then he was having the dream again. He dreamt he was bedridden,
helpless in an unresponsive body. His eyes were blurred so he
could barely see, and vague shadow people moved quietly around
him. He heard nothing but the slow pulsing of his blood. He
supposed that he was alive but it felt like he was dead for he
could not move, he could not speak, and try as he might he could
not evoke a response from those he sensed were nearby. He felt
brief changes from time to time: wet, then dry; cold, then hot;
empty, then full. But none of these sensations were his to
control or respond to, and he felt completely helpless and
alone. The dream was everything.
He hated the dream because he knew he was supposed to get up and
go fishing with his dad and his best friend Tommy. They had
planned this for weeks, and they were going all the way over the
mountain to a new pond his dad had found, and if he didn't get
out of bed it would be too late to drive there. But as much as
he tried to move all he could feel was the great weight pressing
down upon him. He wanted to cry. Tommy would be so
disappointed, and he would do anything to please Tommy.
A shape moved over him and the worse part of the dream began.
For a brief few moments he felt intense pain, smelled the awful
smell of flesh burning, and heard the same few words: "I think
this one's a goner, too. But at least he's got a pulse, unlike
those poor kids in the back. Let's cut him out." In vain he
struggled to cry out, to make some sound or signal, but to no
avail. All his efforts seemed blocked, even though he sensed
that he was moving, that the light was changing, that his
balance was shifting.
Then, as always, the dream changed suddenly to the other dream.
Sitting beside him in the back seat of the car was his best
friend William, whose dad was taking them fishing. They had
planned this for a long time, though they were late getting
started and William's dad was angry. He didn't really care
where they went as long as he could be with this boy that he
loved. Right now he was plenty scared, with the car sliding and
screaming around these bends; thank god William was holding his
hand. He desperately wanted to tell the boy beside him how he
felt about him but he couldn't seem to open his mouth.
The room was dark again and he knew they'd gone. Just as he
knew they would be back. He wasn't sure when one dream ended,
when the next began. He only knew that he was going to go
through the same dreams again and again. Would morning never
come? His breath, ragged, rasped in his throat. If only he
could waken. If only he could stop dreaming.
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