Dreamscape Noir

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic


I dreamed in black and white again. Immersed as the protagonist in a pulp fiction slam-bam a la Mickey Spillane, I navigated through surreal images of a rapid eye movement sojourn ripened in the gutter. I had scheduled a rendezvous with a sultry femme fatale at 4:00 PM sharp. She chose the place - a sunny western fringe in the central train station. I agreed. Never relishing the business end of a loaded rod, I’d seek refuge in the bustle surrounding me. I didn’t like crowds much, but the odds of getting plugged go down significantly when a cluster’s around to point the finger.

So here I was, waiting to exchange a client’s briefcase full of dirty bills for a locker key that would crack the case wide open. I was a little hazy about case particulars, but dreams are like that sometimes. At least my planned encounter avoided being enveloped in the grasp of a murky acrimonious night. Nor was it raining outside like an angry sea draining from some ominous, volatile clouds. Sorry, Mickey. 

The dame showed, but not the ruby lipped vixen I planned on tucking in later. Actually, it was my mother. She wondered in no uncertain terms why I hadn’t taken my daily multivitamin. What am I, 10 years old again? Maybe I was, crammed into a grown man’s body - but dreams are like that sometimes. After an eternity of scolding, mom held up a locker key and smiled. It glistened in the afternoon sunbeam like a freshly minted penny dropped on a scorching midday sidewalk. 

“Is this what you came for? You can have it after you take your vitamin.” She then shoved an oblong tablet up to my face like it was a prospector’s first nugget.

“Okay, mom,” I muttered in my bravest childhood voice. She handed the multi over and watched me swallow it dry. A couple of passersby glanced curiously as mom once again made me quaff my withering pride. When they took a second glimpse, I shouted at them to scram. I couldn’t help myself; I had a reputation to maintain.

Mom dropped the key into my open palm then turned away and disappeared into the fading sunbeams, leaving me holding the briefcase. Okay mom, I get it. The dough’s the least you can do for making me a lifelong momma’s boy. I headed to the lockers.

The key’s number read 007; it occurred to me that maybe I was morphing into different character, but dreams are like that sometimes. I approached 007 and inserted the key, opening the creaky door. Finally, I could get that seedy client off my back and put some sawbucks in my wallet. I peered inside, spewing every foul word I could muster. My nosy mother had gotten there before me. And what did she do? Mom replaced the locker’s case-busting contents with countless bottles of vitamins. Vitamins! I didn’t need to open the briefcase to know what was inside.


Submitted: March 09, 2020

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