Entry 27: I Dream Of Kittens: Thursday August 4
I woke up this morning more groggy than usual. Last night was a restless one, full of waking thoughts and haunting dreams. Oftentimes I can’t remember my dreams very well, but last night I experienced a vivid one that I feel like must have a meaning in there somewhere.
In my dream I had been walking through a neighborhood. I don’t know where it was, just one of those suburban landscapes you find all across America. For some reason I had decided to take a shortcut through someone’s yard. Cutting between two almost identical houses, I passed below a window and could hear the strains of piano music behind the glass. It sounded like an old church hymn. “There’s Power In The Blood” I think it was.
Emerging into the backyard, I saw a swimming pool. Not one of the big ones, but a children’s pool with about two feet of dirty rainwater filling it up. But what stopped me in my tracks wasn’t the water itself, but what was in it. Kittens. Floating dead on the surface, about two dozen little felines, all drowned and bloated.
For some strange reason, as things often happen in dreams, I climbed into the pool and slowly lowered myself into the water. I sat there, surrounded by all those dead kittens, as if we were all just lounging around in the sun. Suddenly one of the kittens cried loudly. It was alive! I made my way across the pool towards the animal. Reaching for it, the kitten lashed out at me with its paw and hissed. I saw something was attached to its paw. It was an anklet. The initials “MM”.
I jolted awake and nearly jumped out of the bed. Penny looked up at me from her place at the foot of the mattress as if to say, “Are you OK?”
I sighed. It was just a dream. But there was something to it. I’m sure it was brought on by my talk with Tommy and what he’d told me about Mischa’s unnamed friend, the one who’d been rumored to have drowned cats before moving here. Would I have dreamed this if it hadn’t been for my visit with Tommy? Probably not. I told myself it was just a dream, but the fact that the anklet had been in there bothered me. What did it mean? Had Mischa been drowned? Or did it mean anything at all? Were these thoughts just silly things that were at the front of my mind when I went to sleep?
Because I missed a whole day of work yesterday, I spent all day at the church cleaning. No ghosts today, but the phone did do its little trick again. I was collecting trash in the office when it rang. Out of habit, I picked it up.
“Resurrection Church,” I said in greeting.
There was nothing on the other end of the line. It was silent. But within a few seconds, the sound came. Air escaping a pipe with a hiss. The same sound that had led me to seek out factory stacks in the industrial park. That had led me to Roger Blaine, and eventually to Tommy.
It sounded again: air, steam, the release of gas. I couldn’t quite place exactly what it was, but I knew it was a message.
After work, I decided to break down and call Donna at her parents. After all, she had been gone since Sunday. Her mother answered and of course, she didn’t seem too happy to hear it was me. But she did let me talk to Donna, for what it’s worth. Donna’s voice was quiet as if she didn’t have any privacy and was just trying to talk low so her parents wouldn’t hear.
After our hushed hello’s, I told her that I missed her. “I miss you, too,” she replied.
“How do you like it there?”
“It’s not home,” she confessed.
“Yes, I guess it’s not.”
There was a brief pause and then she spoke again in a quiet tone. “I want to come home.”
“I would like that.”
There was a momentary silence before she spoke again.
“Are you still interested in her? You know, the..um..ghost.”
I could tell she never believed a word of my story. “Mischa needs me..” I began. I didn’t get out the rest, for she had hung up.
I could have kicked myself. I don’t know why it is, but when it comes to Donna, it seems I never say the right thing. At the rate I’m going, she’ll file divorce by the end of next week…
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“Resurrection of Diaries” by Paul D Aronson.
Original text copyright 2007.
10th Anniversary Edition 2017. All Rights Reserved.