Monday, April 4, 2011

April: Dreamer

“So there I was. A car almost runs into me, but I jump over it and yell, ‘What, you couldn’t hit me? Gosh.’ And…”
“Gosh? Really? Even in your dream you say gosh.”
“Anyway…” Paige gives her ‘the look’ and her mother instantly bites her lip trying to stiffle her laugh. “I hoped they wouldn’t turn around to have another go at me. I heard them turn and knew they were coming for me. I turned a corner and the car was soon close to me. I realized I was dreaming and started to think ‘It’s not gonna hit me. It’s not gonna hit me.’ And when the car was finally only inches from me, I turned toward it to say ‘Don’t you do it’ so the car turned away and left.”
Linda tilts her head and frowns. “Huh…”
Paige braces herself for the ridicule that is sure to follow. “Huh? That’s it?”
Linda looks lost in thought for a moment before realizing Paige is waiting for a response. She smiles at her and hands Paige another cup of coffee. “Yes, just huh…”
“Mom, it just felt so real.” She takes the mug gratefully wrapping her hands around it for warmth. “Thanks.”
“I know it was… real I mean. There’s something we need to talk about.” Linda pats the couch and waits for her daughter to take a seat. Paige sits on the other end, curling her legs under here cradling her mug. Linda smiles at her daughter and sighs softly. “So far dream lucidity has skipped a generation… yet here you are.” She sighs a bit more heavily. “I’m sure you’ll have questions but if you’d be a dear, I’d like you to wait until I explain first.”
Linda pauses and waits for a response. Paige looks at her from over her coffee mug rim and nods while sipping. Linda sets her own mug down and turns towards her daughter and folds her hands. Taking a deep breath she starts the tale. “So, some time back, I’m not exactly sure when. It could be as short a time as fifty years ago or it could be as far back as a century or two. No one knows who it started with because it wasn’t until about fifty years ago that one of our family asked questions.” Paige keeps quiet and sips again. Her mother smiles gratefully.
“When I was just a girl I had a nightmare. My mother told me about how her mom would visit her in her dreams. When Mom was troubled with nightmares, Oma would come to help her sort things out and ease her fears.” Linda shrugs and smiles. “So the next time I had a nightmare I looked for my own mother. My mother was there. I ran to her crying for her help. Only my mother couldn’t hear me. She was chased by my demon. I cried for her. I felt so guilty for bringing him to her. Oma Elly came to me and put her hand on my shoulder and told me to tell him to stop. I thought for certain she’d gone mad but I figured it was worth a try. So I did. I pointed at the demon that held my mother and told him to stop. He stopped.”
Linda takes her coffee mug in hand and has a sip before continuing. “When he turned towards me, I realized he was no demon. He was a boy from school. He turned on me and came straight for me. I thought no, this can’t be real. This is just a dream. So I told him it was time for him to go home. Just before he was going to hit me, he stopped again. He sighed and walked away.”
Paige listens intently. “Huh…”
“Huh, indeed.” Linda chuckles, “the reason Mom didn’t see me is she doesn’t have dream lucidity. Oma Elly and I did… or in my case, I do.” She shrugs again. “I figured I’d be having this talk with one of your daughters and not you.”
“So how did you end up in Oma Ute’s dream? Or did you pull her in to your dream?”
Linda stares blankly in to her mug and shakes her head. “I actually invaded my mother’s dream. She didn’t realize I was there because I didn’t let her know I had come. Once the boy went home, Mom’s dream continued as if nothing happened.” Taking another sip her mind travels back to the morning after and how tired her mother looked. “With dream lucidity comes great responsibility. You can’t abuse this gift, Paige.”
Paige shakes her head. “Abuse? How can-”
Linda sighs heavily. “Think about what you’re about to ask. How could you abuse this gift?”
Paige bites her lip, her mind reels with possibilities. “Oh.”
Linda nods. “Mhmm… yes, oh.”

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Mar: The boy

The boy sat beside the stream

“What boy?”
The voice interrupted her train of thought… again. Her head slumps forward accompanied by an exasperated sigh at the constant questions. “What is it, Mother?”
“I’m hungry.” The small woman with silver hair pouted. Her watery gray eyes looked piously at her. She gripped her shawl tighter around her as if fearing it would fall.
She took a calming breath, pushed away from her keyboard and smiled patiently at her. “You can’t be. You just ate.” She folds her hands in her lap to keep them from strangling her.
“I didn’t mean to!”
She closes her eyes for a moment and berates herself. “I’m sorry, Mother.” She stands and gives the woman an impromptu hug startling her.
“You’re angry. I’m sorry.” The woman starts shaking and turns to leave.
“Mother…” She lets the rest of her words die out as her mother walks away waving her hands frantically. She groans. “You’re such a drama queen.” She sits back at her computer and tries again.

