Sunday, February 25th, 2029
It takes me a bit longer than I would have liked it to reach the park. Sarah is already there when I arrive. She’s looking as beautiful as the day before, yet a worried look paints her face as I come closer.
I’m confused, but then I realize she’s seen my head.
“It’s nothing. I’m fine.”
I take a seat on some of the boulders that are around us.
“John, that isn’t nothing. What happened?” She takes a seat next to me and she is inspecting my makeshift bandages.
“It’s nothing, really. I must have zoned out or something yesterday and I fell against the sidewalk.”
“You need to get that looked at. It could get infected.”
“Listen, I’ll be okay. Can we just...get onto a different subject?”
She is quiet for a moment. “Okay. I won’t press you any farther on it,” She backs off.
“So, what is with this?” I grasp for the slip of paper out of my pocket and hand it to her. She takes it and just stares at it for a second. “How the hell do I actually have this?”
She looks uncertain. “Well, of course this is only a theory, as I have no actual proof…” She begins.
“So, I had this dream. Everyone was dying...or already dead, there was total chaos in this city. Then I saw you. Something in the back of my mind said Hand it to him," She explains.
“I’m assuming it being the note?”
“There’s one more thing I need to ask you about,” I say.
She looks toward me, cocking her head.
I bring out her notebook and flip to the drawing of me. I lay it out on the boulder and push it towards her.
“I’ve been looking everywhere for that!” Sarah says.
“This picture, it’s dated February of last year. How did you draw this?” I ask.
She looks down at her notebook and I can see her expression change. “I…that looks just like you,” she says.
“Is this new for you?”
She shakes her head, nearly speechless. “I don’t look back on old drawings. This is so strange,” she says.
I flip to the drawing of the city. “And this…this is the city I dreamt of,” I point to the drawing.
“I was drawing that yesterday.”
“Yeah and I had this weird dream the day before also, that city was in my dream.”
“So, I’m not the only one…” she says quietly.
“So, you’ve seen this city too?”
“Yeah, that’s where I got the inspiration to draw it. Do you think there’s a connection here?”
I look down. “I don’t know, maybe? I mean, it sounds crazy, but how else can you explain something like this?” I ask. “I mean, you even got the details on that one building right,” I say, pointing to one that says “One Bush Plaza” on the front.
I’m staring at the ground and I sigh. Looking back up into her eyes, the same burst reflected. It’s almost disgraceful, like a stain on an otherwise perfect picture.
“I think I know one thing that may help. It was about that one guy that’s always in the news, Micah,” Sarah says.
“Who?” I ask.
“You haven’t heard? He was the guy hacking into the news mainframe and declaring his conspiracy theories or whatever. The President has posted a pretty large reward for his capture,” she explains.
“What is his latest theory?” I ask.
“I don’t know all of the specifics, but apparently on March 18th he makes mention of a revolutionizing apocalypse.”
So, that date is coming in to play.
“There seems to be more to this,” I begin.
“In my dreams...I heard a voice,” I explain.
“This voice mentioned something about a doom’s desire on the eighteenth of March,” I say.
I nod my head. “It’s that date, the date that Micah talks about.”
“You can’t seriously think the world is going to end in March though...do you?” She asks me.
I let out a breath I hadn’t realized I’d been holding. “I honestly don’t know, Sarah. This can’t all be coincidence.”
“That’s a dreadful thought,” she says.
“You can say that again.”
“And we can’t go to the police with this,” she says.
“Yeah, they’ll probably lock us up for being two nutcase kids.”
“Or think we’re in league with Micah.”
I just remembered seeing that name scrawled on the ground near those three towers by the boardwalk.
She looks up at the sky and whispers something I can barely catch, “It’s just…how something like this just ends…can it even?”
I sigh and lay back against the rock. I feel like we need a change of subject.
“So, how’re things here? Parents move in easy enough?” I ask, asking the first thing that comes to mind, but I realize it sounds totally stupid.
There is a tense silence for a minute or two.
“It’s just my mom and I, yeah. I’ve had to help her around because she was paralyzed from an accident at work about fifteen years ago. Somehow she manages to work full time and provide for me and I respect her so much for it,” she explains.
“I’m so sorry. It must have been hard.”
