An Altered Reality

Such a noisy thing, silence can be. It overwhelms the mind and it’s a mild cause for ice blue hues to glance around in a nervous manner. It was the quickening of my heart, to pump so hard in a failed attempt. I knew what was coming next. I wouldn’t survive. I wouldn’t move on. The feeling of my head bouncing just once against the ground of my front yard made me close my eyes. The screaming echo of my soul I could feel, though it was not me. The place I knew so well. The very thing I called my home, my street, my life…It wasn’t mine.

Within that eighth year of my life, living peacefully with both parents in a city called Florissant, I rested my head upon that soft feathery pillow. Covers were pulled tight to my neck, legs curled up against my body to keep warm. The door to my room was closed and I could hear the dog gently whining to be let in. Then, I heard a soft thud. She had laid down outside my door where she would sleep for the rest of the night. Soon I would find myself in my own slumber of dreams and a whirling imagination. A mind that never rested, slipped into such a realm that it was known to be real. Becoming completely involved in such a fragile reality.

Feet ran fast against the soft blanket of grass as I exited my backyard. Star no longer slept fast outside my door, she had escaped across the street. Quick paces went to retrieve her, knowing she would cause havoc. I hadn’t even made my way across the front yard when I halted with a sudden motion. The size of my eyes grew with that split second. I could feel the aching anticipation in my heart as it beat with such a terrified frenzy. Looking out, I could see a black car pull off the road and proceed to park along the curb at the front of our house. I couldn’t tear my focus away. Two men stepped confidently from the back two doors, dressed in nice suits but I could not see their faces. I felt as if I knew everything that was to happen before it did. I knew exactly why they were there, and to be very afraid. It would have been an active role in a horror film, looking back on it, you would see every aspect clearly. There was no previous confusion.

Never before had my reflexes been so quick when I saw those black dress shoes splash in the puddles outside of the car. Toes had dug themselves into the mud and grass to make a definite imprint as I spun fully around. Arms swung back as if I were going to project myself forward. I had to run. I tried. The trembling of my body halted any motion. My knees were giving out and I felt as if my whole body would buckle beneath me. I would collapse. The ringing of the man’s gun was quick to my ears before even the slightest ounce of pain was felt. A bullet piercing just to the side of my left shoulder-blade caused my small, fragile form to jolt forward. The breath of air was taken from my lungs as I wheezed. Swallowing so hard I thought I would break my jaw, my eyes opening so wide that I could feel the tear of skin at each corner of my lids. The real pain would never be felt. In that instant, I fell to the ground. The impact was hard, I couldn’t brace myself, and I could feel my body bounce. I could feel it grow heavy with no life.

As my body hit the ground, within that tragic moment, I lost all sense of what was occurring. For in that same instance, my whole body jumped. It would be the only reason I would awake. I didn’t sit up. I didn’t look around. Parting lips sucked in the breath of air that I had just recently thought I could not get. Eyelids flicked open and I could still feel my heart beating intensely against my chest, so hard it almost hurt. Slowly the covers were pushed off and slid from my bed. Glances were thrown around. It was just a dream. It was only the reality of a dream. Swallowing hard again, I took a few more deep breaths as if I knew that one day, they would be my last. A mind still searched with a sense of fear.

A recurring dream that I could not shake, though it grew with me. I grew in age, in height, in size in that dream just as I did in life. Nothing else ever changed. Nothing different ever happened. Some people believe that recurring dreams are not possible. However, I would continue to have that dream every single night for more than a year. There are times in my life now where that dream comes back to life.

So you tell me, is it a dream or is it a precursor that I can’t hide from?

Written by Tammy Lee

September 22nd, 2004

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