The boy sat beside the stream watching his fishing line drift to and fro, the bobber occasionally jerking as a fish tried to decide if the bait was worth taking. It was the first weekend of summer vacation and he was enjoying it to the hilt. The sun was getting hot but it was still shady and cool under the big willow tree where he sat.

She reads this again and again. Rubbing her temples she pushes away from the computer. She takes only a few steps before coming to an abrupt halt. “Mother?”
The small woman bites her lip. She starts nervously plucking at her shawl. “I’m hungry?”
She looks at the clock and shakes her head. “I’m sorry, but it is only ten. You can eat in two hours. Can you see the time?” She takes the woman by the arm and walks slowly with her to the clock. “When this number says twelve, you can eat again.”
“Oh.” Her mother stands quietly staring at the clock for a few minutes. She is certain this will keep her mind off food for at least an hour. Her mother steps closer to the clock and whispers to it.
“Mother?” Her mother turns her gaze slowly to her daughter. “Are you okay? What did you tell the clock?”
Her mother shook her head and refuses to answer returning her attention to the clock. She watches her for a moment before heading to the bathroom.

The clock spoke, tic-toc, tic-toc. Her mother tilts her head and listens. She leans in again and whispers to the clock. Tic-toc, tic-toc, the clock responded.

The boy sat beside the stream watching his fishing line drift to and fro, the bobber occasionally jerking as a fish tried to decide if the bait was worth taking. It was the first weekend of summer vacation and he was enjoying it to the hilt. The sun was getting hot but it was still shady and cool under the big willow tree where he sat. He had a sandwich, an apple and a soft drink in his school lunch bucket so he didn't have to go home all day. He didn't even care if he didn't catch anything. It was wonderful just being free from expectations for a while. Still, it would be great if he could take home a nice string of fish to show off.
Willows of all sizes lined both sides of the creek, in some places making an almost impenetrable thicket. From one such thicket a few yards behind the boy avid eyes watched him as intently as he watched the bobber in the water.

“What boy?”
She gasps. She was finally getting her focus back before this next interruption. “It’s just a story, Mother.”
“Well Clock wants to know who the boy is…”
“There is no boy.” She looks up at her mother in confusion. “Did you just say the clock wants to know?”
Her mother nods and smiles. “Clock also said it’s twelve and I can eat now.”
She looks over at the clock. “It is noon. Okay Mother, lets get you some lunch… and no more talking to the clock.”
Her mother stops and pouts. She walks to the clock and whispers to it again. She smiles and nods before following her daughter to the kitchen for lunch.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Brisa 03

Logan opens the door and steps in quickly closing the door behind him. He stomps the mud off his boots and systematically brushes the loose dirty and mud away before setting his boots aside. He reaches out and grabs for the broom handle to sweep the mess away. His hand comes up empty. He frowns. He looks at the spot he keeps the broom before looking around the mudroom and sighs in defeat.

“Tay? Where’s the broom?” He waits for a response. None is coming. His frown deepens. He glances at the door and back at the mud. He opens the door in time for a handle to be thrust at him.

“Sorry, Daddy!” Brayden grins up at him. “I forgots to put it back.”

“Forgot.” Logan ruffles his hair.

Brayden nods. “Ya, I forgots.”

Logan opens his mouth to correct him again and sighs. “I take it you made a mess?”

Brayden nods again. “Just some cereal. But it’s good now. I cleaneded it up.”

Logan groans. “Bray, this is a mop, not a broom and it’s dripping wet. Was there milk in the cereal?”

Brayden tilts his head and looks up at his father in exasperation. “Well ya, dry is all nasty.” He wrinkles his nose and goes back in the house leaving Logan to stare at the soggy mop dripping milk on his sock, the mud and the potential souring aroma in a few short hours.

“Tay?” Logan holds the mop. “Tay!” He pulls the door open and is stunned quiet. For the second time tonight, he has called for his wife only to be greeted by a son. “Hello Brodie.”

“Hi, Daddy, I tried to tell Bray he was wrong.” He shrugs his little shoulders wincing when he does.

Logan notices the small wince and crouches to eye level with his son. “What’s wrong, Brod.”

Brodie shakes his head. “I’m okay. You’re gonna want to take off that nasty sock. I can sweep that for you.” He slips past his father and takes the mop. Logan doesn’t let him get away and wraps his big arm around his son pulling him back to him.

