Inspired by Carry On Tuesday’s prompt Last night I dreamt I……….
Last night I dreamt I was living in a farmhouse. I awoke to the smell of fresh brewed coffee, sausage, biscuits, and eggs. I got out of the antique bed and threw off the quilts and placed my cold feet on the even colder hardwood floor.
My breath hung in a vapor in the air. I went to the window and discovered I was on the second floor. I looked down at the yard there at a layer of frost on the pumpkins in the field. The frost covered everything, including the window pane at which I stood. I turned and looked around the rose-wallpapered room at the antique dresser and ornate rocker which held a simple calico dress. I quickly took off my night dress and put on the calico one.
I looked at myself in the full length mirror in the corner and thought I stared at my reflection. Something had changed. I was too cold to care. I grabbed a brush off the dresser and brushed the tangles out of my short curly hair. I went to pour the water from the pitcher on the wash stand into the bowl underneath but when I discovered it was covered in a layer of ice, I decided against it.
By the door there was a pair of boots with wool socks tucked inside. As soon as I laced these, I opened the door into the hall and made my way down the winding staircase to the first floor. I opened the door at the bottom of the stairs and found myself standing in the foyer. I could see a fire blazing in the front room. The warmth drew me in like a firefly to a street lamp.
I crouched down close and rubbed my hands together. I picked up the fireplace poker and put it into the fire and watched the flames spark as I disturbed the burning logs. Once I felt thawed, I followed my nose to the smell of breakfast.
I stepped in the doorway to the kitchen and the hair on the back of my neck stood straight up. My hands immediate flew to my lips and tears rolled down my cheek. Grandpa sat at the large farm table with his coffee cup in hand, huge mustache grin on his face, his blue eyes twinkling. Grandma stood beside him, cast iron skillet in her hand serving him eggs.
My own sweet Nellie, was seated to the right of Grandpa. She jumped up and squealed, “Mama!” when she saw me and came and wrapped her tiny arms around my legs. Grandma said, “Hi darlin’ we thought we’d let you sleep, it being your first day and all.” I looked around the room at the sea of faces that I’d lost long ago and some as recent as last month. I leaned down and lifted Nellie in my arms and held her tight against my chest. I put my face in her hair and once again smelled her sweet scent. “Oh, how I’ve missed you, little one,” I sobbed into her ear. Then the room began to fade and the faces went away, taken my Nellie with it.
I awoke screaming, “No, please. Let me stay!”
I felt a sharp pain in my leg and looked up to see a large man wearing a large black overcoat and a cap pulled down over his ears, “No, you can’t stay here. Go on, get out of my doorway, before I kick you again, wench!”
I couldn’t feel my fingers and my breath froze in front of my face. I rose to my feet, then fell and my head hit the cold hard concrete. It wasn’t always this way, you know. I was somebody once. I want to scream at him, but instead I just get up and move along. The shelter was full by the time I arrived last evening. I went and found a spot by the dumpster in the alley and tried to cover myself with my soiled torn blanket. All day the dream stayed with me. I ran into Stinky Pete in the park and shared my story with him.
The morning dawned and the old lady got up and decided to take a short cut to the bakery. She entered the alley and saw the woman in the blanket. This was the second night in a row that she had slept here. A car backfired and the sound echoed in the alley but the woman didn’t stir. The old lady shouted and tried to poke her with a bent finger.
The police arrived and declared her dead. “She froze to death, poor gal,” the first officer said. “It looks like she’s smiling,” the second officer said.
“Died in her sleep, bless her! What do you think she was dreaming about?” asked the old lady before continued on her way to the bakery.
Just then Stinky Pete came up the alley and said, “Aw, it’s Ma Brown, well I think I can tell what she dreamed. She’s been dreaming the same dream for weeks. Here’s what she told me yesterday~
Last night I dreamt I……….”