Word Count: 1141
WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF YOU WERE SUDDENLY INCAPABLE OF REALIZING THAT A DREAM WAS ONLY A DREAM?
The boy’s mother walked by the door, peeked in for just a moment. The boy’s brow was slightly sweaty and the blankets were pulled up to his chin. He twitched rapidly and she wondered what vexed him so.
The boy’s name was Lucas. He was sixteen and he was dreaming about his girlfriend Laurie DePaul. At first the dream had started out well, he and Laurie were knotted together in his backseat and she was breathing heavy against his neck and it was even better than when it had happened for real last weekend. Her fingertips touching and tasting him, her skin hot and sweaty under his own. But then, in that funny way that dreams had, Laurie had drifted away floating right through the car door and he had watched her, frowning, annoyed at her selfishness, and already feeling frustrated, down there. Getting angry, he’d followed her, drifting himself, rapidly catching up to her only to find her entwined with Joseph, his best friend since forever. She’d looked up at him smiling so beautifully and–
Outside in the dawn’s first light, a meteor landed just inside the city limits of Galveston. Not a soul saw it burn through the sky, but all felt its impact. Every person across the city frowned, feeling–no knowing that something was off, something was altered.
Lucas frowned as well, coming full awake and reached for his phone, texting, fingers flying, then hitting send and imagined how crushing the news would be to that cheating lying whore when she read the text.
Laurie was dreaming too. She’d been soaring above the rooftop of her house, looking down at her dad’s brand new roof. Feeling exultant and free and full of life. Somewhere in the sky a beep sounded and the sky shrunk and she was filled with confusion and fell out of the sky. She opened her eyes and rolled across the pillowy expanse of her bed and flipped off her alarm. She was frowning, but not from her alarm. It was only reminding her that it was time for school. Unease filled her.
Her phone chirped and she picked it up and tapped the text that had come in from her boyfriend Lucas.
She barely read it, her eyes skipping across the words, reading maybe one in three:
Can’t’ believe …trust … done … screw …
She yawned instead, the phone dropping out of her fingers and landing on her nightstand. Her uneasiness slipped away, forgotten.
She couldn’t concentrate on a text, not now. She needed to be outside. She quickly got dressed and headed out to the backyard.
Lucas sat at the breakfast table, fuming. His mother scraped eggs out of a pan and onto his plate and wondered what was wrong with him now. Being the mother of a teenage boy could be a real trial sometimes. Last night he’d slammed the bedroom door after she’d told him to take out the trash. Was he still mad about that? She set the pan back on the stove and turned to the sink with a sigh.
Her son sat eating silently, keeping his reasons and his eyes to himself.
At least he wasn’t glued to his phone. A mother had to take her victories somewhere.
Laurie propped the ladder against the house. It had been easy–it was already out of the garage and laying below the den windows. Laurie carefully shambled up the ladder, then stood unsteadily on the roof. She heard the back door open behind her, and an exclamation of surprise. She didn’t look down though. She had further up to go. She stood on the addition; she needed to be on the second story roof. The slope was steep but if she was careful and went up it on a diagonal, yes, she might just be able to reach the top.
Down below her, standing on the deck, her mother was calling her. “Just wait for Dad! Whatever it is, he can get it! He’ll be home after lunch. Laurie! Can you hear me, Laurie?”
Laurie could, but only barely. Her mind was fixed on the top peak and she was already starting to feel the excitement that she remembered from her dream. A light wind lifted her hair and made her blouse billow around her. She should have worn a tank top or a tshirt, what would people think if she flashed them accidentally? Lucas would like it, but–something about Lucas slipped into and out of her mind. Nevermind, she couldn’t remember. It didn’t really matter, did it?
No, nothing did.
Lucas decided that nothing would do but to confront her in person. She wasn’t returning his text and that wasn’t a surprise, was it? Nope. Not when she’d been shacked up with Joseph Wenzel all night. She was probably sleeping in this morning, exhausted from all her slut gymnastics. But he knew where she was now, and he wasted no time getting here.
He heard the screaming as soon as he opened his car door in the driveway of the DePaul house. Not the words, he couldn’t make out the words but he could tell that the screamer was terrified. He ran to the backyard and stared wide-eyed as Laurie, his Laurie, stood at the peak of her roof, beaming, arms out, the air blowing through her hair, and her eyes closed.
She looked so pretty. Kind of like that chick in the Titanic movie.
She opened her eyes, turned to him with joy evident in her face and yelled, “Watch this, Lucas!”
Unaware of how crazy her family’s life was about to get, back home Lucas’s mom rubbed at her eyes. She hadn’t slept well last night. Or the night before. She’d been plagued by migraines, and slept fitfully with nightmares sprinkled into her dreams. She looked ten years older, felt twenty. She popped open a pill bottle slipping the pill into her mouth and chasing it with water. Maybe this pressure building behind her eyes would dissipate and leave her in peace. She had the day off, at least that was something. She laid back her head, then slid to one side and tucked her legs up onto the couch.
Perhaps all she really needed was a nap.
Laurie’s face was broken, like a china doll. Shattered under bloody and bruised skin. Lucas stood over her, gaping. The screaming was crescendoing around him, an assault to his ears.
He threw his arms up in the air. How was he supposed talk to her now?
He turned on his heel and left the back yard and its cacophonous screams behind.
It was time to find Joseph now.