“Brodie…” Logan frowns with concern. He lifts his chin to look in to his pale blue eyes. “Son, you winced. What happened?”

Brodie shakes his head. “I don’t know.”

Logan sits on the step and tries again. He gently takes his son by the shoulders. “What-” Brodie recoils. Logan’s eyes widen with concern. “I’m not going to hurt you.”

Brodie cringes. “I’m sorry.”

Logan tries another approach. Even more gently he lifts Brodie’s sleeve. Brodie winces. “Who did this to you?”

Brodie shakes his head. “I don’t know.”

Logan lifts his arm pulling the sleeve back further. “How far does this go?”

Brodie shakes his head. “I don’t know.”

“Brodie…” Brodie looks up at his father with sad haunted eyes. Without a word he removes his shirt so his father can see his shoulder, back and chest.

“Has your mother seen this?” Logan’s mind is reeling. The odd burn and bruised marks on Brodie’s little body turns his stomach. Who could do such a thing to his little boy?

Brodie shakes his head. “No.”

“Why not?” Again Logan lifts his chin to look him in the eyes. He feels his heart breaking for his son. His frightened little boy shakes at the thought of telling his own mother. “Where is she?” Without realizing, his voice hardens. His teeth are clenched. His anger is barely suppressing itself to keep from frightening Brodie further.

Brodie’s body shakes. His lower lip trembles and his eyes are filled with tears. “She’s with Brisa.”

“I thought we agreed we weren’t going to call your little sister that anymore.” Logan brushes the hair from his son’s forehead. “Son, I can’t help you if you don’t tell me what happened.”

Brodie backs from his father and shakes his head. Tears are now spilling down his cheeks. Logan’s heart is breaking and he looks behind him at their front door. Something in that house is scaring his son. Someone in that house is hurting the boy. Logan scoops up his son and heads out the door in to the rain. Brodie shivers in his arms as they dash to the truck. He puts his son in the back seat, helps him with his shirt and straps him in. “I love you, Brodster.”

Brodie shivers uncontrollably. His teeth chatter. “I love you, too, Daddy.”


Logan sits in the chair staring at his hands in disbelief. How long has this been happening? How often? Who is responsible? How could he have been so blind to this abuse? All these questions and he had no answers. They tried to sweep the boy out of his arms the moment they showed up at the emergency room. He hasn’t heard a word about his condition. No one was giving him any answers, but they sure had plenty of questions. None that he could answer. If he couldn’t answer his wife, what makes them think he could answer them?

His phone rang five minutes after they pulled out of the driveway. His hands shook as the memory replayed as if the conversation was going on now. He witnessed it in his mind’s eye as if watching it from outside himself.

He glanced in the rear view mirror at his son. He gave him a reassuring smile. They came to a red light and he plucked his pea coat from the front seat and handed it to his boy. His phone rang in his coat pocket. He recognized the ring tone. From the look on Brodie’s face, so did the boy. Their eyes met in the mirror. Logan shook his head. “You don’t have to answer that.”

Brodie plucked the cell phone from his father’s coat pocket. It trembled in his hand. “But, it’s Mommy.” He stared at it as the tune played and Michael BublĂ© sang her favorite song, ‘Everything’.

The music stopped. Logan grips the steering wheel tighter. “Hi, Mommy…” Brodie winces. “Please don’t cry. I’m sorry!” He looks at Logan via the mirror, only Logan refuses to meet his gaze this time. The light turned green and they’re moving again. The rain was pouring down in buckets limiting visibility. He needed to concentrate on the road, but that wasn’t why he couldn’t meet his son’s gaze. “Yes, I’m okay. Daddy is driving.” He frowns and shrugs. “I don’t know.” He shakes his head. “I don’t know.” He nods. “Okay.” He nods again. “Okay.” He smiles sadly. “I love you, too.”

Brodie grows quiet. Logan turns right, then left before stopping at another light. Logan looks at Brodie in the mirror. He’s still staring at the phone in his hands. “Mommy was crying.” The sound of the rain beat staccato rhythms on the roof of the truck cab. Brodie took a shuddering breath. “She asked is I was okay. She asked where you were. She asked where we’re going. She asked how long we’ll be. She asked if next time we could please tell her if we’re leaving so she won’t worry and search the house for me and to be safe and be a good boy.” Brodie swallowed hard before meeting Logan’s gaze. “It makes me sad when Mommy cries.”

