A most shimmering flood

The soft and light green blanket that I was entangled in was pulling me deeper into my old twin bed as if it weighed 100 pounds or more. I shifted, anxiously biting my tongue and yelped in response. One sure way to tell if I was dreaming or not was to bite my tongue. I had the tendency to daydream and had been sitting in class, with my mouth still tangy from the taste of metal caused from biting a little too hard. I still remember the nightmare that started it all. I was being held hostage, Peter Pan style on an old pirate’s ship. It is always so weird with dreams how the strangest of scenarios remind you of something you’ve done before. The ship was a deep brown color with stained glass windows that I felt I had seen hundreds of times before. Faces of the crew blurred together with classmates I had. Every so often, I called out someone’s name who I was certain I just saw hogging the wall ball court days earlier. Just as the merciless captain with his crooked nose, black and soulless eyes and raspy voice ordered me to walk the plank, I froze. I started chewing the inside of my lip as a nervous habit and realized I couldn’t feel the usual tug. I bit down on my tongue, hard and still I felt nothing. Gleefully, I realized I was dreaming and forced myself awake.

Waking up was a struggle as I felt my blanket coiling around me even tighter. With all the strength my 7-year old body had, I wriggled my way towards freedom until I was sitting on the edge of my bed. Quicker than the blink of my sleepy eye, the voices started escalating. My mom and dad were fighting again. The sounds vibrated against the walls, so it was like I could feel their frustration. Pondering if I should go check on my younger brother, I stayed at the edge of my bed. My usually hungry morning tummy was soured by the nervousness I usually felt when they fought this loudly. I could only catch a few words here and there as I was purposefully trying to not pay attention, but regardless, I heard things like , “Why don’t you have a backbone?” and this seriously confused me. I knew my Dad had a back, and it looked like he could walk just fine, so what did my mom mean? I started to worry something might be wrong with my Dad until I heard the unusual sound of water splashing. Curious as to where the sound of water was coming from, I leapt out of bed to go outside. As soon as I reached the floor, I heard the splashing again. Looking down, I saw water up to my knees all throughout my bedroom. It was the weirdness sensation because I couldn’t feel any water. My legs remained completely dry. I immediately realized this was not ordinary water. I plunged my hand down towards the carpet and watched as the water adapted and swished around my arm. It was glittering with flecks of iridescent blue and moved slowly like Jell-O. As I pulled my arm up to examine this magical phenomenon, my arm was dusted in shimmering glitter, the same type as my favorite shoes. Rubbing my hand up and down my arm, light pieces of glitter fell back into the water, each drop making the faintest sound. It sounded like a faraway chime, high in pitch yet relaxing and beautiful.
I grabbed a handful of the water and started kneading it as I was used to with my stale playdoh. Blinking, I couldn’t believe what my eyes were seeing. I used my other hand to push my glasses up the bridge of my nose to remind myself that I truly wasn’t seeing things.
The floor beneath me gave way and I was floating, immersed in the abstract pool that surrounded my room. Lower I went, the light from my bedroom window fading with each breath I took. This smell was so familiar. I realized this magical water smelled exactly like my bathing suit hanging over my shower after swim class. Tinged with chlorine, sweat, and my tear-free shampoo. Sweet, and smothered in chemicals with an odd earthiness that just didn’t belong. I peered around, the glimmering water going on as far as I could see. A shadowed image in my periphery startled me. “Hello, Jessie,” the small figure spoke to me.
“Um, hi, who is it?” I choked out walking closer to the voice until I saw its face. “Pluto!!” I exclaimed, and ran towards my long lost cat.
“Yes, Jessie. It’s me. What do you think of my pool?” Pluto, who I hadn’t seen in months asked me. Last winter he was lost outside and we all assumed he found a new home but I couldn’t believe he had been here this whole time.
“I love it! How have you been? I miss you I-,” I began to tell Pluto until he interrupted me.
“I am excellent Jessie, nothing for you to worry about. We don’t have too much time here but I wanted to show you my new home.” Pluto eloquently stated. He had matured so much since I last saw him.
“How come I am not getting wet from this water? I am-” I said until the water started to drain. Pluto winked and trotted down towards the darkness. “Wait!” I yelled and as I began to walk to follow him, louder footsteps echoed all around me. Footsteps that were angry and impatient bustled towards my room and each step brought me closer upwards as the water gushed away. Surrounded by the comfortable embrace of this magical water was where I would rather stay, so many questions to ask Pluto floated through my mind. The glitter was starting to evaporate and I reached out to try and hold onto the possible adventure. I lay down on my bedroom floor and tasted the saltiness of my tears before I even realized I was crying. My door flew open and my mom, harried and angry was yelling before even meeting my eyes.
“Jess, what are you doing on the ground? You’re ruining your pajamas and oh Damnit! Jessie’s room got hit really bad,” my mom started blabbering. I tried tuning her and my dad out, hearing words every so often such and wondering what insurance was exactly.

Jessie Hyle 2017


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