by Thadd Presley
He woke sitting up on his couch. The quilt had fallen in the floor and was laying too close to the heater. He could see steam rising from it. Sunshine streamed in through the windows,brightening his living room.
Then the knock came again. The same three booming knocks. He looked at the red, digital numbers of the clock blinking 12:47 PM
“Damn, the electricity must have gone out,” he said to no one. Then, to the knocking, he yelled, “hold on.”
“Jack,” someone called. It was a familiar voice. “You in there?”
“I said hold on. Just a second.”
Two sleepy steps brought him close enough to the only window for him to see the red pinto on the curb. It was Adam come to visit him. He opened the door.
“Boy you’re a light sleeper,” Adam joked.
“Lucky I slept at all.”
“Sorry to hear it,” Adam sympathized. “I hope you feel up to coming to the food drive?”
“I had the craziest dream,” Jack began without being asked about the dream. “Something I hadn’t felt in along time.”
Adam saw the unsettled look in his eyes. “You have to give it time, Jack. It’s been a long time since you lived alone. It will get easier. Perhaps, it’s the temptation manifesting itself…”
“No, it’s not that.”
“Have you had urges…”
“Yeah, I guess, but no not really. I haven’t had time to think about all that. Trust me, that’s not what this is.” Frustration was showing in his voice and Adam heard it easily.
“Well, tell me about it on the way to the church. We have a food bank to stock. I’ve got some coffee in the car. Maybe I can help you figure out something that will help you readjust to your new surroundings.”
“Do you believe dreams have a meaning,” Jack asked,turning from the door, allowing his friend to enter. Then, without letting him answer, “I mean, I know what it’s about. I remember it perfectly, but you think it might mean something in the real world?”
“Maybe, probably, maybe not. What was it about?”
“You’ll think I’m crazy.”
“You are crazy.” Adam said smiling. “Or, maybe you should be.” He put his hand on Jack’s shoulder. “Look, you probably just slept wrong.” He pointed to the couch as if it was proof.
“It’s not the couch, Adam. I’ve slept on way worse at the church and at the clinic.”
“Well, we’ll pick up my daughter’s old bed after the food drive just in case. I don’t want you sleeping on that old thing anymore. Who knows where it’s been. And then, tonight, we’ll have a few beers and talk about your new life. It’ll make a world of difference to talk about it and work out a few details of the coming week.”
“No, no, my stuff’s s’posed to be here today.Matter of fact, I should stay in and wait on the movers. Plus, I want to look around and see the best way to get started on the renovations.” But that wasn’t the only reason he wanted to stay.The dream was still fresh in his mind. He could hear the girl’s voice so clearly. He had to get that key, had to help her.
“Well, you going to tell me about the dream or not,”Adam asked, looking around the room. “It’s probably got something to do with this place.”
“That’s it exactly. It is this place. Maybe it’s the whole building.” He closed his eyes, trying to close out the locked door right in front of him, trying not to see his dream.
“Well, it’ll pass as you get used to it. Now, when do the movers get here?”
“Noon-ish,” Jack answered. “I just have the few things from the storage unit. No reason to pay forty bucks a month while I have all this room. I can put stuff in one of the other rooms until I get around to cleaning it up.”
“Yeah, I suppose you could. Tell you what. I’ll give you a call tonight.”
“Just give me a few minutes before you leave. I want to tell you about the dream.” He was starting to feel uncomfortable again, claustrophobic. “I need to tell someone.”
“Wow, this is really got a-hold of you, huh?” Sweat was visible on Jack’s face, and Adam realized then that his friend was actually shaking. “OK. Start from the beginning.”
Copyright Thadd Presley — All Rights Reserved
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.