Logan drops his head in his hands. The bright harsh lights and cold chill reminds him he has no shoes on. He ran out of the house with his son and never put his boots back on. His son looked so small wrapped in his pea coat clinging to his neck. He cried out in pain when they tried to take him from his arms. The allowed Logan to set him down on the gurney before rolling his son away from him.

“Mr. Conley? Logan Conley?”

Logan lifts his heavy head, runs his fingers through his hair and stares blankly at the woman with a clipboard. “Yes.”

She nods at him and takes a seat beside him. She holds the clipboard to her chest. “I’m sure you’re very frustrated right now. You have a very strong, very brave son.”

“Have…” Logan takes a deep breath and lets it out in a rush. “Brodie is an exceptional boy. Mother used to say he has an old soul.”

She nodded. “My mother would say the same about some people. I found it an odd thing to say until I met someone like that. The expression suddenly made sense to me.” She extends a hand. “I’m Dr. Garcia, child psychologist.”

He shakes her hand and nods distractedly. “Logan… Logan Conley.” He blinks at her and gives her a sheepish grin. “You uh… you knew that. Sorry.”

“I realize you’re going through a very trying time.” She pauses before continuing. “Was there anything recent in his behavior that could have been a trigger for this change in your son?” She taps her chin. “Divorce, marriage, death, birth, a move perhaps?”

“Yes.” He stares at his hands again. “Brodie would stop by her place every day after school to check on her. She lived on our property… a free standing guest house. Those two were so close.” His voice hitches. “Mother, uh… passed six months ago. Shortly after our daughter was born.” He runs his fingers through his hair again. “Brodie was devastated. Said Bubbe wasn’t ready. He kept saying Brisa took her too soon.”

“I’m sorry… ‘brisa’?” The woman shook her head in confusion. “I’m confused. How did a breeze take your mother?”

Logan shook his head in response. “I’m confused, too.” He toys with his wedding ring on his finger. “Brodie named his sister before she was born. He said her name is Brisa.” He splayed his hands in defeat. “He was afraid of his sister before she was even born. So my wife and I decided we’d name her Aria.”

“I take it, renaming your daughter didn’t help things for Brodie?” She prompts, when he nods, she nods and sits back. “Your son’s attending physician will have to tell you about his physical condition. I was called in to evaluate his mental stability. He is very alert and aware, nothing out of the ordinary for twelve-year-old boy. I am however-”


“I beg your pardon?”

He takes a deep breath. “The boys just turned seven last week.”

“Ah… well that changes things.” She looks at the clipboard. “I was a bit concerned about how small he is for his age only he is simply mentally developed past his years.”

“Ever year his mental capacity grows. His maturity level excels. Every year his twin… doesn’t.” He looks at her with an odd look. “I try to treat them equally but they aren’t equals. Brodie is brilliant. Brayden…” He shakes his head. “Brayden cleaneded…”

Dr. Garcia peers at him. “He…”

Logan nods. “One of the last things he told me before I came here with Brodie. He made a mess and cleaneded it. That is my son. That is my boy Brayden.”

Dr. Garcia smiles and pats his arm. “He is just a typical seven year old boy. Don’t be too hard on him and please don’t compare him to his brother or he may pale in comparison and resent his twin.”

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Brisa 02

Logan takes two stairs at a time. It is another sunny morning and he is late for work. Tayla over slept this morning. That always throws him off schedule. It isn’t her fault, he shouldn’t rely on her but it’s become habit for the past 10 years together. He inhales and grins. Coffee. The fragrance is welcoming even on a hot morning. What was the joke? Coffee isn’t a drug, it’s a vitamin. Logan chuckles as he rounds the corner in to the kitchen.

“Brodie?” Logan stands in the kitchen doorway, his head cocked to the side with a questioning look. He crosses the kitchen and takes the mug from the boy’s hands. He sighs softly noting how the boy’s hands tremble. “Another nightmare.”

Brodie looks up with haunted exhausted eyes and nods slowly. “Something’s wrong with Brisa.”

Logan picks up his son and carries him back to his room. “What’s wrong?”

Brodie gratefully lays his head on his father’s shoulder closing his eyes for the first time since the nightmare last night. “She is.”

Logan rubs the boy’s back. “What is she?”

“She’s wrong.”

Logan grins. “Let’s try a new question. What’s wrong with her?”

“I don’t know. She’s just… not right.” He yawns while continuing. “Dad, she has a tail.”

Brodie has a way of spinning tales, creating worlds and unfortunately some of these stories become part of his reality. Logan has no idea if this recent claim is part of reality or one of Brodie’s reality. “A tail… so Brisa is a dog.”

