The Strangest Dream
Evelyn’s cries at night were silenced by screams that were not her own, pulling her back from the darkness. Is this reality or a dream? Or maybe, just maybe, she was a part of their nightmare all along.
Iowa was primarily a farming State in the early seventies.
It got its name from the Ioway tribe meaning “One who puts to sleep,” but then later, it was believed that the meaning was “The beautiful land.”
Evelyn was born Evelyn Marie. Her parents Autumn and Clyde doted on their little girl, and she was so easy to love. When she was born, though, it was a difficult birth, and her parents received the crushing news that their little girl wouldn’t grow up like other children, Evelyn was a very sickly child. She had a rare bleeding disorder, so she had to be kept out of harm’s way for the rest of her life. This meant she couldn’t go to school or do simple things like ride a bike.
Autumn felt lucky to have such a good and loving man. She lost her family in a house fire when she was fifteen, so Clyde’s parents, Dunken and Marie, who were prominent members of the community, heard about this in the church. They were kind enough to take her in, and that’s how Autumn met Clyde.
Oh, they butted heads at first. Autumn came from an upper-wealth family, and Clyde was just a simple farm boy with big ideas. But through the years, they became quite fond of each other, so much so that when he turned eighteen and enlisted in the military, she felt lost, but with every letter he sent home, she fell more madly in love with him.
His parents would often find her waiting by the mailbox at the end of their dusty road, and she couldn’t bear the thought of life without him, and eventually, after he arrived home, his father walked her down the aisle at their wedding, and they moved into one of the small cabins on the farm.
Eventually, they bought a property of their own and Clyde built a two-story house with his own two hands. And with the help from his father, it was finished before Evelyn was born. It wasn’t anything fancy, but Autumn loved it just the same. It had two bedrooms and an attic, and a small room under the stairs.
The locals called it the “moon house” because the attic window was cut like a half crescent moon. Evelyn’s bedroom was in the front, looking out towards the separate garage placed at an angle so she could see her daddy when he came home from work.
The hall and all the rooms looked out over the living room, separated by an open wooden railing and staircase. Clyde built it like that so they would be able to see upstairs and keep an eye on Evelyn should anything happen. The kitchen was in the front with a corded phone on the wall and a dining table where Evelyn and her mother often did her lessons.
The house was set far back from the road, and there were no neighbors or a town for miles.
Yes, my darling? Her mother answered while sitting in the rocking chair next to Evelyn’s bed. “I had the strangest dream.” Autumn then stood up and walked towards the door. “Well, why don’t you get dressed and you can tell me all about it while you eat your breakfast, I made your favorite.” “Happy face-pancakes?” That put a smile on Evelyn’s face, she pulled back the covers and jumped out of bed to get dressed.
Autumn looked over her shoulder, walking down the stairs “Just the way you like them.”
Evelyn went on telling her mother about her dream and how she felt like she had dreamt it before, “You and daddy were gone, and there was nothing to do.”
Autumn looked at her with one brow raised, “Well, Evie; you know that would never happen, I would never leave you alone.”
Evelyn was six. The sweetest little girl who stood about three feet tall full of energy, her hair went to the middle of her back, and she had a smile that would melt your heart. Evelyn was kind and caring and didn’t have a selfish bone in her body. Her favorite thing to do was to make people happy, there are so many, but the one thing her mother loved about her was that she never told a lie, not even a white one.
After she finished eating Autumn, put the dishes away, and they both sat at the table, and Autumn helped her with her lessons. “Evie, you have to work on the way you write the small e, you must define the loop on the top because it still looks like a big L.”
Unlike other children, Evelyn loved doing lessons with her mother because she made it so fun. She loved it when her mama drew funny faces inside the numbers.
Later that day, Clyde came home from work, and Evelyn ran to greet him at the door, “Daddy’s Home- Daddy’s home!” She yelled out, and with that, he swung open the door saying, “Is that my little angel?” grabbing her up into his arms. She told him of all the fun things she did with her mother that day and how much she missed him. Laughingly he joked, “At least somebody did” kissing Autumn on the cheek and put Evelyn down, saying, “Let’s eat, I’m starving.”
After dinner, Evelyn and her father sat in the living room and played cards while her mother sat in her chair, sewing. She enjoyed watching them play. Well...
It always started with playing cards, but most of the time it ended up with the both of them stacking the playing cards to see who could build the tallest house before they all fell down and later Evelyn went to her room and played with her dolls until it was time for bed, she would put them in a circle and pretended she was the teacher.
That night she heard the front door slam and her daddy’s old truck drive away. Then her mother came up the stairs entering her room, wiping her eyes, and as she looked at her, she smiled and walked over to the vanity motioning Evelyn to come closer...
“Now come on, let’s get you ready for bed,” she said. Evelyn got up and slowly walked over to the seat and sat down, so her mother proceeded to brush her hair.
Looking at Autumn’s reflection in the mirror, she could tell that she was sad, “What’s wrong, mama?” “Nothing, my dear, just things mommy and daddy have to work out.”
Evelyn watched as her mother’s eyes welled up with tears, then she stopped brushing her hair and turned Evelyn toward her.
“Evie, I want you to know that you are the best thing that has ever happened to us, and I will never leave you.” Evelyn thought that was an odd thing for her to say. However, she didn’t question her but simply responded by saying, “I know, mama.”
Evelyn’s mother tucked her in kissing her on the head, then whispering in her ear, “I love you.”
The next morning she sat straight up with a gasp.