The Continuing Dream of the Dreamers

The girl named Stacey watched as the fire on the stag’s antlers was burning itself out. From their sockets and to the very tips of each individual branch in its antlers, the fire vanished. With its antlers free of flame its presence was no longer intimidating. In fact, the stag seemed to emit an allure of warmth and peace. Almost, because she could sense something dangerous about the animal. She could almost feel a cold electrical current in the air emmited by the stag.
Stacey was wearing a light green thick and puffy coat. She grabbed at her hair which was three times as long as the hair she knew she had after one of her friends cut it. It's normally healthy chocolate brown texture was dull and brittle. It was as if it hadn't been washed in weeks and had been exposed to all kinds of terrible weather. The hands she held it in both had mittens. She was dressed for the arctic but was in a temperate forest. One where a fire had been raging.

Stacey yelped when a large bird suddenly landed on her shoulder, using it as a perch. She looked at the bird in admiration instantly recognizing what it was. It was a bald eagle. She stared at the bird and he cocked his head to the side and stared back at her. Stacey averted her attention from its white feathered head and examined the rest of it. The only place besides books where she had seen a bald eagle was in the third grade when she and her classmates went on a fieldtrip to a zoo. She only got to see them at a distance off about least thirty feet.

It was the only time she had ever been to a zoo. Stacey lived in poverty and her father would never have taken her to a zoo anyways even if he had the money. Stacey wished she could see her mother some time soon. She and her father weren't divorced, but they had been separated for years so they might as well be. Her father was an alcoholic. Not an alcoholic that would throw fits and beat her half to death, her mother never would have decided to leave her alone with him if that was the case.

Before Stacey’s mother left she had tasked her with a most important task. One that if she succeeded would reunite her family. Seven years have passed and Stacey has still not achieved it. But, no matter how many seasons went by she never lost hope. A couple of times her mother called and said if she wanted to move in with her, Stacey had had to tell her no. Her mother never put up a fight, she trusted in her daughter’s judgment. Stacey promised she would see it through that her mother and father be reunited.

When that happened the first thing she would want to do with her family was go to the zoo. Stacey looked at all the beautiful animals around her. She felt like crying it was the most spectacular thing she had ever beheld. Maybe she and her family would go somewhere far away and see the animals in their natural habitats. A caged animal was a prisoner in her eyes.

How she could create such vivid images of these magnificent creatures in a dream, she did not know. Stacey closely examined the eagles feathers. Most were in perfect silky smooth condition. Others however were rumpled. A few were so damaged they could have been nothing else but "battle scars" and from the looks of it many battles.

The eagle recoiled as a large dark furred bear lumbered through the mass of scaled, feathered, and fur-covered animals. Most animals made way for the huge beast without hesitation, like they were afraid of it. A few moved aside as if they were repulsed by the bear’s proximity.

Stacey held her breath as the distance between her and the bear was lessened. She couldn't believe herself. Here she was holding her breath in a dream! She resumed her breathing in case the Stacey in bed was holding her breath along with the one in the dream. She shuffled her feet to the left bringing her right arm closer to her slender body. The only place she had seen that kind of bear was on a video she watched her sophomore year in the Government formed World Progression class about how Russia was a nuclear superpower like the US. She learned during the program that a bear was the national animal symbol of Russia.

The bear raised its head and stared at Stacey as if reading her thoughts. The bald eagle on her shoulder unfolded its wings to their fullest screeching at the bear. It growled a throaty rumble before moving on. She shivered when the bears furry body brushed against her side. "Easy," she said cooing the bird of prey like a puppy.

It seemed to have an effect because it was folding its wings back into place. A thunderous roar from behind made her scream. Stacey’s hair and the eagles’ feathers were blown wildly by steamy wind from the throat of the roaring beast. The eagle dug it's talons into her shoulder as frightened as him by the roar. Whatever was behind her was breathing against the back of her head. The hot smoky breath formed moisture on her neck. Stacey’s shirt was dampened by the wetness dripping down her neck. She put her hood on.

Smoky smell, feeling of moisture, and a too real sense of dread, none of those things belonged in a dream. A dream that was becoming scary. The thing behind Stacey continued to breathe on her. She wanted to look back, but was afraid of what monstrosity her unconscious mind would produce.

Quit being ridiculous Stacey. What are you afraid the boogeyman might be behind you? Here goes nothing, she thought as she turned on wobbly legs. In comparison the boogeyman was a baby panda bear compared to the thing behind her.





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