Inspired by a nightmare I had.
"What are you doing?" I whisper.
My voice carries through the surrounding area, echoing, and wavering the tiniest bit on the last syllable. The wizard stares, blinking, standing but a few feet away in the middle of the dark road. A car starts up in the distance, barely audible, and its two headlights grow, grow, like a pair of eyes, the wizard's eyes.
The car gets so close, highlighting the folds of his dark black robe, so frighteningly close! Swerving to avoid him, the driver yells, holding down on the horn until well down the street. Waving in the sudden breeze, the wizard's robes sway as a curtain would, away from a window, almost with a sense of aversion to the wind.
He still hasn't replied, so I turn around and walk in the opposite direction, my stride only a little longer than usual. Oh, when will I wake up? This whole place is starting to give me the willies... and it's so cold! Everything seems so real, but it can't be... this is a dream.
A dream.. I wonder what each object could represent. Things always mean more in a dream. It's dark, maybe that means I was sad, or scared when I fell asleep. I can't even remember what happened before now, that landed me right here! Why am I dreaming about wizards, of all things?!
I stop, abruptly, and everything around me begins to whirl, transforming. Night turns to day, the sun rising and setting from the crooked-toothed horizon, then a house rises out of the ground. The sun settles somewhere in the middle of the sky. Colors enter the scene, bright colors.. I didn't notice until now, that everything had been shades of gray. Things become more vivid, but they make me sick. Sounds... smells.. even tastes are thrown into my senses, and I'm just so overwhelmed... and then..
Ringing oven, the smell of a birthday cake... my birthday cake. Counting candles... 1,2,3,4,5,6... so, I'm six now. Okay. Everyone's faces are lit up from the spots of fire, my dad's dark mustache twitching from a smile, cameras at the ready.. A hurricane rolls through the house, whipping my hair into my face, my eyes, shaking the table, and I'm the only one that's noticing, the only one that's scared!... smoke. Singing. Cameras, flashing, lightning. My dad's rough hands slicing the dessert into disproportionate pieces, handing each plate out, our kitchen light flickering, a cigarette held delicately between my mom's flawless red-painted fingernails, burning burning blurring...
I fall back to the road in a puff of smoke, and somehow, the asphalt feels softer than it should. Once again, I am sixteen years old.. and alone.