A Nightmare on Dream Street


It started off with Andy and I trying to help wounded soldiers, in the only way I knew how: by making bouquets of flowers. We stopped by our family friend Elaine’s house, and picked bunches of Queen Ann’s lace. I remember the airy umbrels, elegant and rustic at the same time. She gave them generously, helping us gather, and then, in the way that dreams suddenly do, I was in the back seat of a moving car – an expansive station wagon, but not, I don’t think, the woody.

We are hurtling down the highway and a young man with dark hair is in the back seat attacking me. I can’t make out his face, it is in shadow. Andy is gone and I scream – at least I try to scream. The man begins to hit me, viciously, over and over. I try to scramble out of the back seat to the front of the car but I’m paralyzed. Still, no sound comes out, as often happens in my dreams. He does not stop, and I keep trying to scream, hoping the desperate tone, the wild pitch of someone in real trouble, cuts through whatever apathy has me in such dire solitude. When at last the smallest whimper comes out, when I’m almost too scared to speak, I awaken.

Calling out to Andy, I calm myself and slow my breathing. He hurries into the bedroom and I tell him about the nightmare. He asks what the man looked like, but I cannot remember. The only vivid parts were the flowers and the attack. He reassures me that if I couldn’t see his face then it couldn’t happen. I want to believe that.

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