“It was, but time passed. Time heals all wounds. That’s what my mother used to say to me to help,” she turns to me and I can’t stand looking in her eyes, all I see is the bursting light. I don’t want to see it.
“So, what about your parents?” She turns to me.
“My parents are…difficult, to say the least. They couldn’t give any less of a shit about me than they do now. I’ll give them that much.”
She only looks at me, a sad look on her face.
“I’ve learned to move on. It’s okay, really.”
“If you say so…” She calmly says.
I can tell she can see through my lies. It just goes without saying she can understand that I haven’t moved on with my parents. I close my eyes and just let everything soak in, the air around us and everything going on with these dreams. Everything and anything just melds into one complete being. That being is Sarah.
I smile, my eyes still closed.
I open my eyes, my trance smashed.
“You okay?” She asks.
“Yeah, I’m just fine,” I take a deep breath and get up off of the rock. “Well, I think it’s time for me to go. I guess we both have to prepare for school tomorrow, right?”
Sarah nods her head.
She says she has to go help her mom out with something anyway. I don’t really have to prepare or anything, I just don’t want to piss of my father any more than he is at this point. Plus, I can tell I had nothing else good to speak about and didn’t want to make myself as more of a loser than I already did. We go to head our separate ways, but then she walks up and hugs me.
“We’ll figure this stuff out John, I promise,” she says. It takes me off guard, but after a second I hug back and nod my head.
The wind begins to pick up. I brace myself for the cold and I let go as she turns to walk the opposite direction.
“Hey John?” I hear from behind me.
“Can you tell me if your parents did that to you? Your head I mean?”
I take in a deep breath, “Not this time.” I say, picking up my pace as I begin jogging home, my head isn’t objecting to my burst of energy which I am thankful for. She doesn’t follow, I don’t turn around as I’ve already got myself thinking I’m an idiot for saying something. I pass by several other people who seem to stop and stare at me as I pass them. For a second I almost confuse them for someone I know. I must have hit my head a little harder than I originally thought.
I exit the park through the same blackthorned gate that I had used to get in. I turn the corner and keep my pace. I hear fragments of a tiny voice in my mind.
“Stay away from her.”
I’m not going to listen. I need to find out what this all means, now that I know it is something. Snow begins to fall and blankets of the powdered ice cover the streets as I pass by them. I finally make it to my front porch. I can easily distinguish my house from the others on the street from the slightly off-putting color scheme we have going on here. The browns of the front porch clash with the dulled out greens at the foot of the steps. I open the door and walk inside.
Surprisingly, I am not met with some vulgar gesture or anything of the sort from my father. This is because he is passed out in his chair, most likely drunk. I make my way to the kitchen to grab a bite, quietly of course.
I open the cupboards and grab out some ramen. Didn’t say it was going to be a super expensive bite. As I’m eating I swear out of the corner of my eye I see the man from my dream peering into the window. Once I look to confirm my suspicions there is absolutely nothing and no one there. I definitely need to just calm down.
I think to do some research on those numbers still, but if I’m seeing things, that must be a sign that I should get some sleep. I take a look at my phone and it is only ten in the morning. I could do with a small nap. I quietly move to my room and lie down on my bed. Within moments I’m nodding off.
[ | ]
I open my eyes and I’m standing in a different locale. It is a lush forest, the sun shining through the tree tops. The browns of the trees are accentuated by the vivid greens from the leaves.
Why am I here?
Then I remember I’m dreaming. I guess I’m not really used to seeing this much greenery in my dreams. I see the man out of the corner of my eye. He’s here and he’s wearing a white pinstripe suit with matching slacks. He’s wearing the white mask, still, but I see a bit more of his blondish hair that drops to the sides. He walks up to me and looks me up and down with his hands in his pockets. I cannot move, my body is not responding. I seem to be a puppet to the dream. He laughs and then plucks a note out of his pocket and drops it in my hand.
What’s everyone’s fascination with notes here?
He looks at me expectantly, waiting for me to read the note. I can see the creepy jack-o-lantern smile creep through behind the mask. It takes me an extra second to realize that I have control of my body once more. I unfold the piece of paper and begin reading.
I want to learn about you, Jonathan. When the time comes I’ll have to borrow you. It is only because Reinhardt has an interest in you, so nothing personal, okay? March 18th is approaching.
