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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: August 23, 2018

A A A | A A A

Submitted: August 23, 2018




Bobi Leutschaft Poitras c 2014

Glen's confident pace slowed.  He hesitantly turned the corner.  Gone.  Where was he?  He lifted his eyes to the street sign.  There was no mistake - it said James Street E in clear black lettering.  Again he looked to the spot where his house should be.  Gone.  An empty lot.  Even Jack and Eunice's house wasn't there.  Nor was the Sanders' where he had played as a boy and his boys had played. Only three houses on the entire stretch of James.  Glen closed his eyes.  Open. The same scene met him.  His expression relaxed.  His lips took an upward turn and soon he was laughing.  A dream. Of course!  He was having one of his dreams; vivid, life-like, surreal.  His pace quickened as he began to anticipate the adventure that would come to an end with the annoying buzzing of his alarm.

He went to the lot where his house should be.  A dog barked in the distance.  The lot was gravel and sand.  No beautifully manicured lawn; no paved driveway.  "The basketball hoop over the garage door wouldn't be much good here," he thought.  "May as well look around the neighbourhood while this lasts."

Glen heard the dog bark again.  It struck him then how unearthly quiet it was.  Other than the dog, he hadn't heard a sound.  Not a bird, not a car, nothing.  He stopped and strained his ears.  This was unusual, even for one of his wacky dreams.  "Well, I wonder what time of day it's supposed to be."  He shielded his eyes.  How strange.  It was a bright, cloudless day, but the sun was curiously absent.  He hand went down to his side.  He brought it back up.  His knuckles were bruised and swollen.  He touched them with the fingers of his left hand and to his surprise, he flinched.  "Now there's a new dimension."  He touched his knuckles again; harder.  No doubt - they hurt.  He walked down the street to check out one of the three houses.  As he neared it began to seem just a little familiar to him.  He stopped when he saw the house number - 2437.  James Street E didn't go to 2437.  "The last house on the block was the one those damned Asians moved into and it was number 832," he mused.  2437. 2437.  Glen wracked his brain to bring the memory back more clearly.  There was something about that number.  2437.

A movement caught his eye.  Someone was in the house.  Was someone watching him? "What difference does it make - it's not real."  Walking toward the back of the house, he caught his reflection in the glass behind the screen door.  He froze.  Looking back at him was a much younger Glen.  2437.  The scar he'd had for 65 years was now a fresh gash.  2437. Bruised scratches ran down one side of his neck; down into his torn t-shirt.  2437.  He tried the handle.  Open.  He tried the knob on the inside door. It turned.  Maybe he should just continue to the backyard.  He pushed the door open.  "It's only a dream, it's only a dream, it's only a dream..."

"Looking for me?"

Glen felt his blood.  He felt it trying to force its way through his veins.  Her voice.  2437.  The empty house he had taken her to.  The empty house not on James Street E, but this was a dream, after all.

"I'm right where you left me."

"Okay," he thought, "wake up.  Wake up now."  He pinched his arm.  He slammed his bruised hand into the door.  The pain made him stagger.  He knew if he saw her he would be sick.  Even in a dream.  Even in a nightmare.

Against his will he turned, keeping his head down.  Seconds were hours.

"Poor nigger.  He paid a heavy price."

Glen felt the warmth running down his legs.  His knees gave out.

"For something he didn't do."  Her voice was thick.

His mind racing, Glen tried to concentrate on waking up, but instead, pain gripped him.  He could feel his left arm tingling, going numb.


"I'm sorry."  Mabel dried her eyes as she relaxed her hug.  "I know this is a hard time, but he lived a good, long life, and he's gone to a better place now."

Lara looked up.  "I know, Aunt Mabel.  I should feel grateful that he got his wish to die peacefully.  Funny, I've never known him to wet the bed."

"Never mind that.  Your Dad was a dear, sweet man.  When are the boys arriving?"

"George will be here this afternoon, but Evan can't make it till Wednesday.  He's a busy lawyer and that's the earliest he can get away," Lara replied.

"Just like his Dad."  Mabel smiles.  "How about a cup of tea?"



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