“Hey Rog, get your ass in my office!” Came my boss’s voice down the hall as I walked into the office. I was wondering what…
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The alarm sounds, classical music, and awareness slips in. James rolls over, touches the off button on the clock, sits up on the side of the bed, and stares around the dim room. Weird dreams fuzzy in his mind quickly disappearing as he awakes. He stands up and drops his clothes on the bed. Marching into the bathroom opens the shower door and turns on the water to heat up. James regards himself in the mirror, makes a face, then he notices a mark on his arm. He looks at the scratch.
Thinking to himself “When the hell that happen?” He tries to remember what he could have been doing and where he could have scratched his arm. He begins checking his arms and hands for any other clues. He finds another cut on the heal his right hand. Puzzled thinking about his day yesterday and trying to remember all his activities where he could have inflicted these wounds. He comes up with zero. He could not think of anything during his day where he could have scratched or cut himself. He thinks to himself that somehow, he didn’t notice. Odd.
James continues with his day showering and dressing getting ready to go to work at the lumber yard. He stops at the local drive-thru and gets a breakfast biscuit on the way.
He drives his truck into the parking lot of the yard pulls up gets out and heads to the office. At 5am the lumber yard is quiet with just a few people mulling around the yard. James pulls the load-out sheets from the wall and flips thru everything on the clipboard checking what deliveries are going out first thing. He sees the guys start showing up carrying in their coolers full of lunch and drinks going into the breakroom. Another day on the grind.
The alarm clock sounds, and classical music plays softly and awareness slips in. James hits the off button. Laying on his back he stares at the ceiling for a moment before he sits up. Not thinking of anything just feeling the warmth of the bed. A far-off feeling of his dark dreams on the edge of his mind. He glances at the time and gets up. In the bathroom, he leans in and turns on the hot water. He looks back at himself in the mirror and immediately sees another cut on his arm. He looks at this right arm at the previous cut and then looks to the new scratch. “That’s weird.” Looking at the two scratches he sees that are very similar in location and length. He remembers the cut on his hand and looks to his left hand, nothing. Well, at least I didn’t cut my hand too.
Sitting at the table in his kitchen sipping coffee, he goes over the day before. Trying to remember every portion of the day and what he was doing. Looking for activities where he could possibly hurt himself in this way. Try as he might, he could not come up with any scenario where there was any possibility of causing these scratches.
James picks up his keys off the counter and goes out the front door to his truck to start his day. He stops for a breakfast biscuit. “I want a sausage, egg and cheese biscuit and a small coffee please” the speaker replies, “That will be two dollars and twenty-nine cents at the first window” “Please pull around”.
Mid-day the yard is busy with forklifts loading flatbeds full of lumber packages for projects around town. James is receiving calls, is figuring out the order and route of the many loads the day has on the book today. The guys are coming in and out of the office dropping off order sheets and picking up more to be filled and delivered.
James leans and keys the microphone and announces that he needs a yard hand at aisle four for a customer pick up. The day goes by quickly with the orders going out.
Staggering in the dark thrashing with his arms at the dense bush, pulling his legs and feet thru heavy undergrowth. The dark grey sky overhead is heavy overcast with clouds and the wind is rocking the brush and grasses. It feels like vines clinging to his legs and feet causing resistance to his movements. James feels an alien heaviness as he struggles forward trying to find a way out of this thicket in the dark. He topples over on his side falling face down into the tall weeds, grass and brush.
The alarm clock sounds, classical music softly swells and awareness slips in. James touches the button on the clock and rolls overlooking out the window at the dark sky. He has a fleeting memory of a dream that is quickly dissipating. He thinks to himself how odd to have these similar dreams each night. The dreams are similar but different each night. He sits up in bed and tries to recall what he was dreaming. Willing himself to hang onto the memory of the dream. He could remember struggling in a dark place cloud obscured skies and winds buffeting but not sure of the rest of the situation. No clue of why he was where he was or what he is doing there. Thinking what a crazy dream.
The daily routine soon commands the thoughts of the day, and the dream becomes a weak and very brief image that soon is completely gone. James goes into the bathroom to shower and immediately looks in the mirror at his arms which have several new scratches. “What the hell?” he inspects his arms and starts seeing new wounds. The scratches are minor, but he finds a cut on his left hand that is more significant and deeper. He recounts the previous day. He starts with the beginning of the day and tracing the moments going thru everything he could remember about the day before. He couldn’t link anything that he did the day before to any of the injuries. Hell, he didn’t even feel it happen.
