So I Had This Dream

Fiction By Anna // 11/5/2010

night of 11/2/2010
Anna pushed aside the flimsy sliding screen door, which was falling apart at the seams. Under a leaking table umbrella, five of the Moffat children were drawing or coloring—they were all artist prodigies—and beyond them stretched the wood-hedged lake. The oldest girl, Jenny, was inside with a young man named Bill, but Philip (a year older than Anna), Sara and Eliza (eleven-year-old identical twins; she knew Eliza was the blonde in the stuffy-looking blue dress and Sara in the thin, silky dress-up gown), Jonathan (what was his age again? Thirteen?), and Matthew (eight) were all there.
Anna stepped into the rain. “Is there room for me?” she asked, starting to climb onto the end of the bench, next to Jonathan.
“No,” said Matthew, “not there. I want to sit next to Jonathan.”
So Anna got the plastic chair at the end of the table, opposite Philip. She pulled out a slightly soggy sheet of paper and a dull pencil when Matthew changed his mind. “Switch with me,” he demanded.
Anna sighed but began to push the chair back.
“Don’t spoil him,” Philip warned. “He shouldn’t treat guests like this.”
“It’s fine. I’ve got to get used to it for when I go home.” Whenever I get to go home, she thought.
As she stood, Matthew stood up on the bench and tipped the umbrella. Cold water poured over Anna’s head. She shrieked.
Jonathan laughed the loudest, from which she surmised that he had planned it. She stood, dripping and deliberating. Then she lunged and yelled, “RAWR!” and soon everyone was laughing, chasing or being chased around the muddy yard. Sara, not wanting to get her dress wet, ran inside.
“Hey, the rain stopped,” Eliza said suddenly.
Wearing a faded swimsuit, Sara burst out the sliding door. “Ma says we can swim!”
Whooping broke out. Anna glanced across the lake. “The sun is going to set soon.”
“What’s your point?” Jonathan asked. She shrugged and followed them to the end of the dock. The boys had taken off their shirts.
“You going in, Anna?” Philip said.
“Nah,” Anna said. “Uh, my swimsuit is still wet from this morning.”
“Go in your clothes,” he suggested carelessly. “We are.”
“No thanks.”
“Come on, they’re wet already.”
“Exactly,” Anna retorted. “Philip, I don’t want to swim.”
“Are you afraid of the dark?” Matthew asked.
She shook her head. “I just don’t feel like swimming.”
She noticed Philip’s eyes get sort of sparkly, but realized what he was planning too late. “NO— ”
Her mouth was still open wide when Philip grabbed her with one arm and plunged off the dock. Lake water filled her lungs. She couldn’t breathe; her eyes stung; choking, she tried to kick away from Philip toward the surface—
Anna and Philip burst out the water, and he hefted her onto the dock, where she sprawled coughing, drenched, and furious.
“I’m sorry,” he said, badly stifling laughter. “I couldn’t resist.”
Anna hacked up her last lungful of water  and screamed, “I’m going to kill you!”
He backed up. “What did I do?”
She leapt to her feet, brown dress slopping around her legs. “I clearly said I didn’t want to swim! More than once! What were you thinking?!”
Now he did look sorry, but when he opened his mouth, she pushed past. “You know, I don’t care! Go away! Leave me alone!”
Anna stumbled toward the biggest willow she could find; except, when she got there she wasn’t sure it was a willow. It had big, low branches, perfect for climbing. As Anna mounted the first, the bark gave slightly under her. She didn’t stop to wonder if the tree was rotting, but used the springiness as an advantage to reach higher.
Several times Anna thought she had gone as high as possible. The thick branches intertwined, making nooks about which Anna kept thinking, This is the perfect place to calm down—but then she would glance up and see the blue between more branches. Each pocket just lifted her higher.
Anna’s head finally came up into clear sky. The branches no longer intertwined, but spread out in upward curves for a few feet. She had a solid place to stand, a crown to survey a kingdom, even if it did not belong to her. When she peered between two branches, she saw Philip fifty feet below, staring up at her. She didn’t care if he watched; he couldn’t reach her.
Anna hadn’t realized how long she had been climbing until the sunset hit her. It looked like Trix yogurt—No. Pink  concentrated at the far end of the lake, with blue clouds slowly moving across, and the ripples the Moffats made in the water were gold. But it was the white geese soaring by that took away her breath and anger.
She looked back down at Philip. Anna had decided to entertain the grudge a long time, at least as long as she stayed with the Moffats. But God had wiped that away with one look at the big picture. So vast and boundless… Not something you see in Detroit. Anna sighed.
It took much less time—no time at all, in fact—to climb down. The moment her feet touched the ground, Philip was next to her, looking earnest. “I really am sorry now, Anna. Don’t stay mad. I thought you were too scared, so someone would have to show you how not to be.”
She crossed her arms disbelievingly. “You threw me in because you thought I was scared?”
He flushed. “I was wrong. You know, I’d be terrified to go that high? But you never flinched. It made me realize you didn’t need my help.”
“You’re missing the point!”
“But, I am sorry.”
Anna stopped. The bubble of resentment burst. His apology actually made it harder (the boy just didn’t get it!), but she had to tell him anyway. “I forgave you up there in the tree. And I probably reacted badly, so sorry too.”
He held out his hand, smiling. “Friends?”
Anna looked at it for a moment, then clasped it firmly. “Sure.”
Jenny Moffat came out of the house then, holding Bill’s hand. “Guys, I’m getting married!” she yelled out.
“I knew it would be tonight,” Philip laughed.
“Congratulations,” Anna said shyly.
Next, the flock of geese she’d seen began to alight in the lake, their white feathers shining. “Definitely not in Detroit,” Anna murmured.
“What’s not in Detroit?” Philip asked her.
Anna pointed. “The white geese.”
He chuckled. “Those aren’t geese.”
Her eyes went from the pink sheen on the birds to his grin. “What, then?”
“They’re swans.”

This dream is completely unchanged. The Moffats are not anyone I know.
 

Comments

neat

 I love writing down dreams and trying to explain them exactly how I had seen it in my sleep. So cool. :)

Mairead | Fri, 11/05/2010

_________________________

"Sweet is the love that never knew a wound, but deeper that which died and rose again." - Mother Mary Francis

Awww, I like this :) why

Awww, I like this :) why can't I have dreams that make any sort of sense????

Erin | Sat, 11/06/2010

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

I totally agree with Erin. My

I totally agree with Erin. My dreams are NEVER this good.

~Your cousin, Emily

Anonymous | Sat, 11/06/2010

Thanks. :) I thought it was

Thanks. :) I thought it was kind of cool.

Anna | Tue, 11/09/2010

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

Indeed, Anna, this dream is

Indeed, Anna, this dream is very cool.  I wish I could have dreams like this.

Mary | Tue, 11/09/2010

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Brother: Your character should drive a motorcycle.
Me: He can't. He's in the wilderness.
Brother: Then make it a four-wheel-drive motorcycle!

wow!

Weird! Don't youi just love dreams that nag at you like that! I've had a few lately! All weird like that! But this one was really nice! Loved it!

Kassady | Sun, 09/18/2011

"Here's looking at you, Kid"
---
Write On!

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