Short Stories by Diana McGuerty – It Was Just A Dream…

It Was Just a Dream….

She quietly awoke, with the feeling of being observed. A small toddler stood looking down at her. Well. perhaps she wants to play. No. No sign of recognition or friendliness. Just… curious… perhaps.

Except, I’d been sleeping on a grassy knoll, and the book that I must have been reading was there beside me, patiently awaiting my return. Or so it would seem. A favorite poetry anthology.

Unfolding, my somewhat cramped form, I continued to be watched. But not a word was spoken. She didn’t seem frightened, barely interested actually, as she turned and walked directly up the hill toward home. An independent little character.

Scattered across the grassy hillside were several rather pretty neighborhood homes, even more attractive due to the well-chosen landscaping.

But wait! Where is my car, my trusty 3-cylinder silver Sprint? Had I parked it on some nearby country byway and walked all this way, just to sit and read my book?

Well… if that’s the case… where are my shoes? My baggy shorts and little blouse don’t indicate my usual hiking clothes. And… barefoot? Where are my sneakers? Although, this cool and lovely grass does feel good underfoot.

Let’s check with some of the folks nearby. Perhaps the Sprint is parked down the road, and someone can direct me to it. Being barefoot isn’t all that bad.
Perhaps they’ll think I’m a vagrant. Naw… not carrying an over-sized poetry book hugged to my chest. Here: I’ll stop at this family cottage and inquire about my car. Should I just walk in the patio door? It’s open, so there must be folks indoors.
Even the soft carpeting feels good on my very bare feet. I’ll just walk through the rooms until I meet one of the family.

Strange, I’ve passed two ladies and a couple older kids, but no one seems interested in my wandering through their private residence… through their rooms and on out the side door. No questions. No comments. But I am attracting their attention, however neutral they may seem as I proceed through another attractive home, and then another, through their yards… as I continue to seek out information about my car… and my footwear.

Not a word from anyone. And certainly… no help offered. They just watch… and then turn away. What the heck. Doesn’t anyone care that I am walking through their homes and pretty yards? Nary a question or comment. They just… watch me.

How on earth am I going to find my Sprint, or even where this country village is located? It’s obviously a rural winding road down there at the bottom of the hill; I must have come in from that direction. But… from which direction, to the right… or the left?

Well, feet. No help from these good folks, obviously. Let’s head that way; maybe my Chevy is parked just around that curve up ahead.

Hmm… walking barefoot on this asphalt is not near as pleasant as on soft cool grass or smooth carpets. Oh well. It’s bound to be close by. I couldn’t have walked too far.

There! Up ahead. Two guys… from whom I can ask directions,or if they’ve seen the Sprint. That’s funny; I could swear that is Dennis Miller. I never did like that arrogant guy.Yup. It sure does look like him. Some snotty grin. I don’t recognize the fella with him.

Approaching them carefully, I must have looked sight, because now I am feeling a tad edgy with the lack of response from the locals. Not a word of courtesy at all. Not even an offer to help me in my plight. Weird… at best.

Okay. Like him or not, I’d best see if he can help me. “I’m looking for my car, a silver Chevy Sprint. Have you seen it anywhere close by?”

“Sure.” My first actual response! And from this nasty creep himself! “It’s up there, where we left it,” pointing further up the road.

“You left it?? And I suppose you’ve seen my shoes too? Oh my gosh… what about my purse?”

“Yeah. We left them in the car,” as he smirked belligerently in my face.

“Did you steal anything? And… what the heck is going on??
“Nah. Nothing worth stealing. Not from you, anyway.”
And he chuckled, truly enjoying my confusion and increasing anger.
“Why wouldn’t anyone back there offer me some kind of help? Not a word from anyone, even the kids.”
“They weren’t supposed to.”

“What a whacky bunch! I’m getting out of here. You didn’t do any harm to my car, did you? Maybe cut the brake line…just for kicks?”
“Nope… we never got around to it.” Another snotty grin.
“Well! I guess that’s that! Thanks a lot! I can’t say it’s been fun.”
“Oh, but it has… for all of us!”
“But… why?!”
“Why not?”

And when she awakened that quiet Sunday morning… it all continued to play in her mind. She could still feel the cool green grass under her bare feet. Still see those pleasantly attractive homes on the hillside. The silence of the people who lived there. Even the heavy poetry book… a thick anthology of William Blake, actually.

All… a very clear picture in her mind.
It WAS just a dream… wasn’t it?…

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