She woke up to something. What it was, I’m not quite sure yet (mostly because she refuses to tell me). All she has told me is that we need to leave the house at three in the morning and drive south until we reach some giant landmark that she can’t even describe, and meet some other whack job just like her who had the same clinically unhealthy dream she did. If that sounds minutely strange to you, join the club.

My name’s Mark, and I’m living with my girlfriend, Angie. For the past few months now, Angie’s been acting really strange about her dreams. It’s almost like they’re messages from some other, I don’t know, “realm,” I suppose. Every time she has one of these insane dreams, she has to act on them in some way. It hasn’t gotten out of hand, until now.

Now, she wants to leave the sanctity and comfort of our apartment in the middle of the night to meet someone who may or may not have (I’m leaning towards the latter) had a dream telling them to leave their perfectly safe, warm house to come see her, so they can exchange information, or baseball cards, whatever. I’m really not sure what’s going on, but I’m attempting to be as supportive as I possibly can. But being supportive is a little difficult when it requires leaving a comfy bed for a cold, menacing bike ride towards God knows what.

Angie insists that she drive, which is particularly awkward because I don’t remember her ever learning how to ride my motorcycle. I think to myself, why not let her try to move it a few feet and get a laugh or two out of it later, what the hell. But as soon as she swung her leg over that bike, I knew that she knew what she was doing.

Being a newcomer to the bitch seat on my bike, I decided to take in the twilight sites around us. Good that I did, because something is changing. Subtly, of course, but changing nonetheless. The houses and buildings that we pass look the same as they always have, but something’s different about the whole feel of the city. I’m not exactly sure how to explain it. But in one of my overpriced metaphysics books claimed that the earth, the environment, knew what would happen long before people did. If my book is correct, then this town is preparing for something big.

It wasn’t long before I heard, through the speakers in my helmet, Angie mutter something almost inaudible that signaled she saw whatever it is she had been looking for. My head shot around to catch a glimpse of this giant monument, and I saw nothing but roofs and blacktop.

We turned the corner onto the street of an old, abandoned warehouse that I used to see all the time bustling with people less than a year earlier. As we passed the factory, I remembered what the recession had done to our town, and I silently thanked God for the steady income from Angie’s day trading, and the spot of luck my employer had that kept our company afloat.

We rode down the same street for what felt like hours. I checked my watch, and it wasn’t even four yet. I guess time just stands still for Angie, because she’s never late for anything. All of a sudden, Angie had her “oh shit, I missed that turn” moment, and we flipped a bitch. I could feel the blacktop eating away at my tires. Dammit.

And then we stopped. We just stopped. Not slowly down to halt, oh no, just stopped. I felt the bike lurch underneath me, though it didn’t pick up off the ground. It felt weird, stopping at that speed and not being thrown forward.

Angie shot down the kickstand and started walking towards a shop window. She didn’t even bother to wait for me. As I fumbled with my helmet and looked down to yank it off, I heard a crash of glass. I jumped and shot my gaze towards Angie, but she wasn’t where my memory had left her.

She was in the shop. I had always known Angie to be a good, door-loving girl, so I don’t really understand what could have provoked her sudden urge to commit a felony. I jumped through the broken window after her, but, with my night vision not being what it used to be, I stumbled, lost in the dark.

I felt her hand on mine and she pulled me forward into the darkness.

I don’t think I’ve ever told Angie about my slightly irrational fear of the dark. But she knew, and whispered, “Don’t be scared.” I thought it was my job to say that.

“You dreamed it?”

The voice echoed through the room, shot at us from everywhere, and I couldn’t pinpoint the source. I stood still as I could. I could feel Angie wanting to move forward, but I was holding her in place. She tugged gently at my arm, and replied to the voice.

The voiced echoed again, “Then I’m not crazy.”

This time, it sounded more human, and less genuinely creepy. I felt movement in front of Angie, and she exchanged salutations with the invisible man. I felt his gaze upon me as he said, “Who’d you bring with you?”

“This is my boyfriend, Mark.”

I tried my hand at humor, to stifle the apparent air of fear that I held. “I’d shake your hand, but I left my night vision goggles on the kitchen counter.”

The figure bustled to the other end of the room, apologizing on the way, and flicked a switch that nearly blinded me with light.

The man was taller than me, near-white blond hair, with pale, blue eyes. Chip off the Aryan block. His skin was pale, almost translucent in the artificial light.

“I’m Darren. I live a few miles from here. He didn’t dream it,” the man said, “did he?”

Angie shook her head. “No. But I figured I’d bring him along.”

The man nodded in approval. I took a look around at the room. It was pretty empty. There were plastic tables and chairs lining the walls, old pictures barely hanging onto them. The flowered wallpaper was peeling at the corners.

“Did you tell him about the dream? Does he know?” The man seemed almost anxious, rushed.

“No, no, not yet. But I’ll have to tell him sometime, won’t I?” Angie replied. She sounded damn near offended by the accusation.

“Alright. Just making sure, after all. Do you know if anyone else is coming?”

“No, I think it’s just us.”

“Okay then, let’s get started.”

The man left the room, Angie followed, and since I didn’t know what else to do, I walked behind her into the back room. The light changed. A single light bulb, hanging from the ceiling, lit the small, dark room. The force of the door sent it swaying back and forth. Suddenly, I felt a small thud on the back of my head, and my vision started getting fuzzy, like a thin veil had been thrown over my eyes. I heard Angie’s voice, muttering.

I’m sorry… It’s going to be okay, Mark… I’m so sorry… It’ll all be over soon…

The light bulb was still swinging, back and forth. It went dark.



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