How Real Dreams Can Be ... (a continuation on the last two)

Submitted into Contest #70 in response to: Write about someone trying to atone for a mistake they’ll never be able to fix.... view prompt


Drama Funny Coming of Age

‘It’s strange how real a dream could be.’ Rosa one thought spring morning, sweating as she awoke wrapped in the white sheets on her massive bed, the morning light flooding the space all around her room through the large wood panel windows, creating constellations of dust clouds in the air, dancing beneath the light rays like ghosts in the daylight. With her head still stuck to the pillow, a small puddle of drool around her mouth, her eyes stared out the windows across the long stretches of lake and the expanses of empty sky, allowing her mind to cast out the vivid dreams from her deep sleep into the rolling waves, washing them up to the shore of her consiousness. 

She had dreamt she was her mother, the lonely, harmless, I’m frail and helpless little old Cathy, framed for being an abusive alcoholic, ridden from the one thing in her life she still held dear, her pride and joy, her daughter, Rosa. The weeks had dragged by in endless waking delirium, the sleepless nights piled on like cinderblocks over her skull, reducing her cranium to dust and her brain into goo beneath the weight of stress, while she tried to maintain the image of having it all together, trying to maintain a believably sane look on her rapidly aging, saggy line creased face. 

The days at work simply melted before her, she was living in a hell of tedium and despair and grief, so empty and meaningless without her daughter, so deflated except for all her self loathing, making even the smallest tasks of blinking and taking a shit became too extraneous, and she eventually stopped going to work entirely. The only thing she kept as some sort of semblance of hope was the prospect of hearing form her daughter, the chance maybe Rosa would send her a letter, just to know she was still alive, and still thinking about her mother. Cathy laid in her daughters bed, clutching and stroking the pillow as if it were her little girl, whispering to it,

 “Mommy’s here, mommy will always be here. Mommy loves you”, 

All the while rats crawled upon the bed, sniffing and nibbling and gnawing at her feet as well as the empty takeout containers sprawled over the bloody mattress. 

“My baby, my baby” 

She whispered through a throat hoarse from crying.

“Breathe! Please, breathe!”

She said into the pillow, the little lump, the soft plushiness she held to be her daughter.

Cathy’s body slowly began dissolving into the folds of the mattress, pulling her down like quicksand. Too hopeless to try and save herself, she let herself dissipate, to disappear into the void, the blackhole attempting to suck her in, only to a moment later awaken in her bathtub. Her body was frozen still with icy death,, all her functions had ceased, and the water was frigid with a reddish brown hue, she felt nothing except the cold murky water and the chilled metallic tub and the rats still gnawing at her legs and her head pounding from the cacophonous repetitious big band jazz music blasting through the radio speakers.

“Oh, how you will be the death of me” 

She said, staring at her skinless white wrist hand and finger bones, shanghai noodles hanging off them like seaweed. In the corner of the bathroom Masha, the head nurse who always stuck Cathy with being on sponge bath duty was fucking Gerald, the handsome Japanese surgeon who Cathy had dated once. The cold water caused her bones to ache and shiver against the porcelain, and she tried to shut her eyes to shut out the horror and the infernal music and the pain and her slow death, but her eyes remained fixated on a Frida painting in front of her and then her fur coat, inherited after her mother’s passing, hanging on the door knob, when slowly and against her will, her hand slid between her thighs, submerging into the rat and noodle infested shitty blood soup water filling the tub and she began to touch herself. As she approached her climax she wondered about God and if he wasn’t just some cold blooded masterbating lizard, perched upon a rock in some desert, absorbing the sunlight into her cold blood, and she wondered if the afterlife was anything like what some of her patients whom experienced death had told her it would be like. She wondered why her daughter never wrote her, why no men ever seemed to want to fuck her, and how awful a mother she was, and if she’d ever meet her again in heaven or hell. She figured even if she had another kid, or a kitten, or an imaginary friend, it wouldn’t matter because she was simply unlovable plain and simple. She wondered if Gilda was right when her heart stopped and she claimed heaven to be sort of like a post coital state of euphoria while the storm pipes dripped outside to the tune of angels on high and the smell of sweat and patchouli filled the air and everything was illuminated by candle light and pulsing with vibration. To her, it seemed worth the shot, just about anything was worth the shot, she knew that every shot she’d ever taken, she had missed, so she failed to see the harm in missing once more. She felt drawn to the appeal of some kind of finality, some kind of bookend to the long laundry list of failures and misery she had continuously and laboriously and extensively been piling onto. Submerged in her sin, bathing in her filth, she prayed for deliverance, she begged for forgiveness, she asked for acceptance. And she dunked her head down, choking in the vile depths of her suffering before a flash of blackness swept through her with a cold fury like a stalker in the night, ripping through her with a saw blade until she was no more. 

