Friday, October 30, 2009

Bring me a dream.

Bring me a dream.

Mr. Sandman bring me a dream…
Make him the cutest that I’ve ever seen…
Give him…

Fall colors fill the neighborhood as I’m walking home on a brisk autumn afternoon. The air is filled noisy children in the streets and distant cars passing. Small towns have the typical rituals that landmark the upcoming change season. Not without its charm of course, our town is preparing its annual Sadie Hawkins dance. Simply brings the locals excitement for a few weeks culminating in the one night event. “Kimmie!” shrieks the capricious Madison Lee as she leaps off her bicycle and lands directly in front of me, “Are you going to the dance tonight?” Smiling I nod. “Oh my… KIMMIE! Did you ask someone?” I shrug. “NO! Well? Why not?” Rolling my eyes and move around Madison to keep walking. Madison Lee happened to be the biggest busybody at school, if not in the entire town.

“Honestly, Maddie,” starts my excuse, “Who would I even consider asking? It’s not like there are new guys popping up out of thin air.”

“KIMMIE! Don’t be like that. Just ask Peter or Tom. Quit being silly. There’s no point in waiting until the last minute.” I can feel her eyes penetrating the back of my head as I walk away. “Well,” She hollers out after me, “Bobby is picking me up at 6:30, and he’s giving Tom a ride, so just come over after 5 so we can get ready!” I spin around laughing and wave. Madison Lee is has been my best friend since grade school and we rarely do anything without each other. The dance would be no exception. Anyhow Tom’s a nice guy and we all know each other pretty well. The brisk air continues to twirl around the leaves as I finish the remaining walk home.

Promptly I’m at Maddie’s house by 5. Knock knock. Just turn the handle and it’s open. There’s no one answering the door as usual. Jason, Mad’s little brother, runs through the entry way dressed as a replica of Cowboy Dan from the TV show. “BANG BANG!” yells the pint sized cowboy as he tears through holding his pistols. I’m still wearing my bobby socks and skirt from school today. Maddie has our dresses upstairs pressed and ready to go. She’s been waiting to ask out Bobby Allan for months and had planned our ensembles should the Sadie Hawkins dance work out to her advantage. I’m wearing a baby blue number and Maddie’s is carnation pink.

“So? What’s wrong with Tom? Or even Peter?” Maddie inquires as she’s finishing up my hair.

Crossing my arms with the same reply as always, “It’s nothing Maddie. I just don’t want to… Look we’ve all known each for years and it’s just weird to see either of them as… You know what? Never mind.”

“Oh, Kimmie. Alright,” sigh as she lets it drop and continues.

The pieces of my hair are just about in place and there’s a yell from Jason. The guys are early. It’s barely 6 o’clock and Bobby is in a hurry to get to the hall. Bobby’s dad has hired the band for the evening and needs some help with the setup. Down the stairs we fly visions of pink and blue which are a bit much as I can see both jaws drop on the boys. “Alright ladies, your carriage awaits.” We are out the door and into the car, 1955 Buick, on loan from Bobby’s dad for the evening. Maddie and Bobby in the front seat and Tom and I in the back.

The car moves through the dark pass of Green Creek and down Miller’s curve. The radio is playing in the background, “Mr. Sandman….” Bobby reaches over and puts his arm around ....Madison.... scooting her closer. She turns around and mouths “oh my” at me. Smiling, I look over at Tom and he isn’t paying attention at all. “…bring a dream” the radio cuts in quietly. I jab Tom in the side to give him a wake up. He turns and laughs at me. Down the road the car continues. There’s some patchy fog but nothing out of the ordinary for this time of year. Until… the road opened up and so did the night. Standing there, just clear as day... He was.

Bobby slows the car and stops. A young man with dark wavy hair and eyes. Dressed in a nice suit with a handful of flowers. As the Bobby rolls down the window, the young man approaches. “Are you going to the dance?” The boy nods and points down the road. There’s a car with steam coming out of the engine. “Car problems? Well get on in. We’re going that way and you are welcome to tag along.” The young man opens the door and climbs in next to me. Tom gives him a dirty look and I give another jab with a smile.

“So,” Madison sits up in the seat and spins around to face us. Being miss nosy she steps up to the plate with the questions. “I’m Madison Lee, this here is Robert Allan, just call him Bobby, that lovely gal right next to you is Miss Kimberley Michaels, my best friend, and that fellow on your left is Thomas Ward, Tom” as she points out each of us. “Well with the introductions out of the way what’s your name? Do you live around here? Were you going to the dance with someone?”

“John.” He speaks deeply and quickly as he looks over at me and clears his throat. I smile at his nervousness. “John Miller.”

“Hey John, you from around here?” Bobby smacks Mad on the behind and she sits back down with a little huff.

“I live up the road at the farm around the bend.” He looks again for reassurance in my direction. I continue to smile. Tom is furious in his corner of the backseat as he quietly pretends to ignore the conversation.

“Oh. Hey you’re related to the Miller’s? That’s dumb of me, your Andy’s nephew from Wisconsin” Bobby has a moment of realization. “Well, glad to meet you and welcome to the neighborhood.” The strange young man gets a bewildered look after Bobby’s greeting, but says nothing. Quietly Tom looks at me and back out the window.

John looks over at Tom, me, then towards the front. “Glad to meet you all, and hopefully we’ll have a great time at the dance tonight.”

