The Scouting Of Gertrude Dashing

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


As beams of sunlight burst into the room, the dream structure dispersed into fragments until it completely faded, and Gertrude awoke to a new day. For years, she had practiced total dream recall by making journal entries of her experiences in unconscious lands.

 

Gertrude had a recurring dream of a tall man attired in a business suit and top hat, holding a leather briefcase and standing in the corner of her bedroom. She’d peer at him from her bed, where she lay in paralysis. His face would fluctuate between blurred features, and a pointed nose, pale complexion and wide piercing eyes. He would withdraw papers from his brief case and urgently attempt to show them to Gertrude, as his mouth would open and close in a rapid yet offbeat fashion, like a Claymation movie. 

 

Throughout the day, Gertrude’s thoughts never strayed far from attempting to make sense of this man’s looming presence. There seemed to be an air of supernaturalism to these visions. She thought him to be a multi-dimensional time traveler trying to deliver her an important message. Gertrude simply couldn’t remember his words.

 

 “Arriving, Buckingham Cove Station”, the conductor echoed.

The train jolted to a halt and dislodged Gertrude from her internal dialogue.Although dazed, she quickly gathered her belongings and exited the train. The vertically narrow windows above allowed the setting sun to cast its rays upon the newly arriving passengers and form ever so shifting patterns of light on the polished concrete floors. Gertrude made this trip frequently, and generally there was little diversity in the crowd traveling through the station.

 

Suddenly, from across the briskly moving sea of decorated bows and rounded black hats, Gertrude caught a glimpse of the unusual stranger. The signature top hat that adorned his head was elongated and sharp at the edges. He wore a slightly oversized grey business suit and clenched a briefcase at his side. 

 

Surely, this was the time traveler from Gertrude’s nightmares. As she approached the man, he attempted to dart sideways to avoid the inevitable confrontation. He nervously shook his head while bringing his eyes to meet hers every few seconds. Gertrude stood in front of the man in silence. He was sweating and visibly anxious, as he knelt to open his briefcase and withdraw a large cellular phone. 

 

A feeling of panic erupted beneath Gertrude’s skin, but she found herself paralyzed like she always was in her dreams. He gripped the phone tightly and slowly raised it for Gertrude to view. Her eyes sank into the screen, withdrawing inward, folding and spiraling deep into the fabric of reality.She was captivated by multicolored holograms dancing as illuminated numbers moved at the speed of light, much too fast for her to process. She wanted to back away, but then the man spoke.

“I have been sent to retrieve you, Gertrude Dashing. I’m sorry, but you won’t be able to return.”

At that moment, a blinding lurid light encompassed the pair and they were gone. 


Submitted: May 08, 2020

© Copyright 2021 Destin LaGrone. All rights reserved.

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