on it. I can’t figure out if it is the Golden Gate or Bay Bridge. What can you make of these details?”
“I think,” said Mattie, “the young girl and the woman are having a huge nightmare. And because you were up-close at times, I’d say this woman is someone you know, or, it may be someone you’re about to meet. Nonetheless, they are both in great danger, George. Both of them need your help right away.”
“I agree. But how…whoa!” Mattie watched George shy to his right. His hand covered the left side of his face.
“That felt like cold blade of fine steel that just passed my face,” said George. “Good grief. I hear the voice of the young girl calling for help again. Her arm is reaching out to me. Pieces of torn pictures, and newspaper are swirling around a room. The lamp has fallen over, and scissors are flying against a wall. I’m trying, but I can’t reach her hand.” Then George stopped talking.
“Why did you stop? You were trying to grab her hand. What happened?”
“My mind went blank. Perhaps I’ll recall more details later,” said George. He sat down on the sofa with her.
“You look tired. Lay back and close your eyes. I’ll go make some tea,” said Mattie.
George did as she suggested. But as she turned toward the kitchen, George grabbed her wrist. “No, don’t go. I see something else.”
“What is it?”
“A young girl with blonde hair has her arms tied to a post now. She’s crying, she’s scared, and struggling to get loose. She’s the one screaming for help.”
“George, you’re seeing two separate nightmares. Do we know anyone who looks like these two people?”
“About a half dozen friends in town,” George said and paused. “There’s more, Mattie. I see paint splattering and dripping everywhere. It’s all red.”
Copyright 2015 MillieAnne Low, Oceanside, California