Could this man really be the same Micah that Sarah had told me about? All of this seems a little too perfect. His connection in this seems fuzzy at best, but why am I seeing him in my dreams? And who the hell is this Reinhardt? Also…what did he mean about borrowing me?
I refold the paper and place it into my right pocket.
Just then, I look up and freeze in terror. The beautiful landscape I was just in is now smeared with reds and browns as fire catches to the nearby plant life. Micah is gone, but animals of varying species take his place, trembling and succumbing to the fire. Tremors and explosions rock the ground and I see the animals around me trying to escape. Most of them are too late. I look away. I don’t want anything to do with this. I begin running away from it. It is futile, you can’t run away from a dream.
[ | ]
I’m forced awake and I sit up nearly screaming. I’m sweating profusely and breathing heavily. I put my hand on my forehead and realize my wound had reopened and was spilling fresh blood onto my sheets.
“Holy…shit,” I say, in-between breaths.
I hear a tumbling noise downstairs and then I hear it rushing up the stairs. It could only be one thing. The door slams open and my father bursts into the room, night robe and all. I glance at watch and see that it is three in the morning.
“What the hell are you screaming about?!” my father yells.
“I…I” I begin.
“What the hell did you to yourself, boy?” he snarls.
I’m interrupted as my father walks over to the glass I had lying on the table and takes it in his hand. He looks at it with an examining eye and then promptly throws it straight at me.
“If I’ve told you once I’ve told you a thousand fucking times, take care of your shit!”
The glass sails through the air and before I can react it crashes against my skull and I can feel it shatter. It hurts immensely as it hits just to the right of my other open wound and I scream out in pain.
“Grow a pair, will ya? Your mother is trying to get some fucking sleep!” He growls.
I hold my hands onto the top of my hair, trying to keep pressure on the now openly bleeding wound. I’m breathing short breaths to keep from screaming out anymore and getting another dose. I fall back onto my bed and cry silently. I keep pressure on my head and a few moments later I can feel my consciousness slipping away. I try my hardest to stay awake, but I eventually lose control. I’m dying.
[ | ]
I dream of something different for once. It isn’t of monumental apocalypse or burning forests. It is of two guys, both look to be a bit older than me. They’re standing in complete darkness except for a halo of light below their feet. They’re partially cloaked in shadow, but I can see their faces.
The one on the right has sort of long black hair and green eyes. He looks to be in his mid-twenties. The one on the left has messy dirty blond hair and differently colored eyes, one hazel and the other a bright blue. He looks to be only twenty or twenty-one.
They’re facing each other and I assume that they are in a discussion something.
“Are you sure he’s the one?” the one with the black hair asks.
“I don’t know, but Jay said it’s him. As much as he had to do with this, I trust him,” the dirty blond haired man puts his hand to his head and breathes heavily.
“I’m not saying that I don’t. It’s just that there’s a lot riding on this. If it’s not then we’re endangering an innocent, possibly killing them.” the one with black hair cocks his head.
“I know that. I know exactly what is at stake. That’s why we need to find him and fast,” the one with the dirty blond hair says.
“Jay said that he has an unusual connection with dreams.”
“Yes, he’s the one that Micah is after.”
“Hm, I wonder how useful that’ll be in the end,”
“There could be plenty of uses for things that we know little about. I think we’ve both experienced that,” the one with black hair shakes his head.
Just then I see a woman enter the frame. She looks to be the same age as the black haired man. She has almost equally as black hair, but it drops down much farther and her eyes are a shining dark blue. Her face is calm and I can see when she looks at the black haired man that there’re signs of affection.
“Come on, are you two ready to head out? The car is all gassed up and everything,” she says.
“Right, sorry. We were just talking about him,” he says.
The dream fades slowly and I can hear muffled voices. I hear a horrible scream. I can’t tell if it’s real or part of the dream. Everything is blurry now. I seem to have entered some half-dream, half-awake reality. The dream spills into the real world and I can’t tell where I am anymore. My vision shifts from my bedroom, the dark void, the broken city and the burning forest. It shifts faster and faster each time it happens. I hear a scream and then a loud boom. When I can see my room I see that some figures are moving about me and then I am moving. Some more screams are heard. I try to run, but my body is motionless. Then all is black.