I Could Take You There
Copyright © 2014 by Michael Litzky
“What do you mean, you could take me there?” Sally demanded. “The place I saw in my nightmare which I only just now told you about and haven’t drawn you any pictures of? Just from the words ‘a young man lying by a ruined stone wall,’ you know exactly where in the world that is? How on earth do you know?”
“Because I saw it too.”
Sally wasn’t sure whether she was excited or annoyed. “When, just now? When you were all…” She waved her hand to indicate Lavinia’s expanded mystical state when the splinter had been in her finger.
“Naw, naw, weeks ago. In my half of the nightmare. Remember, until you blasted in and rescued me, I was trapped in that awful stuff. Well, babe, right at the start of it, I saw the same thing you did.”
“You did? Why didn’t you tell me?”
“Same damn reason you didn’t tell me your part. Got driven out of my mind. But when the nightmare started for me, I drifted toward this big, huge fucking cloud of yuck. Told you that. Well, when I got in that cloud, first thing I saw was this sad-faced dork with a scraggly goatee and thick hiking boots lying dead by the ruined wall in that grove in the Black Forest –”
Sally sat bolt upright, puzzle pieces clicking into place. “When I saw the image, I thought he was lying in a black forest, but it wasn’t actually black, I see now. It was in the Black Forest? In Germany?” Her mind filled with ominous images of the vast mythical forest where Hansel and Gretel were lost until they met an evil witch, where… She realized that she didn’t really know what myths and legends were associated with the Black Forest, just that the name had always sounded ominous.
But Lavinia nodded and proceeded to poke holes in what she thought she knew. “When I was in Germany, young and dumb and full of amrita, me and my girlfriend Poky, we did some hiking. Black Forest is mostly a tourist trap, full of clock towers and gingerbread and overpriced restaurants. But there’s some places, backwaters. We stayed with this chick Helga, golden-skin blonde. In fact we… never mind.”
Sally understood that Lavinia had been about to jolt her by casually mentioning yet another threesome, which would both excite her and make her jealous, but had stopped herself. This was, in fact, the first time she’d mentioned the name of that legendary long-ago girlfriend. Poky?
“Anyway,” Lavinia continued, “Helga, she told us about this side trail that people usually avoided. So of course, Poky and me were determined to try it.”
Lavinia went from smacking her lips annoyingly over Helga to disturbed quiet. “Spooky place alright. And I don’t spook easy. We brought along food, leaned against that wall, made it a picnic but there was no debate about leaving as soon as we finished eating. You know, before there was the least chance of it getting dark.
“And that’s all I can tell you, really. Nothin’ happened. But that’s where the kid in the vision was lying dead. I saw it just like you did. I didn’t hear any moans or screams, but I did get that feeling that the kid was talking to me, this steady monotonous, godawful drone that sort of grew into the numbing despair I told you about.”
The two women looked at each other with mouths open.
“So somewhere in Germany…” Sally began.
“I could find that place again, no question…”
“And there’s a man lying dead there…”
“Or at least in some state of suspended whosis whatsis…”
“Who may be, what, spreading his despair over the whole world and somehow triggering this vampire plague?”
They shook their heads at each other. “Time to get on Expedia, book us some travel,” Lavinia said. “You got a passport?”
As they contemplated this big step, the low dreadful moan rose again. The hairs on Sally’s arm prickled but this time she understood that the sound meant they were on the right track.
But why did only she hear it?
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