My visions.. In my words.

June 21, 2011


Filed under: Very Short Stories — SR @ 7:37 am
She looked like a giant walrus as she slept. Occasionally, she even snored like one. Tonight was one of those occasions. The usual method of rolling her to one side wasn’t possible any more. My frail body didn’t have enough strength to push her and start the rolling. I did not have the will power either. Touching her would have meant a midnight argument which would only disturb the peace. Instead, I got off the bed and decided to leave.A few minutes later, I was packed and ready for my midnight road trip. I stood at my child’s bedroom door watching my daughter sleep. She looked like her princess Barbie doll. I must have stood there a long time. When I looked up, the faint light of dawn was already creeping through the window.Hurrying to my car, I threw the overnight bag in  the back and got into the driver seat. I tried starting the car, but the key stuck. A movement on my side sent a chill down my spine. I slowly looked around and nearly died. Walrus was in the rear passenger seat. Speechless for several moments, I stared. My mind raced about looking for a plausible explanation.

“Hello, Honey!”, I stammered. “I.. I thought I’d start the car so it would ready and warm. The damn old thing takes fifteen minutes to warm up these days. And look at the windscreen, all iced up too.” I could have gone on, but I noticed she wasn’t listening. She stared straight in front of her. Then, I heard a little snort. Her eyelids closed slowly. Moments later, the familiar snore.

My wife had sleep-walked into our car. I stood there clueless. Should I wake her? My body ached as I considered the idea. No. I decided. But the garage was very cold. Won’t she catch a cold? Even a fever? I liked the idea. Perhaps, she would catch pneumonia and go to the hospital. It would then be as if I’d left. For a few days at least.

I carefully removed my bag from her side, closed the door and stole back upstairs. As I rounded the bend in the spiral staircase, I saw my daughter standing at the top of the stairs, in her party dress. I stared at her for a moment and then started laughing silently.

My daughter was sleep-walking too.  In her sleep she’d gotten ready for her birthday party later that week. I draped her in her princess quilt and carried her back to her bed. Then, I went back down to wake up my wife. She awoke with a start, looked around her and went back to bed without a word. I went to my little study in the basement, sat in my favorite high-backed leather chair and tried to write my daily quota of words.

I stayed.

I slept soundly the next night until it was nearly light. A noise woke me up and memories of the previous night flashed across my eyes. I looked around. Walrus was snoring beside me. Through the open bedroom door,  I saw the little silhouette of my daughter sitting on the top step, again in her party dress. Like she’d done the evening before.

I got up, draped her in her princess quilt and carried her back to her bed.


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