Posts tagged ‘mystery’

Superior

By Christian Sopkowiak

Mosquitos, each one of them wanting a taste of blood, surrounded me. I swatted them away as they came but their numbers always seem endless when a body of water is nearby. I eventually killed one on my forearm; the mosquito was now only a red bloody spot on my body. The icy air sent shivers through me as I wondered why the mosquitos were out at this time of day. It was a beautiful but unfriendly Minnesota morning. I was standing on the shore of the enormous Lake Superior in the confines of a cold but welcoming Minnesota. The sand crunched beneath my feet and the cool air breathed continuously across the shore. My eyes were adjusting to the rising sun; its crimson rays were inviting as well as striking.

I exhaled heavily to see my breath take form in front of me. The air was an oddly calming tinge of frigid. It was spring and the lake was just getting used to being free from the rigid ice. I had begun to feel the shivering tingle of lake water drift in between my toes. Back and forth. Back and forth. Back and forth. I was too close to the shore but the water is exactly what I needed to wake me. I decided to sit down in the sand with my knees high and my arms wrapped around my legs.

I stared out into the lake, the water shone bright as an occasional wave lapped up the air. Some moments there would be a fish flopping in and out of the water, others there would be a loon cooing, and others there would be a bird of prey swooping in for its breakfast. The lake’s greenish blue tinge entranced me for a few moments; the lack of movement on the surface calmed my nerves for a bit.

That is when I stretched my mouth to smile at the lake. The water again brushed against my toes and the restful wind hit my cheek. As the sun rose that morning, I decided to stand up from the brittle sand. I looked at my hands after I stood; sand and blood caked my palms and fingers. The blood spread to my white shoes and jeans, the stains would take forever to get out.

“It would be so much simpler if we were free,” I said aloud. That is when I heard the police sirens behind me. My eyes drifted to the lake again. An eagle clenched a trout in its talons and flew off into the distance, into the clouds.Image

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Waiting

 

Twelve days. It’s been twelve days since I’d seen Jared. I didn’t want to worry. To follow after him even though he told me to stay, to constantly look towards the bridge he crossed over, hoping to see him racing back over to me. I didn’t want him to think I didn’t trust in his strength, his intellect. Him. So I waited, just like he said.

But it’s been twelve days. Nearly Twelve whole days.  287 hours, 47 minutes and 32 seconds.

I dug the heels of my bare feet into the ground, barely wincing as the rocks scrapped at my skin. It gave me something to focus on, something other than the lack of his presence beside me. I’m not clingy, I swear. I just didn’t realize how nice it was to have someone around, other than me, Lucy and Kay. And how worried I’d be when he was gone.

“Still waiting?” Kay leaned over my shoulder, pressing a cool hand to the back of my neck. His fingers were wet, as if he dipped them in the river. He must’ve been trying to catch fish with his bare hands again.

“Yeah,” I said. Read more…

Where Would I Be

I am posting a poem for your enjoyment, In honour of poetry month

by: Rebecca Taylor

Where would I be if I wasn’t doing what I’m doing?

Where would I be if I wasn’t the person I am?

Would I choose to go back in time

And be a Southern Belle going to all the parties like Scarlett O’Hara

Would I be an independent woman forging a path for women’s rights?

Maybe I would decide to be a man

And own a really big ranch and be able to make my own decisions

With nobody thinking, it was strange that I was running it.

 

Would I decide to go into the future

And take a space shuttle to the moon

Maybe I’d be a great doctor

And find a cure for cancer and save the lives of our friends and family

Could I be a world leader

And find an end to war and create a world of peace.

 

Would I stay in the present

And become a TV anchor

Or maybe I’d be an actress or sing on the silver stage

Accept a Grammy award and give a great speech

Could I end up being the owner my own company

Would I sell household hints or plan weddings for brides.

 

Maybe I wouldn’t be a person

Could I be a cat living with a loving family

Sipping cream from my own bowl

Would I be a wild mustang

Running free through meadows

Discovering places unknown.

 

 

Where would I be if I wasn’t doing what I’m doing?

Where would I be if I wasn’t the person I am?

Would I get the choice of where to go

Would I be able to decide what to be

Who knows where the road to life leads or where it’s come from

Who would I be, where would I be

Will remain a mystery.

Dreams Come True

     

I didn’t ask for this. I didn’t want this. I stared at the dead mouse at the foot of my bed. I’d been staring at it all morning, hoping it was only my imagination, but I was beginning to believe that it was real.

