Take Me With You

Want me to write a book? You get to pick it! I’ll be posting snippets from the dozen or so I have been working on, and you’ll pick which one I finish! More details will be on the way in the coming weeks.

This post is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to real people or events would be just plain weird.

JoeBlog           August 2, 2005

Let’s see how much of this story I can get out in my library hour…

It’s not a story, actually… it’s a dream. I woke up a couple hours ago and just couldn’t stop thinking about it. You know, it’s like if you have an earworm, and you listen to the song, you can stop thinking about it? So maybe if I write about this dream, I can stop thinking about it. I hope so; it was super creepy.

It started out dark. I was walking in the dark. I couldn’t see anything, and I couldn’t see myself. I could hear the clop, clop, clop of my feet. They sounded like horse hoof steps, or whatever. I looked down, and now I could see my feet. They were just regular feet. I was talking, but I couldn’t see anything else. It was pitch black.

Then it started to light up just a little bit. You know how when the sun first starts coming up, and the world isn’t pitch black anymore? You see things in black and white. I could just barely see grass, and suddenly the clop, clop, clop turned into crunch, crunch, crunch. The grass was frozen. It was covered with frost… or it was frozen. I was walking on pretty much level land, but the level part of it was coming to an end. I was crunching my way up to the edge of a downward slope.

Off in the distance I could just make out another slope–another hill. I was on top of this one, and a boy was on top of the other. He appeared to be almost the height of a man, but not quite. He was still a kid–maybe a fifteen year old or so.

He was my brother.

I don’t have a brother, not in real life; but you know, in a dream, things are real that… well… aren’t really real.

It was still pretty dark, and the world was just starting to get blue around the edges, kind of like the blue gel over a stage light.

Oh cool, a Red Ryder! It was a little B B gun like the one in that Christmas Story movie. I realized, in the dream, that I was about five years old. I was basically a kindergartner with a cool air rifle. I held the gun up against my right shoulder and pretended to fire it. Pshew, pshew.

There was a huge explosion, and I was knocked over onto my back. My head whacked on the frosty, grassy ground. It wasn’t cold, at least I don’t remember feeling cold, but it hurt–it hurt without real pain, the way something does in a dream.

I sat up slowly, putting my hands on the crunchy frosty grass to sit myself up, and tried to shake the locust-like sound from inside my head. It wouldn’t go away.

I looked around. The world hadn’t gotten any brighter. It was still dark and tinged a little bit blue. Off in the distance, on the other hill, my big brother was still there; but he had been knocked over too. At first I figured it was from the same explosion that had hit me. Then my brain’s wheels started turning.

Pshew pshew.

I had shot him.

NO! I was screaming. NO! But no sound was coming out of my mouth.

I ran down the hill, running at double time and seeming to miss steps as I flew, literally flew, down the hill. The bottom of my brother’s hill was right up against the bottom of the hill that I had been on. I tried to run up it, but I couldn’t; I apparently couldn’t because I didn’t have the strength, or it was too steep, or… I really couldn’t tell why.

I was so upset. I dug my hands into the crunchy frosty grass and tried to climb like a climber rock climbing. I was screaming. I guess it was my brother’s name I was trying to scream, in between the NO!‘s, but I have no idea what my brother’s name was.

I wasn’t making much upward progress towards him, and I started crying. The crying was soundless, way down deep in my chest, in my lungs. I couldn’t breathe. I craned my neck and looked up the hill, and I could see a shoe. A black combat-boot-looking bottom was facing away from me, facing the other hill I had just scrambled down.

It was my brother’s shoe. It wasn’t moving. He was dead. I just knew he was dead.

While I was in the middle of crying, crying forever it seemed, there was another explosion. This one knocked me backward, and since I was a little bit up my brother’s hill, I was sliding upside down and backwards down the crunchy frosty grass. I could hear it crunching behind my head as I slid, and my body. finally stopped moving.

Then, in the dream, I went unconscious.

In the next part of the dream, I didn’t regain consciousness on the hills. It was more like a changed TV channel. All of the sudden I was in a court room. It was totally packed. I was facing the judge’s bench, but I wasn’t in the audience. I was behind the… what do you call it… defendant’s table. I was sitting in a chair, suspended in the air. The chair was halfway between the floor and the ceiling. I guess I was about five feet off the ground. I was tied to it. My legs were tied to the front chair legs, and my arms were tied straight down to the rear chair legs.

Now let me tell you; I HATE being trapped–in real life, I mean. I hate being stuck, or tied, or whatever… and stuck or tied was exactly what I was.

The judge was sitting there, staring at me. You know what I do actually remember? The judge was that judge guy from the My Cousin Vinny movie I watched with my mom years and years ago. The judge was a big looming guy, and he didn’t look happy at all. He looked pissed.

But then his face changed. His eyebrows went up, and it almost looked like he was about to cry. He spread his hands out in front of him, palms up, almost like he was going to pray or something. He just said one thing to me.

“Why did you do that?”

It sounded like something my mother would have said. I just sat there for a minute. Then I started to cry. I wasn’t wailing or freaking out or anything, but I was crying. I didn’t know why. My mouth didn’t move. I didn’t have anything to say.

Crap, my library hour’s up. I’ll have to write the rest tomorrow. I hope I can remember it.

Stay tuned for more excerpts from more stories coming on more Fridays!

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About Susan Pitman

Susan is an artist who grew up in Massachusetts and now lives in Texas. She writes songs, short stories, and books. You can follow @susanpitman143 on Twitter.

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David Ford

Loved it! What a brilliant way to write a short story.