Do You Dream In Color?
Written by LustMonster :: [Sunday, 30 October 2016 22:26] Last updated by :: [Sunday, 13 November 2016 17:07]
The candy bowl by the door is full.
Fake spider webs crisscross the trees and bushes surrounding the driveway. Ghosts hang on bungee cords from the rain gutters. They sway and jiggle in the light breeze.
An old scratchy record plays on the phonograph: “Chilling Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House”.
My mother played that Disney record every Halloween. So did her mother. On the same plastic puke-yellow record player, beside the same front door.
“Trick or treat!”
The high-pitched shouts wash over me and around me like a wave, the sonic equivalent of opening a door at the bottom of a dam.
Six smiles behind six masks. Parents loom tall behind them. Six buckets receive six handfuls of candy.
I close the door. I wait.
“Trick or treat!” The second wave is here. A party of four. Four handfuls of candy into four buckets.
I close the door. Again, I wait.
A brief vision of a metal-toothed grin and green combed-back hair.
Not the cute one. Not the old one. The new model. None are any good to me anyway: just human. Nothing there I can use.
Another group of four. Four hand-scoops of Starbursts and Skittles into four buckets.
I shut the door. And wait.
Soon, another vision: blonde hair with brightly-colored pigtails. A girl armed with a baseball bat.
I sigh. Kids these days. Can’t they cast their fantasy-eyes any further back?
It’s quiet for the moment. I stare into the large bowl of candy. A circle sea of intense colors, promising intense flavors.
Somehow, it’s blessed. I blessed the candy, using the words from a dream. The dream that faded but left the words behind, graffiti scratched onto an alley wall in my mind.
After dumping the bags into the bowl, I’d held the bowl in my hands. I’d spoken the words slowly and clearly. Words from no language. Nothing that I could spell with Scrabble tiles.
Now I am giving away the candy. Just another stop on Diabetes Boulevard.
Occasionally a child cannot wait: she unwraps one as she leaves. Pops it in her mouth. Then the vision comes. Not to the child, but to me.
From the old record comes the howling of a black cat. Disney did a good job with the howling black cat.
A big party. Six. No, seven!
Seven clumps of candy find their way into seven buckets.
I close the door and wait.
The most recent group is patient. No one touches their candy. No visions for me.
More children sweep onto my front porch like waves onto the sand. More “trick or treat!” Coming from these young mouths, it’s more like one word: “trickertreat”.
The bowl is half-empty now. Or half-full. Depends on your perspective, right?
They come and they go. But they are patient. Their parents told them to wait. Pleaded. Threatened. Either way, it must have worked. The kids wait.
Oh! Someone gave in.
A vision comes to me: a buck-toothed teenage girl with a bushy tail.
At least the gender is correct this time, but come on!
It’s quiet now, except for the record: a ship blasts its mournful horn in thick fog as it crashes onto the rocks. What’s that got to do with a haunted house? I haven’t a clue.
No more visions. No more children at the door, either.
I wait. Growing impatient. Restless. Fingers drum on my bare thigh. My toes would tap as well if they could.
A large group this time. Older kids, kind of rowdy. I pass out more candy than usual. They leave.
Several visions invade my head. I line them up and scroll through them, a Pinterest of childhood fantasies:
What’s this now, an Ent? Wait, no. “I am Groot,” it says. No, thank you. Bet the bushy-tailed girl would dig him, though.
Now I see a guy in a metal mask. He looks vaguely like Darth Vader, but with polished chrome trim. Ugh! Take him away.
The kids in this neighborhood suck. Their fantasies are so mundane. So commercial.
Wait. Here we go!
A slim woman, clad in blue and red. Flowing cape. Gold belt. The symbol of the “House of El” on her chest.
The vision tells me that, but what does it even mean?
I don’t know. But I know. I know and don’t know. An unknown known.
I know this for sure: there is strength beyond measure here. Power beyond description. Breath of ice. Eyes of flame.
I tighten my mental grip on the image. Fingers of my mind tug at its fuzzy edges. Sharpen them. Smooth them.
Blue. Red. Gold. Colors so intense! Nearly blinding.
“Do you dream in color?”
The words rasp in my mind, unbidden. A line from an old comedy. Who said that?
Oh, yeah. That cigar-smoking comedian. George Burns. Talking to that country singer sadly cut down in his prime.
I pull the image closer. From me to me.
My hands grip the armrests tight. Metal squeals. I shift and lean forward.
Eyes close. Suck in a long, deep breath. Hold the vision.
The vision surrounds me. Eyes shut tight, I see all. The warmth penetrates my body. Pins and needles poke at my flesh. So much tingling in places where before there was nothing.
Now I am the vision.
The front door glows yellow, then white. It explodes. A blizzard of smoking shards coats the driveway. At its far edge, a group of approaching children and parents stop and gape. Panicky voices and grabbing hands herd the youngsters away. Sorry kids, the candy store is now closed.
My feet float above the footrests, as my aching derriere rises from the concave cushion. Hands unclench and let go of the crushed armrests.
The abandoned wheelchair shoots backward, propelled by I-don’t-know-what. Its handgrips spear the living room wall with a loud crash.
Glorious warmth. Shimmering radiance. The world illuminates before me in a rainbow of hues I’m sure you won’t find in any crayon box.
The shroud of night peels away in layers. Everything becomes a cutaway view. Oh, the things I can see!
Do I dream in color?
Behind me, the phonograph emits a maniacal laugh. Something makes the needle skip, and the laughter repeats.
My poor old robe falls away in tatters. My arms stretch upward. My legs, useless appendages until a moment ago, point straight down and slightly apart.
Through the open doorway and above the front walk, I rise.
In front of me, the world holds its breath.