Under The Willow – Dreams In Time

[This is a portion of my serialised e-story. Read it from the start here]

 

Ray not only knew things got he also had a thing. Sometimes he would zone out and see things. His eyes would glaze over and sometimes he would be very still but like vibrating all over. He could be standing, with his eyes wide open but he was gone. It could be ten, forty, sixty seconds. And in that time, he would see things that, to him, could last from 5 minutes to an hour or a day. Like dreams. I say ‘like dreams’ because they had a way of mirroring reality. ‘Mirroring reality’ is what my mom says when I would tell her about something that pretty much matches a trance that Ray has had. She can never quite commit to ‘coming true’. It was never a clear picture or dream he would have, like of the mailman falling down and then you hearing the next day that the mailman fell down a well. Ray’s thing was always a bit sideways and hard to figure out until you saw it. Then the light bulb would come on. Or go out, depending on how scary the outcome.And they could be pretty random too.

Once he had a thing just outside a sushi bar. We were standing outside deciding what to do and then he was gone. Stump stiff, eyes staring into nowhere and almost popping out. Must have been only thirty seconds but it always feels longer when you’re in public and people walking by can tell something’s wrong. Even when we try to play it cool and keep talking in a huddle like everything was normal. That day by the sushi bar he said he saw a guy flying on a bicycle. Like a strange tumbling acrobatic sort of dance, along with a small blue car and a black truck. The bike was always in the air and the car and truck were mostly on the ground except when they jumped or hopped over each other. The man on the bicycle had a shadow that looked like the letter N. Every time the man and the bike circled high above the cars, he would raise his left wrist really high and look at the time. He looked upset. This repeated about 5 times before Ray came out of his trance.

Two weeks later, a totally random and quirky news feature from Japan hit our network. It was about a guy who fell off his mamachari– the sturdy bicycles used to commute and shop in many cities and towns in Japan. Apparently, he was half asleep from a long shift and was rammed, by another bicycle, into a black truck which subsequently swerved into another car (we notice from the pile up image that the care was blue). Apparently, he did a bit of freaky somersaulting before he headed towards the van for the final crash. His bike was totaled, not event fit for scraps. It was a wonder he got away with only a few bruises and scratches. But the funny part was not just that he was getting upset at all the other people the accident – which he caused –  it was because his biggest complaint, the thing that he shouted about when he got off the floor, and what he complained about repeatedly when he was interviewed afterwards in hospital, was that his watch, which he wore on is left wrist, had been smashed in the accident. He got it from his father and it was the most expensive thing he ever owned. The features actually mentioned his name, which we couldn’t remember, but it started with N. We are now used to these ‘uncanny coincidences’ as my mother calls them. I have stopped telling her about them. It’s probably for the best.

Not all his things made sense and not all of them came true. Or if they did, it happened somewhere else.

“Who’s head? And what did you say? What is going on guys?” I felt very afraid.

Flinny put her hand on my shoulder. “We waited two hours after we were supposed to meet and you didn’t turn up and we couldn’t reach you. Then Ray had his thing and it really scared us so we came looking for you.”

“Well I’m here and alive so will someone please tell me what the heck is going on? What happened to my head?!”

I didn’t mean to shout at them but, there, I went and did it. I was getting more and more frustrated with this day. The worst part was that I couldn’t say exactly why. I couldn’t explain this lack of ease I felt and their cryptic words and fearful looks didn’t help at all. I hated not knowing. My mind was racing.

“Wait a minute, did you say we are two hours past the meet? I’m sure it’s only an hour.”

“Well, it’s three hours now. Ray had his thing after two hours.  After he calmed down, told us what it was and we couldn’t reach you, we all panicked, so we then headed out and have been creeping around here since. We went to your place first.”

“Thanks Boomer.” I said calculating everything. A normal walk from Ray’s, at the edge of Pinerush, to my place would be thirty minutes. Twenty for us because we walk fast. I couldn’t understand how my detour took up that much more time.

Even though a big part of me didn’t want to know, I asked again, “So what did you see, Ray?”

He finally looked up.

“Wait, were you busy eating while we were all worrying about you?” Flinny was squinting her eyes at me the way she always did before she started a long telling-off or dropped me one of her sharp shoulder punches. At this point, it felt like both were on the way. I never met a girl who liked to punch others so hard. Even when she did it playfully it stung like crazy.

“Of course not,” I said. I thought back painfully to the apple and cinnamon pie I turned down.

“Then why do you smell of cinnamon and what are these crumbs on your shirt?” she asked, squinting even more. Now they were just slits outlined by a mesh of eyelashes. Very scary but impressive that she could see through them. I could feel the force of what was behind those scrunched up slits. She was mad at me. It didn’t make sense why she was so upset.

“I was outside a house, a hut, where a lady – a very strange lady, by the way- was baking. I didn’t even go inside. She offered me some and…” I looked down at my shirt as what Flinny said, registered in my head. Sure enough I had crumbs scattered along my collar and down the middle.

Howlin’ Crumbs! How did that get there!

“This day just gets worse and weirder. But I promise you, I didn’t eat or drink anything. I was too spooked. The strange lady, she walked around me… she shook my hand… I don’t know…”

 

 

——–

[If you would like to read more, please let me know]
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