And suddenly the blackness gave way to light, a dull, Dreary late morning sky over the lake outside and a listless propulsion in her bones causing Rosa’s face to remain firmly affixed to the pillow. She thought about how massive the bed was, and how her room smelled of vanilla scented body butters, just as all the other girls did, and how powerful and mature she’d felt just the night before, giving half a hand job to Wayne Dawson before promptly kicking him out through the balcony attached to her bedroom. She looked at the fur coat hanging in a corner of her room off a coat rack and she fantasized about how sexy she would one day look in it. She knew Wayne was Taryn’s boyfriend but Taryn had made a nasty remark about Val, calling her a “user”, which Rosa knew was absolutely true, but since Rosa’s loyalty was more towards Val than to Taryn, at least on that particular week, it didn’t matter to her in the slightest. As she stared out upon the waves she thought about how great it would be to go to Australia, or California, and felt jealous of all the rich girls on television who got to see the world without having any idea of how lucky they were, without any of the true appreciation Rosa knew she would have for those things. 

By the time Rosa made it to the kitchen, the eggs and coffee Teddy had made for her were cold, and he was already well on his way to his afternoon nap, his breathing slowing, eyes droopy, cigar half lit, barely following the golf tournament on the television. Teddy grunted into wakefulness, letting out a puff of smoke, as Rosa entered the room wearing an oversized sweatshirt, boxer shorts and fuzzy slippers. 

“It’s fucking cold in here”

She said, her lips rising into a snarl. 

“So put some fucking pants on. And don’t fucking swear. “

Said Teddy, relighting his cigar. 

“Eggs on the counter, eat up. You keep sleeping all day and then you don’t get enough food in ya. Startin to look Ann-er-exic.”

She saw the rats so clearly in her minds eye, gnawing at her, or rather, her mother’s corpse, and the Chinese food containers.she heard the blasting horns of swing jazz and she heard Cathy’s weeping gasps into the pillow:

“My baby….my baby….”

Rosa sat down and forked a cold piece of egg into her mouth while being reminded about the taste of Quentin’s semen, a high school boy she had blown for a case of beer the week before. She had been with Val and the two of them were on their scooters, both of them wearing sunglasses, tank tops and ripped jeans, wheeling around the Southvale mall parking lot one evening after school, as they had been doing many nights over the summer months, sharing a flavoured cigar Rosa had procured from Teddy. Rosa had never even known what a scooter was before moving there, and immediately after finding out, convinced Teddy to not only get her one, but her her the Zenith-40, with a metallic, cherry red finish, to match Rosa’s new Warhol high tops ,and with big wheels which glided over the cracked, mall parking lot pavement like butter.  

Was the two girls giggled about a cheesy cable porno they had both stayed up watching the night before, a roaring black Chevy announced its arrival before them with its ear splitting engine and loud, bombastic jock-rock blaring through the speakers. 

“ The way her tits just happened to ‘pop out’ as she served the guy his coffee, it reminded me of Tiffany at that party last weekend, did you see her slutting it up out there? Ugh, gross.”

The girls both giggled cooly, continuing to exchange puffs on the watermelon flavoured cigar as the Chevy came to a halt right where they were stationed, and out came Quentin in his leather jacket and ripped jeans, too lanky, awkward and boyish to really fill out the role he was hoping for, maybe one third the bad boy he aimed to be, along with Patrick, his chubby, even less attractive, less cool looking sidekick, tossing a wrapper out his window as he scarfed down a quesadilla from Taco Shack. 

“Hey, wasn’t that my quesadilla?”

Said Quentin, just before getting out of the car. 

“I had a taco and a quesadilla. Your quesadilla should still be in there.”

“Fucking better be” said Patrick, leaving the engine running as he got out of the car to approach the two girls. 

Patrick popped a cigarette between his mouth and fumbled clumsily with his lighter to get it sparked while making his approach, trying to hold eye contact with the two girls, who, despite there being no one else in the deserted back section of the lot , pretended not to notice him. As he came within their distance he greeted them with a puff of smoke, a head nod, and grunted a hardly audible:


“Patrick, right?”

Said Val 

“Aren’t you the one who got caught lifting tires from Walters Auto?”

“The fuck you talking about?”

“Yeah, that was you”

“Maybe it was. What’s your point?”

“Hey attitude, much? How about a cig ?”