Logan sets Brodie on his bed. “Un-uh…”

“A… cat.” He waits, watching Brodie crawl gratefully under the sheet and lays his blond head on the pillow.

“No.” Brodie rubs his eyes and yawns.

“Brodie, help me out here. Who is Brisa?” Logan kisses his forehead and turns to leave. The boy is almost asleep.

His voice is a soft sighing whisper as Logan grips the doorknob. “Brisa is my baby sister.”

Logan stops at the doorway to look at his sleeping son. “Sister?”

Brodie is fast asleep and doesn’t respond. Logan watches him silently for a moment longer. He glances down the hall towards his own bedroom. Tayla is pregnant. They decided to wait until the birth to find out the baby’s gender. How can Brodie know? Or is this part of his over active imagination? Logan rubs his chin and sighs. He closes the door before heading back to the kitchen for his coffee.

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Feb: Brisa

Author's Note: My posts for this and any story are not broken up in to chapters. They are broken down to what i have written for that day.



Logan Conley is a big burly man. The mental image one would conjure up when thinking of gladiators would come close to his physical appearance. The mental image of Adonis might be closer. At full height, Logan stands well over six feet, wide chest, thick arms, curly blond hair and blue eyes. His easy grin defies his first impression putting his friends at ease and his enemies on edge.

Logan rolls over. His arm drapes over his wife’s midsection. Instinctively she backs in to his embrace. His hand moves across her smooth bare skin to lovingly caress her and their unborn child. The ceiling fan moves lazily above them cooling their skin as much as it can in the considerable heat of summer. The bedroom window is open, the screen keeping what insects it can out, the mesh surrounding their bed protecting them further.

Tayla, wife to Logan, is at odds with him in the appearance department. She is fair skinned to his dark, dark haired to his light and petite to his tall. The only similarity between the couple is their eyes, both have blue eyes yet there the similarity ends, his are dark to her pale.

Tayla’s hand rests lightly on his thigh. Years together have honed their patterns. The couple moves in harmony even in their sleep. Lying on their left side, snuggling closely, she shifts her right leg raising her knee at an angle. Logan follows suit. The night is still, save for the locust out side. Their constant humming and chattering blends with the whooshing and humming of the ceiling fan as a symphony to lull them to slumber.

The door handle moves slowly, the door is opened equally as slow before a small blond head full of curls pops in and stares at the couple. Tayla gasps softly in her sleep followed by a soft moan.

“Mommy?” Brodie calls out in a strained whisper. His efforts are rewarded with silence. He sighs heavily. Unthwarted the youth enters their room stealthily and tries again. “Mommy?”

Brodie is half of a pair. He, like his twin Brayden, is a lovely mix of the parents. Both boys blessed with curly mops, both blond with pale blue eyes of their mother. Brodie is the shorter of the two by a few inches and the youngest by fifteen minutes. Fifteen minutes that Brayden will never allow him to forget about. Brodie also has a gift, or a curse depending on who you ask. He has an overly active imagination. This gift, this blessing is also his undoing. While he can entertain himself and his brother for hours with tales of far off worlds, it can also keep him up nights with vivid dreams and nightmares.

“Hmmm…” Tayla stirs.

Brodie isn’t fooled. She is still fast asleep while instinctively responding. The netting around their bed stirs. Brodie looks at the mirror to see if his mother is truly awake stopping dead in his tracks. His mouth falls open soundlessly. He wants to scream. He wants to yell out a warning but he isn’t quite certain of what it is he is seeing. He creeps forward slowly so it won’t be frightened off.

He reaches his mother’s side of the bed and pulls back the netting quickly. He cocks his head to the side in confusion. Lying comfortably are his parents. Nothing amiss, no odd tail wrapped around his mother’s thigh…. “Mommy?”

Tayla’s eyes flutter. “Hmm… Brod?”

“I had a nightmare.” Brodie stares at her bare thigh and shudders. His imagination can be cruel to him.

“Same one?” His mother strains to sit up.

“Yes.” Brodie shakes his head. “Don’t, Mommy. Just… I’m okay. I’ll go back to bed.”

Tayla sighs in relief and lies back down. “Give mommy a kiss?”

Brodie grins. For a six year old boy, he is wise beyond his age. “I’ll tuck ya in.” Brodie tugs gently on the thin sheet and pulls it up to his mother’s chin before gently kissing her forehead. “Night, Mommy.”

Tayla smiles sleepily at her son. “Mommy loves her baby boy.”

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