A knock sounded on my door, and it opened to reveal my best friend’s face. “Cammie, you’re not even out of bed. Aren’t we going to the mall today?”

“I just…” I couldn’t give a relevant answer.

“What’s wrong?” Miranda entered and sat on the edge of my bed. Her dark hair framed her confused face.

“I had a dream a few nights ago,” I started. “a dream that a mouse died in my room and I had to set traps.”

“Your house has never had mice.”

“You’re missing the point. I never remember my dreams.”

“I forgot about that.”

I pointed at the end of my bed, she leaned to see and then shrieked. “Then that appeared this morning.”

“Why didn’t you start with that?” She looked as though she was about to scream again when she must have seen my pale face. “Why has this worried you so much? You could have slept walked, and seen the mouse in your sleep and only believed it was a dream.”

I shook my head. “I know what I saw. This is the third time this has happened.” At her worried frown, I explained. “Last week was the first dream. I thought I dreamt that Ma was busy with laundry and burnt her chili. The next evening, I came home and the whole house reeked like burned chili. She claimed she was distracted by the laundry.”

Miranda shrugged slowly. “So… you have future telling dreams. Maybe you can make yourself dream of wonderful things, and then they’ll happen to you.”

“I don’t think it works that way anyway.” I flopped backwards on my bed. I did not ask for this. Suddenly the phone rang. “Mom’s out. I better get that.” Eager for the distraction from the dreams and the dead mouse, I bounded downstairs to the landline phone.

“Hello?”

After a quick and mutual introduction, the voice on the other end of the line explained himself. “I’m calling concerning the application you filed for our company, Express Shipping.”

I held my breath. I’d applied for that job a few weeks ago, and right now I could go for some extra cash. Renting my own apartment would be a good use of any paycheck I could get.

“If you’re still interested, we’d love to offer you a job as a customer service attendant.”

He explained that my job would be to help people in line to deliver packages. I would weigh packages, attach postage, and ring up the order. I managed to breath and answer that yes, I was definitely interested, and I would indeed like to start tomorrow. I hung up the phone and rushed back upstairs to tell Miranda.

That was the end of the beginning.

                                                                 Two Weeks Later

Seven-thirty always rolled around earlier than I expected, but I was beginning not to mind. Pulling into the Express parking lot every morning gave me a sense of independence I’d never felt before. My dreams were becoming more frequent – one almost every night now, but the job served as a wonderful distraction.

At my lunch break that afternoon, my boss Seymour came to sit at my table in the break room.

Though quite burly with his large beard and mustache, Seymour was the type of man who appeared to be ominous but was a teddy bear at heart. He’d done wonders in trying to make me feel part of the team. After some brief small talk, Seymour said, “I had this dream last night that I could fly. Aren’t dreams just the craziest things?”

If only you knew. But I only replied, “They never make any sense.”

“What do you dream about?”

I swallowed the bite of my ham sandwich. “Well, last night I dreamt that a bad storm hit.” Thunder rumbled, and I glanced upwards.

Seymour leaned back in his chair and nodded nonchalantly. “Does that happen often?”

“Thunder? Happens all the time.”

“The dreams that turn out to be true, does that happen a lot?”

I frowned, feeling slightly guarded now. “It’s happened a few times before.”

“Do me a favor will you? Tell me next time you have a dream. Doesn’t matter what it is, but it might help us.” I stared at him. “For example, if you’d known it was going to rain today, I could have called earlier about that leaky roof.” He stood up and turned towards the door. “Just remember to tell me, whatever it’s about.” He grinned at me, like his request was completely normal; as if everyone told their employers what they dreamed of every night. No further explanation came, and he walked out. I finished my ham sandwich in a confused silence.

That night, I had yet another dream. A middle-aged man was walking down the sidewalk. He was wearing plaid, and he looked furtively before he crossed the street.  The adjacent street sign read 10th Ave. and Wildwood Street. A church bell rang in the distance, and I counted 12 chimes. Why did I dream of a man in plaid?

I walked in to work that morning and I already had a customer in line. Seymour was in his office, and I was the only other employee who had come in yet.

“What can I help you with?” I asked.

He couldn’t have been much older than me. I expected that he simply wanted to ship a package.

“You need to quit this job.”

“Excuse me?”

“Look, I know things. It’s not safe for you here.”

I stared. “Maybe you’re right. I can call security.”

He put his hands up in the air, acting innocent. “It’s not what you might think. I’m Adam, and I’m supposed to be your mentor. Every dreamer gets one. Usually I get more time to develop trust with the dreamer, but this situation is escalating faster than I expected.”

