This week, Chuck isn't going to be around... so I thought to do my own flash fiction. This one is a weird and wonderful one I'm making from a strange dream I had last night.
The markets were closing and people were packing up their gear just as the sun was setting. This is a noisy thing to do – almost as noisy as setting up. I should know as I am a retailer at the weekend markets.
But not today – at least not this time.
This time, I’m just here to watch it all close up as the lights have been turned down a little and everyone is packing up their gear, folding their table cloths and putting away their tables into their cars and vans to drive home.
Being a retailer at the markets is exhausting… especially if you don’t make any money… but I love doing what I do. However today, as I said, I’m not a retailer.
Looking at one lady, she sees me as I watch her put her table cloth away and leans on her table, then looks up at me: “He’s coming for you.” Her whisper reaches my ears.
“No he’s not.” I don’t know who ‘he’ is and don’t wish to as I turned and walk away, through the maze of collapsing marquees and market tables, of the beauty of the weekend markets closing up shop for the night.
There’s a certain beauty about it I can’t explain.
I almost get out of the park when I find myself back at the lady’s table and she’s just folded her table cloth and put it away, leaned on the table, looked up at me, exhausted, “He’s looking for you.” Her voice is louder – closer – to me now.
“Who?” I ask, but she goes about her work putting away her things ignoring me.
I walk away again. This time, I start looking around to see who it is. Off in the distance, I see a man in a cloak talking to people, looking around, asking for somebody.
He sees me… my gut turns cool!
He’s dressed like Dracula!
It’s time to leave… I turn to run and find people in my way. They’re packing up and walking across the aisle to go to their cars as I dodge around them and still I can’t get away from him!
Suddenly, I’m out of the park, away from the market and running, when a hand touches my shoulder and turns me around.
A young man with long shaggy hair has stopped me, “Hey, where you going in such a hurry?”
“Away from him.” I say to him backing away from him – I don’t know this guy. I don’t owe him any explanation, “Leave me alone.”
“He’s looking for you… and he’ll find you.” The shaggy-haired guy said, “He always does.”
Turning, I ignore him. I know my way through the park. I’ve been here before and know my way back to the caravan park as this is a place I know well.
The lady at the market place is packing up her table. She’s just folded up her table cloth and put it away and leaned on the table, exhausted, looking at me, “He’ll find you soon.”
“We’ve been here before.” I whisper.
“Yes, and you keep on running.” She answered me, “He’s not far now.”
I turned and run. But it feels as though I can’t get anywhere as the aisle chocks up with so many people moving things and walking in my way – more than before!
Then a hand grabs my shoulder.
I know it’s him!
I shout as I turn and I’m confronted by him – the Dracula man in the cloak! – and he stands there smiling at me, “Hi. I’ve been looking for you.”
“What do you want?” My voice is shaking.
“Now, you should know me… we’re friends.” A friendly smile spreads across his face as the shaggy-haired man shows at his shoulder, “We know each other so well – inside out.”
“No, I don’t know you.”
“We go for rides, you and me… through the imagination. We write stories and scared the crap out of people and enjoy it.” He grins, “And I’ve been here the whole time with you, in that room where you type on the computer, the typewriter, making sure you get it right!”
He laughs, “Oh Lordy no! I’m your imagination!”
“Well, what’s with the get-up?”
“You write horror… I wanted to impress you.” He smiles as he steps forward, “And…” he put out and open-palmed hand towards me, “I want to take a little ride.”
Before I could protest, his hand connected with my chest, electrifying me with all kinds of charges, making me almost stop breathing, causing me to feel as though my life was coming to an end.
Just as quickly, he let go. He seemed unimpressed, “Oh… I see.”
I stepped back, catching my breath, “What?”
“You’re walking your true path.” He said.
“It doesn’t matter…” he said.
“It does if you’re not impressed.” I said.
He produced a mirror and showed it to me. As I looked into the reflection of myself, I saw me inside it with him behind me, “What is my true path?” I looked up at him, but he was no longer there. Instead, he was next to me.
“Your true path is already being written. We’re going on the ride now.” He put out his hand, offering it to me, “Shall we go on the best ride possible?”
“Which ride is that?”
“The ride inside the imagination – of course!”