The sky is storming, dark clouds roiling above him as the wind is rocking the trees and blowing debris across the ground swirling around him. Try as he might, he cannot keep his balance and is staggering around falling against trees, holding himself up. He feels dizzy and his head flops around barely under any control. The long coat he is wearing is getting wrapped around his legs and body making it difficult to move freely. He puts both hands on a dark black tree trunk and pushes away casting his eyes about looking for a direction to go. His legs feel weak like his knees are about to buckle but he forces himself back up. He immediately falls to one knee on the ground at the first step. Pushing his hands into the wet leaves on the ground he picks himself up wheeling up on his feet he sees a dark shape of a shed or a building of some kind. He tries to make his way toward it. He turns spinning on his feet out of control lurking in the direction of the shape he falls into the wet bark of a tree then falling on his back beside it. Breathing heavily thinking “why is this so hard?”
The alarm sounds, classical music plays and awareness slips in. James feels immediately upon waking that he is sore. He swings his feet over the side of the bed and elbows himself into a sitting position. His legs are stiff, and his shoulder is aching. Sitting there coming to the realization that he aches all over dawns on him. Stiffly he stands goes into the bathroom, hits the light, and is shocked at the marks on his hands and arms. He looks down at his legs seeing bruises, scratches on his shins and calves. His right knee is skinned, and he touches it. Standing raising his arms, he looks at the bruises on his side and runs his hand over it. He examines his hands and sees that his fingernails are split, and the tips of his fingers are a little bloody at the cuticles and caked with dark dirt. He sees smaller cuts on his palms and the backs of his hands. His mind is trying to make some sense of what is happening. Puzzling “How am I doing this to myself, and I have no memory of it?”
Sitting in his bathrobe at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee he watches the storm clouds gather over the trees in the backyard. He picks up the phone. “Bill, I’m not going to make it in today. Yeah, I feel like crap. I think I’m coming down with the flu or something. I ache all over. Okay, I’ll call you later and keep you posted. Yeah, I probably going to make an appointment and get in to see the doctor. Call me if I can help. Okay, thanks.”
Turning over his hands and looking at the small marks he tries to recall something about this. James goes into the bathroom opens the cabinet and begins to put band-aids on the cuts and apply ointment to the scratches. Looking himself over at all the places that he is either scratched, bruised or cut. “Looks like I have been in a fight or something.”
James gets dressed and returns to the table after getting some more coffee. He glances out the window at the storm building up it reminds him of his dream in the woods. He tries to figure out how a dream can cause the scraps and cuts that he has. It makes no sense. There can’t be a connection it’s impossible. If I was walking in my sleep, then where was I going and where was I? There are no areas of woods around the house like I remember in my dream. It can’t be a dream. I must be going somewhere but how do I get there and why don’t I remember going?
James decides to make some breakfast goes to the frig. He opens the refrigerator reaches in to get the eggs and the light bulb blinks out. He reaches up and tightens the bulb it lights up. He pulls out the eggs, bacon, bread and sets them on the counter. He turns on the stove setting a skillet on the burner. He grabs a plate puts two eggs on it. He throws a couple pieces of bacon into the skillet. Pulls the toaster out of the cabinet puts it on the counter and plugs it in. Puts in two pieces of bread. Bacon starts to sizzle in the skillet. James opens the frig to put the food back in and the light is out. He reaches to tighten the bulb and this time he feels something like strange cold air moving inside. Frowning he sticks his head into the frig to see where the air is coming from.
Wet grass is in his face. He pushes himself up on his hands and knees peering around at the high grass. The wind is buffeting the grass as he tries to get to his feet. He feels drunk his balance is gone and concentrates on staying upright. He sees in the darkness the stand of trees a few yards away thru the blowing grass. He trips, falling but struggles to make his way into the trees. He finds a small tree. Leaning heavily against it. He surveys the wood. Deep in the trees, he sees the dark shed in the shades. He makes it to another tree looking at the shed again. He has a difficult time keeping his view steady on it. The swirling feeling distracts his attention to the ground near his feet. Pushing off unsteady on his feet almost falling forward but somehow staying on his feet rushes to another closer tree collapsing to the ground at its base. Leaning against the tree trunk he drunkenly struggles back to his feet making another lunge at the shed. He falls right at the edge of the small front porch reaching up to the corner post and stepping up on the porch. He feels completely spent and weak. He is aware of every breath he takes gathering his strength. He gets to his feet falling to his knees thru the opening of the dark and open doorway.
The alarm sounds, classical music plays and awareness slips in.
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