2011
09.02

This was a short story I wrote a month ago or so.  I can’t really remember.  So I put it here.  Please enjoy.  I was a bit high on bitterness when I wrote it…

***

You had that dream again, this morning.  The dream you always wish you did not have, because the dream means that someone is going to die again.  And you will be there when that someone dies; you are always there, unable to stop it.  Sure, you remember parts of the dream, sometimes even a vague idea about who will die, but you will be unable to tell anyone, place anyone, warn anyone.  Just a moment too late will you recognise the backpack of that man walking over the road despite of the red light, unaware of the car trying to swerve aside.  Just a moment too late will you recognise a voice or a haircut or catch the scent of a perfume, just the moment before the screech or crash or scream, and you will know that if you had just seen it a bit sooner – if you had just found that someone a little sooner – he or she would not be dead now.  You know you could have saved him or her.

But you had that dream again this morning, and you woke up shivering and covered in sweat.  You can recall soft, blonde hair and pink, glittery nail polish.  A young woman in bright light, just before the screaming and shooting.  You can recall a scream and then a single, loud and definite gunshot, and this confuses you.  You know no one with that hair colour, and you do not know anyone wearing that shade of pink.
No idea to try to go back to sleep, so you go to your job early.

“Have you seen Caroline today?” one of your female co-worker asks you, leaning into your workroom.  “She’s bleached her hair.”
You spin around in your chair and you stare up a her.
“What are you saying?!” you blurt out in terror.
“Yeah, my thought exactly,” she goes on.  “It’s a really beautiful, pale blonde tone, but to her face?  No, I think it’s a disaster waiting to happen.”
You rise up on trembling, weak legs and push her away as you exit your room.
“Hey! What are you doing?!”
“I have to go and check in on Caroline,” you whisper, pace and pulse quickening.
“It’s not /that/ bad!” she shouts at your back.
“But perhaps it is!” you yell back and disappear around a corner.
In the hurry you forget to log out of Facebook and when you return you will find that someone have posted around thirty pictures of lolcats and YouTube links to videos about Raptor Jesus on your own wall in your name.  But right now you do not know this and you have to find Caroline.

Caroline is not at all pleased when you throw yourself into her room.  The client she was talking to also looks quite annoyed, one of his hand inside her shirt and one in her pants.  You try to smile in a non-offensive way but it is probably the wrong thing to do under circumstances such as these.  Caroline raises a brow at you.
“Yes?” she says.
“I just…” you begin, but you cannot tell her of your dream and you have no papers for her to sign or look over.  Besides, her hair is the wrong shade.  “I heard about your hair,” you say.  “It is lovely.”
“Thank you,” she says harshly.  “Now, get out. I’m busy.”
With a sigh of relief you take a step back and leave carefully, closing the door.  Just as you leave you hear moaning from Caroline’s room.

It has been a long day but no one has died yet.  Someone has to die, and you know it.  All day you have flinched as soon as you have seen blonde hair, ready to throw yourself down on the floor if the shooting would begin, but nothing happens at all.  Caroline came up before you left work and said; “Hey, it’s okey.  Come, I’ll buy your silence with a pint,” and you agreed.  The pint turned to two and then three and now it is one am, and you are stumbling home quite drunk trying to forget about everything.  Perhaps this time you were wrong.  It is practically a new day already.
You are hungry, but there is a night-open store to your right so you stumble in and look through the candy section in search of something you like.  You stand there for five or ten minutes looking at different flavours and brands; you cannot make up your mind for a long time and your thoughts move slowly.  The bright, unnatural lights in the ceiling makes your head and eyes ache after the soft darkness of the bar so you keep your gaze down.  You settle on your favourite kind of candy, as always, and you put your money on the counter.
“Here you are have a pleasant night please come again,” the young woman at the counter says in an overly cheerful way as she reaches out her hand holding your change, the glitter in her pink nail polish sparkling in the bright light.
“Oh god,” you gasp.  “It was you!”
The door is thrown up with a crash and a masked robber enters, waving a gun and yelling; “The money, bitch! Give me the fucking money!” as the alarm starts its beeping.
You look up at her face, her pale blonde hair shining like a halo in the bright light, her eyes wide open, her features distorted in fear.  You act on impulse and throw yourself down on the floor.  You are drunk and you land hard, but you have prepared for this moment the whole day.
Her hands tremble so much that she cannot open the safe, her shoulders shivering.
“I’m sorry I’m sorry oh god I’m sorry!” she sobs as she drops the keys.  The sound of sirens is heard over the beeping now.  The robber takes two steps forward, points the gun at her chest and you cover your ears with your hands as she screams.
“Fuck you, bitch!” the robber yells in panic and pulls the trigger before running off.

The policemen are kind enough to drive you home after they have asked you some questions.  You sit in the backseat of their car and think about her.  If you had not had those pints, if you had not been so tired, you would have looked at her when you first entered.  You would have recognised her.  You would have told her you had seen a suspicious man lurking around outside, and she could have called the police.  You could have saved her.
The policemen stops by your door, asks you if you will be all right, gives you their phone number on a slip of paper.  They offer to come in and make you a cup of tea and tuck you into bed, which you politely decline.  They ask you to promise them that you will call the psychiatrist the very first thing tomorrow, and you promise them to do so.  With a last worried glance they leave again, waving through their windows, but you have already turned your back to them, unlocking your door.  You wait until they are out of sight and then you throw their number in the garbage bin.

You do not sleep tonight, afraid to dream again.

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