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dream.20070825b: needles, clocks, fires

by Rob Friesel

For his 18th birthday, it seems my brother has decided to have me and my dad accompany him to get pierced.  He won’t say where on his body but he does drag us along to the mall.  This mall has two-stories but it’s preposterously tall, with an obscenely large escalator going from the very low first floor to the very high second floor.  We ride the escalator up and he keeps quiet about the details.  As we approach the tattoo/piercing studio itself, I back out.  He doesn’t need me to stand by and watch.  Instead, I wander the second floor of this mall, exploring department stores and other boutiques.  After a long while, when they never emerge, I go looking for them.  However, instead of my dad and brother, I find two friends (one male, one female) in a store that seems to specialize in clocks.

These friends look panicked and stammer their way through a story about how they’re being pursued.  We slip out of the mall as quietly as we can, jumping into His truck, parked a few blocks away.  I think I smell something for a moment but I can’t be sure.  No sooner do we start the truck and begin to drive away however then She comments on the smell as well.  We turn to look and see flames leaping up from the gas tank.  He slams on the brakes and we all run for it.  At least, I thought we all made it.  I see Him running and He is gone before I can cry out to him.  Police are on the scene immediately, evaluating the flipped, burning truck.  I try to get close, to see if She made it.  One of the officers tries to push me away; he tells me that I already know what I would see and over his shoulder, I see the sheet draped over that figure and the smoke sneaking out from underneath.  He tries to calm me down, tries to get my to beg off, find some distraction.  It seems like he’s taunting me.

“Fifteen cents per ruble,” he says with up-raised eyebrows.  I swing my fist and knock him down.  I pummel him until he’s limp; his partner never notices.  And then I use the first officer as a cudgel with which to beat the other.  Even with them out of the way now, I cannot bring myself to look under that smoking sheet.

About Rob Friesel

Software engineer by day, science fiction writer by night. Author of The PhantomJS Cookbook and a short story in Please Do Not Remove. View all posts by Rob Friesel →

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