Town Hall couldn’t be more inviting than when it’s decorated for the season’s event. Fall magically spins reds, oranges and yellows through the room. The band is rehearsing when we get to the entrance. Mayor Ward is waiting for Tom and Mr. Allan has a look of irritation directed at Bobby. “Sorry Dad! The band sounds great! We sort of picked up a stranded passenger along the way,” Bobby motions toward John, “John Miller meet my Dad, Frank Allan and this is Mayor Ward. John’s car broke down out in Green Creek past the bend.” Handshakes are exchanged and we enter the hall.

Dance is in full swing. I’ve just gotten off the floor after a spin or two with Peter. Tom has taken off to some corner with Mary Ellen Hansen. Bobby and Madison are swinging out on the floor. John is hanging out by the wall next to the punch bowl. The band slows down and the dance floor empties out a bit. Needing a break, I excuse myself from Peter and head over to make some small talk with this unusual fellow.

“Hey,” I smile and try to grab John’s attention with a wave as I approach. “How are you enjoying the dance?”

“Not so great,” the sullen words completely stumbled out of his mouth. There’s nothing but disappointment in his eyes. “My date isn’t here. I think she stood me up.”

“Cheer up. Maybe she’s running late. How about some punch? Then we can ask around for her,” I suggest and get a small grin from John. “Ok. It’s settled.”

“Kimmie!” spins Maddie as the band takes five. “John, Hey! You two should be dancing!” Subtle Madison. I shoot her a deathly glare. She winks and heads back to Bobby. “Well don’t wait all night,” It’s been nearly an hour and I’ve managed to find out a little more about John. Mostly that he’s new to the area and that he normally wouldn’t do this sort of thing, dances and social events. But for the most part nothing particularly clear. John seems very nervous as the band gets ready to play again. I’m thinking that he’s been trying to get the nerve to ask me to dance. I’m right. He stands and reaches out a hand as the band strikes up once again.

“Look, I’m sorry for being such bad company for the night. You didn’t have to sit with me.” He quietly tells me as we head out to the floor.

Smiling pretty wide at John, I give him a break, “It’s alright, you have the rest of the night to make up for it.”

Another hour rolls by and the band has slowed down. The night is wearing thin as are the dancers on the floor. The room has been completely out of my mind for the most part as I can’t remember a time I’ve had more fun. Finally someone I don’t mind spending time with. He’s different. This whole night is surreal. New guys don’t fall out of no where. Just as I’m continuing to beam, John slows our movements and completely stops. Looking into my eyes, he takes on a whole new look. Complete terror and disappointment crosses his face. “Kimberley, it was nice to meet you, but I HAVE to leave now.”

“Wait, I can get Bobby and we can give you a lift.” Shaking his head frantically, his arms disengage from mine and he rather quickly races toward the exit. I chase after in my attempt to stop him, but Tom reaches me first. Tom grabs my hand. “What are you doing? Let me go.” But he doesn’t. Madison walks over and looks at us.

“Kim, what happened?” Maddie questions me and shoves at Tom, “Let her go now!” Shaking his head with a look of shear disgust Tom walks away again. Mary Ellen is waiting in the corner for him anyhow.

“He left. Something about needing to go. I’m not sure why.”

Sensing my panic. “I’ll get Bobby. It will be ok. We go and look for him.”

“Look, there’s no way John made it out to the curve on foot that quickly.” Bobby drives the car with considerable speed. We’ve reached the outskirts of the main streets of town and found no person in the night. "Shortly we’ll be back out along the curve and by the creek. If he's not there, I don't know, Kim." My mind is completely at a loss for thoughts. I can’t imagine him heading out into the night on foot. The dark fog creeps toward the car and hinders our vision once more. “Wasn’t his car out along the Adams farm earlier?” Bobby questions Maddie and I. We both nod as he immediately pulls over. There’s no sign of John’s car or any traces of tire marks in the mud along the road.

After giving it much thought we drive out to the curve and make our way to the farm by the curve. The fog is less thick along the road out here. The driveway has an old mailbox with the initials J. Miller. As the car nears the small farmhouse the road opens up into a unpaved driveway that ends next to the house. Stopping the car in the front Bobby, Maddie and I get out of the Buick and head up to the house. Bobby reaches up and knocks on the door. A very small old man answers. His hair is quite white and his eyes are hidden behind tiny glasses. His arms tremble as he stands. The old man shakes his head when we ask about John. He hands us an old newspaper clipping, shuts the door and turns off the porch light. Bobby glances at the clip, crumbles it into his pocket and immediately motions us back to the car. “GET IN!”

As we arrive at in the car, there’s a handful of flowers in the front seat. Bobby gets in and tosses out the flowers into the night. Maddie and I slide over in the front seat. Quietly in the night the car slowly makes its way back towards town. Maddie reaches over and rubs Bobby’s shoulder. Still silent he reaches over to the glove box and grabs a flashlight. He pulls out the crumbled piece of newspaper handing it to us. It’s dated September 9, 1952. The headline reads, “Local Miller boy slain in deadly car accident along road by Green Creek.”

...bring me a dream.

Gonna keep it brief as I'm still finishing up the last one tonight. Make no mistake I am by no means finished. Barely getting to work on what's to come. Anyhow on this... It's another one I've taken an old story and given it a twist. It's rather bare though, skeleton like especially for as long as it is. Haha. Just wait until I fill it in more. That will come later. Anyhow, cheers, have a good night, morning whatever. Enjoy! kisses. m.

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