March 20, 2012

The Wrong Driveway

I slowly made my way up the rocky driveway. The house on the right looked deserted. A screen-less window allowed for a torn curtain to drift back and forth, in and out like a heaving chest. An old Chevy rotted away on blocks in front of the dilapidated shed. Weeds as high as my own throat waved in the chilly, blue-skied breeze. I felt uneasy. I should have driven on.

I stepped out and began to unfasten Scarlett's safety straps. She needed a quick diaper change before we would continue on our way to Grandpa's house for Thanksgiving dinner. When did my car become so cluttered? Are all of these items for our short trip? I quickly removed the dirty diaper, cleaned up Scarlett and rifled through countless belongings searching for a makeshift garbage bag.

"Yup. That's burnin' pot, alright." A young voice spoke out of nowhere. I spun around, startled. To my right stood two children under the age of nine. One boy, one girl. Both dirty. Both malnourished. The girl glared at me, stone-faced. She was the one who had spoken. She aimed her statement loudly toward the creepy house to make sure someone heard her.

"Pot?!" I exclaimed, "There's no pot here, that's a dirty diaper you're smelling." The two looked at me as if they were incapable of expressions. I became frightened and noticed my grip on Scarlett tightening. I asked the children to please find a bag for me so I could dispose of the diaper. They walked off into the house. I worked fervently to buckle Scarlett back into her seat and shut the car door. As I stepped toward the front of my car I was halted by a tall figure. A man. Dark haired. Wearing dark green. My heart began to race.

"Kids smell pot." He spoke like a Sheriff  from some backwoods Southern town a la The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I was petrified.

"No pot," I explained with a nervous smile, "Just my daughter's dirty diaper. I'm headed on my way now to meet my father for dinner." I wanted him to know that people were expecting us.

"Oh dinner! Isn't that nice? Special ocassion?" He asked with a smile that suggested he had a sinister plan.

"Yes. Today is Thanksgiving." I reminded him.

"Ohhh that's right! Forgive me. Today is my birthday too. I always forget. Wow, what a day."

I began to make my way toward the driver's side and I was shocked to find a man rifling through my backseat - so close to my baby girl! Terror took over. When did this man get here? How did he open the car door so quickly without me hearing? How can I get Scarlett away from him? What do they want from me?? Please don't take my baby girl!!

"I can carry her up..." The birthday man said to his partner under his breath while never taking his eyes off of me. I became frantic in my mind picturing my daughter being carried away by these monsters, crying for her mama while I am locked away somewhere in some dark dungeon ... unable to help her, unable to see her face again...

This was the dream nightmare that I awoke from this morning. My heart beat out of my chest for what felt like a lifetime. I am plagued by nightmares more often than not but never about Scarlett. This had to be one of the most horrifying, terrifying scenarios I have ever dreamt up. The mere thought of seeing someone, a stranger with bad intentions, steal my daughter from me - it really is almost too much to imagine. 

Have you ever had such a terrible dream/nightmare stay with you, 
haunting you all day?

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