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That Dream

by David C. Kopaska-Merkel

The buildings, people, trash cans, everything, collapsing like the Twin Towers had, only instead of clouds of smoke and debris, these transformed into architectural outlines on pavement that became a smooth hard flat surface. Arnold was unchanged, but everything else had become diagrammatic, somehow embedded in the surface of the plane. Crap! He was in that dream again.

He looked down. He stood on a long row of squares about 6 feet on a side, a wide black ribbon to his left and on his right large rectangles and other polyhedra. Inside each were smaller rectangles (desks), brackets of various sizes that must be chairs and couches, and colorful moving ovoids. He stepped over the wall of the nearest building and approached one. It backed away, or at least he presumed that the surface facing him, fraught with invaginations and small protrusions, was the front. He backed it into a corner, then cautiously reached down and touched its middle. It rippled violently and darted past him, spun around a few times in the center of the room, and came to rest in the doorway. Arnold looked at his fingertip, where a damp red spot was drying.


Arnold glided through the doorway. He could see Saunders and The Chief in front of the conference table. Suddenly, their shapes ballooned and wavered like threads in a fast wind. Saunders had split into two... and so had The Chief. One of the two Saunders's disappeared and reappeared so close to Arnold he could smell shoe polish. Arnold shied away in alarm and slammed into the coat rack. F*ck! That dream again!

The chief disappeared: first one chief and then the other one. Saunders did the same a moment later. Arnold's pants were wet.


Arnold inhaled her scent, caressed the delicious mound of Charlene's belly as she slept. He pressed down slightly. His hand blurred, sank in; her skin closed around his wrist, a tight ring of flesh that rolled warmly up his arm as his hand passed through her muscles, her womb, their son's tiny skull... his arm snapped back into focus.

Arnold convulsed backwards out of bed, across the tiny bedroom, and through the shattering window, but he could clearly see:

Charlene jerking up off the bed,
her red fountain,
the scream distorting her face.

He plunging toward the street,
naked, his red
and dripping hand.

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