The good thing about Dreamcatchers is that they keep all the nightmares away.
Needless to say, Michaela didn't wake up to waffles the next morning.
The bad thing is that they don't block the real-life nightmares.
When she got up, though, she did smell the distinct odor of waste. The brunette slid out of bed - not without pain - and left the room. As she walked down the hall, towards the living room, the smell of waste strengthened and she screwed up her face in disgust. Her father was sprawled on the couch, snoring. The spot where he'd kept hitting Michaela's mother was lighter than it'd been before, the dark hardwood floor now a tan color.
The thing about dreams is that you can escape them anytime you want. But, when you wake up, you can't escape anymore. What's real is the nightmare. If Daddy sung to me more often, maybe the real nightmare would go away. Maybe I could just go back to my dream land.
Michaela walked past the couch, to the kitchen. She looked in the trash can and sniffed, but she didn't get the odor from there. Walking back to the living room, she smelled her father and nearly gagged.
"D-Daddy?" she coughed. The male's eyes peeked open. "Wha's dat smell?"
Don stared at her, as if he were observing a skunk in his face. Considering he smelled like that, this didn't really surprise her. "What the fuck you roll in?"
"Daddy, I didn't-"
"Go get in the tub, Michaela, jeez..." He waved his hand in front of his face.
"Michaela, I said go, goddammit. How many times do I have to tell you?"
The brunette's bottom lip pouted out slightly, but she did as she was told and went to their bathroom to freshen up.
In my dream land, I'm the princess of a land of waterfalls. The birds chirp and they help me put on my pretty dresses. My Mommy is the Queen and my Daddy is the King. He's a nice king, though. He likes to give money to the poor and he never yells.
When she was done, of course her father wasn't satisfied. There was still that smell.
When she came back, he got up, his fists clenched and dragged her to the bathroom. Without even removing her clothes, he shoved her into the bath water. Her head ducked under a few times.
In my kingdom, there are many boys who like me. They tell me I'm the fairest of the land. I'm like Snow White, but they told me I'm even prettier than her.
"I told you to take a goddamn bath!" he screamed at her, taking the squeezable soap and pouring it over her. A lot of it got in her mouth. "You never listen, just like your good-for-nothing mother!"
He cut off suddenly, his hands on Michaela's chest, keeping her down in the water. Slowly, he released her and put his hands in his lap, dampening his jeans. Michaela spat out the soap.
Maybe I'll one day stay in that dream. I'll never have to wake up to a nightmare again.
Don then got to his feet and left the room.
Michaela wondered where her mom was.