Right or Left

My poem went up at The Drabble you can check it out here woot!

This is a dream I had about a year ago, maybe two but I couldn’t remember if I had ever written it up. If I had written it up I was unable to find a copy, so I decided to write it down again for safe-keeping. There are holes and blemishes in it due to my imperfect memory.

Wind and too much rain swept the car sideways along muddy backwater roads. The radio advised against driving but we’d been caught unaware.

“We should stop somewhere….take shelter. “ I agreed and wondered mutely when exactly the sky had first started to collapse.

A dirt road later and we were parked in front of a run down, albeit hospitable, house. We got out of the car, the journey from the front yard to the front steps soaking our clothes strait through. We knocked, no answer. We rang, no answer. We tried the knob, the door opened with ease. I called out to the hypothetical occupants, no answer.

“The owners must be stuck elsewhere, we’ll stay the night.” I was tired. I was hungry. I was in need of a shower and dry clothes. I agreed despite the threat of being caught like Goldie Locks by three hirsute and irate tenants.

The living room was lit by a solitary lamp and an old CRT television set, still running. The screen was black and white, on it a girl was tied to a chair, a spiral wheel gyrating ever-so-slowly behind her back.

The polyester chairs were empty, the room was soiled with grey like the fireplace had exhaled all over everything. I decided not to take the stairs but instead headed for the kitchen. That’s when we lost sight of each other but I didn’t take the disappearance as an emergency.

The kitchen was large, windswept, with debris littering the floor. The back wall was made entirely of glass, outside the sun was shining even though it was still night. Out of a small, narrow white cabinet came a cane, an unwieldy black boot, an alien, all 7 fucking feet of him in a space intended only to hold dish towels. He was wearing a Victorian black suit, looking dapper as sin. He had to fold himself nearly in half to look at my face. His hair was white, his teeth were filed to points, his right eye was gold, his left a clock.

“The plain gold eye is for seeing the good in people. The clockwork eye is for seeing into the future. “ He informed me through direct transfusion, no voice, no words just instantaneous comprehension.

“Do you have any candy?” I didn’t he inspected the cookie jar.

He disappeared into the cabinet again. I could not follow. I went back to the living room after a brief wait, he appeared behind me and in front of me on the screen. He looked me up and down. He smelled me. He peered at me from behind the glass. He pulled me into the television set, into the grey, sparky haze of a dated broadcast system. He circled me slowly, round and round like he was winding me up in an invisible thread. Meanwhile, flickers of old Nick at Night programs swirled around us, but only the sets, not the actors.

“I want to show you something.” He said or didn’t say. We exited the television set, I glanced upstairs where the darkness pooled and quickened.

“Not upstairs….never upstairs….” I remembered my babysitter Mrs. Whitman who’d jumped out of the second floor window inexplicably. Everyone said she’d been spooked by a rat but I know it was something much worse.

I followed him to the kitchen. I followed him outside into the sunshine, into a fragrant meadow unmolested by the storm and I understood that outside wasn’t really outside, it was somewhere else, somewhere untraceable. Little paths ran through the grass, it was peaceful, faintly nostalgic. He pointed to a plexus of signs with names written in letters I couldn’t read.

“Which way, which eye, what’ll it be?”