“You’re loud. You should be more like you’re cute friend here”

“We’re too young for ya perv.”

Val said with a snarl. 

“Not too young to smoke my darts though.”

Patrick said extending his cigarette package. 

The girls each took one and he lit them both, this time, getting the flame from his lighter more readily, helping him to appear much smoother than in his clumsy arrival. 

“What do you want?”

Asked Val, crossing her arms, exhaling into Patrick’s face. 

“I was driving by, with my buddy there, Patrick. “

Said Quentin, pointing over at Patrick in the car, who, caught in mid chew, by that time onto eating Patricks quesadilla, began waving back at them. 

“Couldn’t help but notice your cute friend here.”

He said, looking at Rosa, her head down, staring at the bright burning flame on the end of her cigarette. 

“How romantic. Too bad that Shes not interested”

Said Val with a growl in her voice.

“Can’t she speak for herself?” 

Said Quentin. 

“Case o’ beer.”

Both heads turned toward Rosa, emitting a mist of smoke through her blood red lips. 

“Huh?” Said Quentin, his mouth agape, flabbergasted enough for everyone there. 

“Rosa, what are you saying, hon?”

Said Val, who, being two years older, still occasionally talked down to Rosa as her elder, much to Rosa’s dismay. 

“I’ll do it, for a case of beer. And those smokes.”

“Do what?” Said Val, raising an eyebrow. 

Quentin remained silent, his eyes wide and eager like a starving dog.  

“I’ll blow the poor guy.”

Quentin’s eyes suddenly turned even wider, and he stood, jolted like a poisoned rat, unsure of whether to keep eating what’s in front if it or to tip over and die. 

“Well?” Said Val, looking over at the catatonic Quentin. 

“Uhh, sure.”

He said. 

“Great, it’s settled, then. Let’s go. “

Said Rosa. 


Said Quentin

“Yes, now. First, the beer. Then I’ll slob your knob or whatever you boys say. Let’s go.”

“Where we goin?”

Said Patrick, sipping his cola , as the girls piled into the back seat of the car. while Quentin drove them to the beer store only a block away. Eventhough the store was within walking distance, the girls and Quentin each lit a fresh cigarette as Quentin gunned the engine out of the parking lot proceeding to drive in the road less than a minute before entering the lot for the beer store. Within minutes, he came out with a case of Micky’s ale, as Rosa had instructed him to choose. 

“Here it is, ladies.” He said handing the case into the back seat. 


He said. 

“With regards to my payment.”

“Tell your friend there to get out and drive us around back. “

Said Val


Said Patrick, and Rosa at the same time.

“It’s your lucky day.”

Said Val with a sly smile.

Rosa looked at Val and Val ignored her confused glance, while staring at Quentin, squinting and puffing up her lips, her eyes a blue burning flame with the allure and the pull of a temptress. 

“What about me?” Came the whiny voiced Patrick from the passenger seat. 

Patrick was promptly kicked out of the car and told to stand in front if the liquor store for an albeit brief period, sipping another can of coke and chewing through a wad of gum while the black Chevy rolled to the back of the lot, the engine still revving, and the booming bass continuing to resound all across the area through the rolled up windows. 

So, as Rosa chewed the whitish eggs after they’d sat on the counter all morning, while staring out across the lake and the overcast sky, her eyes still swollen from a heavy sleep, that’s what she was reminded of—Quentins sperm. 

Rosa was too lost in thought to notice Teddy had a call on his private cell phone, and proceeded to put her fork full of cold eggs back on her plate and sip some cold coffee down into her nauseous stomach. Rosa was thinking about her red scooter, and Val’s new lace bra, a deep purple colour and about a concert, ‘the cracked pipes’ were playing that weekend at Lizzo’s a dingy bar which was laxdasical when it came to checking Id’s, she was thinking about so many things she didn’t notice the grave, mortified look suddenly upon Teddy’s face. 

“Rosa, come here babe.”

Rosa sat down and the conversation happened like a spliced up film reel. Teddy sighed. 

“Your mother”

And then. 


And then. 

“She died. “

Rosa was suddenly glad she had sent the letter she wrote her. 

But as As she stared down at her hands, and then at the lake and then at the television playing a romantic comedy she had seen so many times before she could recite the lines, Rosa realized she hadn’t ever remembered to send the letter. Her mind went back to thoughts about school the next day, and spaghetti for dinner, and the bloody, rat noodle soup bath her mother must have died in, and then about a history test she hadn’t studied for, and then again about Val’s bra and then finally, she thought ,

It was strange how real a dream could be.

December 02, 2020 06:12

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