Page 55 - WCM 2022 Winter
P. 55

plainly hot, and muggy, and overcast. The crickets were almost deafening, and there was a single Luna moth fluttering outside one of my bay windows. I watched it for a time as I steamed in the stifling air.
I had turned on the air conditioning in my bedroom; it took about an hour for the space
to become livable, or at least “sleepable.” When
the room had cooled a bit, I went to bed. Sleep
was elusive between the rumblings of passing thunderstorms, and the savage humidity of a Maine summer, but I finally managed to doze. But even with the air conditioning, doze was all I was capable of. The atmosphere was mostly water vapor ... not so good for breathing. But the white noise from the air conditioner lulled me to some level of drowse, and I slept, although with fitful dreams ...
... A car ride. Starlit sky. The radio playing - a retro station, Tears for Fears - “Sowing the Seeds of Love.” I always loved that song ...
... Crash.
Crash crash.
Metal twisting ... glass shattering ... and the world rolling ... over and over ... everything upside down ...
Red and blue flashing lights. Screams. Shouts. And a voice through the chaos ...
I woke covered with sweat, heart pounding, disoriented, and sat up.
I turned toward the direction of the voice. Kyle was standing beside my bed, enough light from the streetlight outside the window to illuminate his face. There was panic in his eyes.
“Kyle, what are you ... how did you get in? Never mind, what’s wrong?” I was still groggy, filled with the echoes of my dream. I shook my head to clear it.
“My mom ... I can’t wake her up. She’s on the floor of my room! Hurry!”
Kyle backed away, motioning frantically at me to follow. I jumped out of bed and started after him as he turned and ran down the stairs. I chased him, a losing race. At the bottom of the stairs I lost him in the inky darkness, but heard the front door slam open, and footsteps fading outside. My bare feet carried me out the door and down the porch steps. I could see his shadowy figure sprinting across the narrow street that separated our two houses.
He tore through his yard, past Crash Mountain. I followed as quickly as I could, the gravel harsh against the soles of my feet. Reaching the door of

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