I groaned at the sun streaming through the windows. Morning comes too early in the fall. I silently cursed Daylight Savings Time.
The bed groaned as the other body shifted, her long legs doing small bicycle kicks that always pulled the covers toward her cold feet. I turned and pulled my knees up to fit with hers, my hand slid up her thigh and hip and toward her pregnant belly where I knew her hand lay. Closer to the end of the pregnancy she slept that way, on her side with one hand always holding our baby.
I tried not to disturb her, at least that’s what I told myself. I put my hand on top of hers, interlacing the fingers. The wedding rings made a small clink as they touched. Her fingers gripped mine and made the rings clink again. She called it “our Morse code.”
My other arm slid to the top of the pillow and I buried my face in her blonde hair. The smell of honeysuckle and fresh cut grass rose in my memory, my associations of her. Even now, after all this time when I smelled her those smells are what I think of, no matter what perfume she has on. The smells of when we met.
I find her neck and give her a light kiss. I can feel her smile.
“I’m up,” she said.
“You coming into the library today?” I said.
“Don’t think so,” she said, “Have a few little errands and I have to talk to Mom about getting the crib at some point.”
“I can do that."
“You can get Louise to, you mean.”
“My mother is a skilled negotiator,” I said, and she laughed.
I nuzzled her neck and she laughed again. The cold November morning became warmer as we stayed in bed longer.
Later, I flip two eggs and bacon onto a plate for her. I leave the toast in the toaster so all she has to do is push the little bar and wait. She can not have coffee, not with the baby, but I leave a cup out so she can smell it. She likes the smell. She does not like the orange juice I leave beside the cup, but the baby seems to and she drinks it.
I kissed her as she lay still dozing under the covers. The sun shone through the window, highlighting her hair. I pulled the covers off her feet and she smiled and did that little kick and they are covered again. The day warms.
The explosions started as I walked out the door. From our house, I can see the whole of Bannville. And it burns.
The diner, town hall, everything burns. Everything. Through smoke, I see the library explode in a bright flash.
The sky has turned deep maroon and gold with the fire. The rhyme about a “red sky in morning, take warning” flashes in my head, repeating over and over.
The screams float in the air. People are dying as the world turns to ash.
Then the houses start to collapse. Alternating down the street, as if a large monster were stepping on each of them in turn. The crunch of my neighbors fills the air and I run back into the house to get my wife to safety.
She is gone.
The bed is empty, the sheets torn and bloody.
I hear her scream. I run to the backyard.
The man in red holds my wife by her neck. Her feet dangle a foot off the ground. Her hands clasp her pregnant belly.
Two wolves, too large to be dogs, stand on either side of him. Their tongues hang out of their mouths and they seem to be laughing.
“It didn’t have to be this way,” he said.
Then he snaps my wife’s neck. She slumps, and her hands fall to her side. Her body drops from his grip and the wolves move in.
I scream. I imagine running. I imagine falling. My stomach goes empty as the bottom falls out of my soul and the rage takes over. I scream.
Then I wake up. The sun streams through the windows, too early for November. I get up, taking an aspirin that lay on the nightstand and look around at the bare and empty room, only a pile of dirty laundry and an old dresser to keep me company.
This has been my dream, my nightly routine for the last month.
I will start updating the blog again soon, if only to make the dream go away.
Happy Black Friday.
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