Friday Fiction - It Knew It was a Dream

With all the colds and flues going around,
(and a grandson staying awhile with us)
I thought this story fit quite well for today


I knew it was a dream, but it was so nice that I didn’t want to wake up. I was a child again and running through the fields with my sister, Mary. Actually, it felt more like floating than running. We were giggling and gathering lilies. I buried my nose in the flowers. Ummm….so sweet! That’s strange—they smelled a bit like moth balls.

Like dreams often do, the scene changed. The sky darkened and a storm came up. The thunder banged and crashed around me, and it seemed like I was running in slow motion. I could see our farm ahead and tried to reach the barn before I got wet.

The door slammed behind me. I was safe! The sounds of the storm were quieter, but the thunder still rumbled around me. I flopped on soft hay. The cool breeze was gone, and I felt hot and stifled. I heard Mary giggling and went to look for her.

I wandered all over that barn—up in the loft, into the shadowy horse stalls, behind the grain bin, and through the tool shed. I followed long hallways that had never been in our barn. I climbed tall, never-ending ladders. I could hear Mary’s footsteps running back and forth, but I couldn’t find her.

I was hot and sweaty and tired of looking for Mary, but I didn’t know the way back to the door. I asked the chickens, who only cocked their heads and blinked their beady eyes. One offered me an egg, though I didn’t feel hungry. I just wanted to get home; I didn’t want breakfast.

The horse laughed at me and shook his head. The cow knew the way, but I couldn’t understand her directions because she was talking with her mouth full. Next, I asked the sheep, but those silly lambs kept following me instead of leading the way. The pigs ignored me, and the goose squawked at me.

I sat in the corner, curled into a ball, and cried. I just wanted out of my dream. Maybe if I jumped up and down, I’d wake up. It isn’t working. I yelled—well, I tried to yell. I couldn’t make a sound. How was anyone going to hear me? My throat felt dry and scratchy. I began coughing. It was hard to breathe.

I smelled smoke!

I must get out of the barn! Thunder crashed and banged. I covered my ears. The animals mooed and squawked and neighed. They stampeded past me, so I followed. The pigs pushed me from behind. It smelled like their tails were getting singed. We tumbled out the door—into the manure pile! A flash of lightning and water on my face startled me.

“Mama, are you awake?”

I squinted at the faces lined up beside my bed. Pete held a squirt gun. He cocked his head. “Daddy said you were sick and that we should be quiet and let you sleep, but you’ve been sleeping a long time.”

I put my arm over my face. Oh…yes…quiet. My head pounded. That’s the last time I will take two different cold medicines together.

Little Charlie mumbled around his thumb. “We made ‘ou bweakfast.”

I squinted at the cookie sheet Deena placed on my belly—a plate of scrambled eggs, toast, and burnt bacon, with a tiger lily in a glass. Ah…the lilies… I coughed. “Why are the windows closed? It’s smoky in here.”

Deena shrugged her shoulders. “It started raining.”

I glanced toward the window. “Was it thundering?”

The row of heads waggled back and forth. Pete whispered, “But Deena was banging all the pots around, and it sounded like thunder.”

I took a few bites, but my stomach churned and my throat burned and something stunk like…manure? I turned toward Little Charlie and stared at his sagging diaper.

Deena grimaced. “We weren’t going to wake you up, but Charlie has a stinky diaper.”

My dream was making more and more sense—except for the moth balls.

Clutching the walls, I floated down the hallway. The children stampeded along beside me. Cartoons blared from the TV, the dog slurped something in the kitchen, and a box sat near the front door. My heart panicked at a thought. “Did someone come this morning?”

“Yes, Aunt Mary brought a smelly box of sweaters for the community sale tomorrow. She said she hoped you’re feeling up to snuff soon—whatever that means!”

~ ~ ~

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Catrina Bradley... said...

I love this story. The animals in the barn have such cute personalities,and like they do, sound and smells in real life work their way into our dream.

Rita Garcia said...

Vonnie, your characterization in this story in wonderful! Loved it!!


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