SWOOSH! The tassels on the Egyptian carpet swirled as he felt his stomach jut to his throat, like it used to when he rode the Big Dipper roller coaster at Springer Fun Park. Sweat beaded and slid into his golf-ball eyes. He wiped it away, hoping to wipe away the entire scene. His opponent was “driving” the magic carpet, somehow controlling its dips and sudden turns. Sinister laughter growled from his rival. Where are we going? What’s going on? How did I get here?
Another sudden drop, his arms flew above his head involuntarily. Billows of cotton flew past them. Buildings. Downtown. An all-too-familiar scenario, but this time, no planes. Just a flying– carpet? A gleam of light reflected from the windows of the skyscraper, blinding him for a split second. The windows came closer, his face contorted, eyes clinched shut, hands armored his face. He screamed out, “NO!”
He didn’t feel the actual impact. He awoke to his wife’s wearied and calming voice. “Honey, it’s ok. Another nightmare. You’re at home, in bed.”
He tried to catch his breath. Stupid dream. Why do I keep having this dream? Does it mean something? Ridiculous. I’m just overworked, overwhelmed, overstressed. Need to relax.
Lily was already snoring again. She worried and consoled him the first two times, but after six repetitions of the crazy ride, it got old. She just didn’t have the energy. Four kids, all in activities, and her husband running for State Representative, took everything she had. He wasn’t home much anyway, which added to their lack of communication or quality time with each other. At first, she was hurt and angry, but now, it was just the reality of their relationship. She wasn’t really okay with it, but the daily schedule moved her along so much that she didn’t have the time to think about it. Maybe things would change after the election. Maybe they would go back to normal. Not that she didn’t think he would be a successful and efficient representative, but in her mind, he was still the regular small town boy she met when they were thirteen. She thought it great that he made it this far, but actually winning the election was still far-fetched to her. Her ambitions didn’t much go beyond, “What should I fix for dinner tonight?” or “How do I get Katie to her dance lesson and get Alex to soccer practice when both start at the same time and are on opposite sides of the city?” And, “Who will pick up Erika from yearbook?” And, “Nick needs new drum sticks for the band competition on Saturday.”
His breathing finally normalized. He got up to walk around, to think. Ok, if this flying carpet piloted by Lassiter really means something, what are the possible solutions to the riddle? Or, what the hell is the riddle in the first place? When your opponent with an evil laugh drives you around on a magic carpet, mimics one of the worst terrorist acts on American soil and you feel completely out of control . . .that means . . .
Another practice write. Any comments, suggestions? I’m open to feedback. (Disclaimer–any similarities between this story and your personal life are simply coincidental).