Monday, February 20, 2017

Nightmare

The mother hears a cry from the child’s bedroom.  She shoots up and wakes her husband.  Erect in their bed, both listen as the screams fail to cease.  Storming into their seven-year-old son’s room, the parents inquire of him what has happened.  “I had a nightmare,” he tells them as he wipes his eyes dry.  The boy goes to sleep in his parents’ bed for the night.

The next morning, after her husband left for work, the mother asks her son what his nightmare was about.  As if some critical emotion was just struck, the boy’s eyes widened as he sipped his orange juice.  He explains to her that his nightmare was composed of him waking, seeing a large silhouetted figure standing in front of the open bedroom door—the hall light had been turned on.  The figure held something in his hand, the boy explained; he could not tell what the object was he was holding.  The boy emphasized that the figure was too large for his father and definitely too large for his mother—he was an only child.

At 7:30, the boy hopped onto the yellow school bus set on course for his elementary school.  The mother began her daily chores of cleaning the kitchen after her husband and son had taken off.  First she began with the kitchen.  Next came hers and her husband’s bedroom:  She made the bed, cleaned the bathroom, and took hers and her husbands dirty clothes to the laundry room.  Thirdly came her son’s bathroom—this usually entitled cleaning up toothpaste off the counter and twisting the cap back onto the tube of toothpaste.  Lastly came her son’s room.  She made his bed, picked up his toys and placed them in their bin, and grabbed the pile of dirty clothes that lay on the floor.  Walking to the door, the mother noticed footprints that lay pristinely in front of the bedroom door—too big for her husband and definitely too big for her.  In her peripheral vision of her right eye, she could see that the closet door stood slightly ajar. 

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