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Under the beige blanket

By , Delano, MN
A beige blanket lay strewn across the bed revealing small hills and valleys. It reminded the silence of lost thoughts, and scattered papers contrasted against the dark, ominous air. A curtain was suddenly whipped up by the wind of the night, and glimpses outside of the safe house showed leaning trees and quivering swings. Their shadows by the notorious moonlight shook with apprehension. Thunder let loose sharp cackles and lightning split the sky spontaneously. From the dense barricade of clouds, rain saturated the ground and battered the roof in a rhythmic pattern. A crudely made doll flung upon the ground, made by a young islander herself, sat in a newly formed murky pool of brown. It had been abandoned hastily, late at night to avoid what was venturing over the horizon. The doll’s unseeing eyes peered penultimately at char-colored sky until submerging into the puddle’s increasing depth. All this chaos was happening through the night, but not only outside.


An overworked mind lay conscious and dreaming under the beige blanket. Inside was a vortex of thrashing thoughts and perplexity. The mask covering this nightmare had a grimace with frowning brown eyes and short brown hair. Tossing and turning was the only attempt made to escape from the dream, but it was unsuccessful. Wind continued to howl through the window and rain beat against the inside of the window pane. The unease persisted until 2:35 am. A gerbil named Fuzz was gnawing on a banana peel at the back of his cage, unaware and unperturbed. His magnificent shining eyes bore through the darkness, setting on an interesting poster on the wall, and lazily to another object of interest. Max turned violently in the bed, sending the beige blanket to the floor of cluttered papers. He awoke with a start and heavy breathing. In response, Fuzz fled back to his den in fright, hitting his tail on the side of the glass cage
but unharmed. A series of thoughts flew through the boy’s mind much like a group of oversized crows, twisting and plummeting in confusion. Just then he heard voices. They sounded monotone with a hint of fear. Max sat upright and swung his legs over the side of the bed. At the end of the hallway was a TV set on the weather channel. His mother looked back quickly then again at the TV. The voices droned on, and Max moved toward the window to see the weather for himself. A flash of light. Crack! A sudden bolt shook the house. Another and another. Scrolling text at the bottom of the screen read: “Warning: Severe weather. Winds in excess of 70 m.p.h. Damaging hail. Severe Thunderstorms. Stay indoors...” Then: “The following areas are under alert for tornado warning:…” His heart jumped. Tornado, here. Our family huddled in the basement at the untimely 2:45 am. The vision of his dream played again in his head, leaving almost nothing out that was just experienced while sleeping. In an attempt to understand what he’d just experienced, the victim thought it over.


The door behind him closed. Fives steps set in front of him, and these steps led to a stretching street. He walked down the sidewalk, or rather watched himself walk down the sidewalk lined with luminous street lights. They shone bright, some not at all, and they were his only light. He trekked with lucid awareness into oblivion; where was the dream taking him? Suddenly, the way a dream will do, a vast ocean appeared like an illusion, shimmering with the undulation of every miniscule wave. It was still very dark out, and wisps of light fog skated slowly across the surface of the smooth water. The moon’s luminescent glare accentuated the flat landscape as if wanting to emphasize the beauty of the night. Max stood calmly in great openness, waiting for the dream to determine the next action. An unnoticeable protrusion sent slight ripples through the watery land that lapped at his feet. He was suddenly positioned exactly on the waterline. The obscure object rose rashly out of its bed and towered over the barren ground, blocking out the beautiful moonlight.



“Max. Max, wake up.” You’d expect a loving mother to whisper the words gently to her child just after the sunrise, but instead they came from a little brother’s squealing voice. “Max you have to get up now. Today’s a school day, remember?” Max was aware of what day it was, and he still slept in the hallway from the previous excitement.


“Howie, leave. Please,” I moaned pleadingly. Howie, to Max, was the parasite of his joy, but what are siblings for after all? After morning endeavors, Max was on his way to school. It’s the second day, and the teachers have already found out how to put the test generator machine into overdrive.





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