“A dreamer?”

Adam nodded solemnly. “That’s right. I know about your gift.”

“Um… my gift?” I didn’t know if I’d call it that.

He sighed. “Don’t believe me? Your first ever dream was that your mom burned soup, and it turned out to be true. You dreamt about little every day stuff like that for a bit, but last night’s is the first of the more important ones. Last night it was the guy in plaid taking a walk at noon, right?”

I had told no one of that. “I need you to leave now,” I said coldy.

“I’ll  be back later in case you have a change of heart. Whatever happens, don’t ever tell Seymour about your dreams.”

I decided to humor him. “And why not?”

“A life is in the balance.” A pause. “The business here is shady,” he continued in a low voice. “It’s not what anyone thinks. I’ll explain more next time.”

Seymour was making his way towards my counter, and Adam disappeared out the door as quickly as he’d come in.

A few hours later, my grey-haired co-worker Leonard waltzed in.

“You look chipper this morning,” I said with a smile as I filled some paperwork at the front counter.

“Special delivery day is always a great day,” he said with glittering eyes.

“Oh? I didn’t know we had one today. When do you leave?”

“Don’t know. Boss hasn’t told me the details yet. Odd,” he commented, squinting. “He usually knows those things by now.” He shrugged. “But it’s bound to be a good one.”

“Know what you’re delivering?” I asked out of curiousity.

“Oh, you know – “ His face fell when he realized I didn’t know. “I forgot you’re the new kid. Ask Seymour.”

I sighed. Why such a complicated morning? I’d rather forget about the dreams and the secrets and get on with apartment searching. That’s all I wanted. My own place away from odd distractions.

The morning was so busy I hadn’t even thought of telling Seymour about my dream. My lunch break came, but this time I decided to eat outside. I hadn’t decided what to do if Seymour asked me more questions.

I stepped outside and sat down at the park bench outside the store window. I had no sooner unwrapped my sandwich when a figure appeared and Adam was sitting next to me.

“I see you didn’t tell Seymour about the plaid guy.”

“You were waiting for me?” Oddly, he didn’t scare me that much now. If he’d wanted to cause me harm, he’d have done it already. “How do you know I didn’t tell him?”

“The guy in plaid is still alive, that’s how I know.”

I set my sandwich down, suddenly not hungry. “I don’t even know what that means.”

“You saved his life, Cammie.” He stopped talking as a customer walked past us and into the store. “Most of the things they ship at Express is legit. There may be only a tiny bit of illegal activity, but it’s very dark stuff. Every week, Express is available for the hire of one special package.”

“What’s in it?”

“Doesn’t matter what’s in it. It’s the deliverer who’s lethal.”

I stared. “You mean…”

He nodded. “They’re hit men.”

My mind was spinning:  the special delivery, Leonard, the general secrecy, and my dreams. “And the man in plaid?”

“He embezzled money from his construction company for years. His boss just found out and ordered a hit. He was today’s target. He’s going to get picked up today for his embezzlement. He’ll go to jail, but he’ll be alive.”

I sat for a long time.

“What’re you thinking?”

“This is crazy.”

“You have an alternative. You could work for me.”

I cocked my head. “And that’s not crazy? I don’t even know you.”

“Look, I’m part of detective team. We work on cases to find and catch serial killers, working with police forces worldwide. My people are working to shut down this dark place right now.” He motioned towards the Express building behind us. “Someone with your skills could be a real asset to our cases.”

I struggled to process. “So you don’t have… the gift?”

He shook his head. “I’m only in connection with someone else who does. That’s how I know so much about you and your dreams.”

“How would I be an asset?”

“Dreamers dream about whatever their confident needs to see. You were going to tell Seymour about your dreams, and thus you found out things that would only be helpful to him and his company. The same sort of thing would happen if you worked for me.”

The store door opened and Seymour stuck his head outside. “Sorry to cut your break short. I’m swamped; I need you in here, Cammie.”

I turned quickly to Adam, and mouthed, “Wait.” I followed Seymour back inside. “I’ve been meaning to talk to you about something,” I said. “I don’t think this – ”

“I’m sure it can wait,” Seymour interrupted. “Oh, I’d like to know if it’s going to storm anytime soon. Have any dreams last night?” He winked at me I followed him to the counters.

“Nope.” I paused. “And Seymour? This isn’t going to work out for me. I quit.”

I walked out, leaving Seymour staring, but I returned to Adam, where a new job awaited me.

I didn’t ask for this. It didn’t mean I couldn’t make something great out of it.

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