This is just a one shot based on a dream of mine
Not the best but enjoy anyway...
It was dark when my alarm buzzed alerting me that I had to attend school. I rolled over, hit snooze, and snuggled back beneath the warm duvet. Just five more minutes, that was all I wanted. It seemed to skid past in a heartbeat though as the noise once more pierced through my semi-conscious mind. I groaned and let my heavy eyelids crack open. Yeah, it was still dark and it was still a school day. I groaned and struck out at the alarm clock in ‘ope of flicking it to radio mode. No such luck. The clock clattered to the floor as my sleepy limbs nudged it from the nightstand. I groaned loudly as the piercing bleeping noise still shattered the calm. I snapped on the room light and buried my face in the bedding as the light hurt my eyes. I lifted my head slowly and blinked rapidly to allow my vision to adjust. I reached down for the offending alarm clock and switched it from the jarring bleep to the more melodic sounds of pop coming from the radio. I stretched and yawned before shuffling around the room to get ready for another school day.
I was brushing through my brown hair when I heard my mum calling up the stairs to me. Well, I say calling but screeching would have been a better description of the noise. “Alice!” she cried. “Alice, get down these stairs right now for your breakfast or you’ll be late!”
I rolled my eyes and thrust my feet into my ugly school shoes and grabbed my bag. I trudged down the stairs and into the kitchen. “No need to yell,” I complained. “I have time yet to eat before I go.”
“What are you chuntering about Alice?” my mum turned from the stove to survey me. Apparently my appearance in the grey and white uniform of the school pleased her because she nodded at me.
“You called me.”
“Not today honey, where is that ‘ead of yours?” She leaned over and ruffled my hair playfully. “Like you said you still have time but if it’s any consolation I was about to call you down. We must be in tune today or we are so habitual you were expecting the call.” She turned to put some buttered toast on a plate. “To prove my point here is your usual.” My mum turned away and went about the business of cleaning up.
I frowned because she had definitely called me, hadn’t she? I heard it and it wasn’t something you would hear on the radio. I guess the routine thing was the key and I was just being paranoid now. Mind you, a 15 year old girl with exams looming was allowed to be paranoid. I smiled to myself and ate my toast.
I left the ‘ouse on that gray Yorkshire morning with the sun just starting to lighten the world. I ‘ated winter with dark and depressing mornings. Really motivating for the start of another fun filled school day that was. Not.
My route to school took me past an entrance to a coal mine. As usual a crowd of men were standing about waiting to go down to start their shift. I saw them every day and I often spoke to them but then some of them had kids in my class. It was one of those who called out to me that morning so I crossed to stand in the group. “Whacha Dave,” I greeted the man as I shifted my bag from one arm to the other. “’ow are things with you today?”
Dave grinned at me. “Ah, it’s all good right now Alice, ‘ow about with you love?” He scratched his nose and smiled his familiar toothy grin. “You know you and me boy Sam should get together!”
I laughed. “You always say that Dave.”
“You two never do though,” he told me. “I tells him all the time I does but he just guzz red and tells me to shut up. He likes you I am sure of it girl so don’t wait for him to ask ‘cos he is too shy!”
“I tell you to shut up too,” I told him as I felt the colour rising to my own cheeks. I did like Sam with his rust coloured hair and steady smile. No, there was no way someone as perfect as the boy I watched in my history class would ever like such an average girl. “Anyway, I am…” My voice trailed away as I heard a rumbling noise so I looked instinctively at the shallow pit entrance. Nobody seemed to notice the sound but to me the low rumbling grew to a deafening level. I shook my head to clear it as nobody else was reacting at all to the noise. “What is that…?” Again my voice trailed away as the ground shook beneath my feet so violently I pitched forward into Dave.
“Alice?” he asked and I realised only I had felt that shake. “You OK kid?”
The shaking and the rumbling had stopped leaving me wondering what was going on. “I am fine just came over a bit weird.” I looked up from where I had landed on him to shoot Dave a smile but recoiled in terror as my eyes met his. Well, I say his eyes but his eyes weren’t there. His whole face was like a hole to me, swirling grey mist hiding his features. I shrieked and fell backwards and everyone turned round to stare at me as I landed on the ground.
I stared about me and was horrified to see that many of the faces were hidden by mist and the ones that weren’t caused me to shriek again. They were smeared with dirt and blood. It was then that a new sound assaulted my ears. Screaming; men screaming. I put my head down and covered my ears praying for it to stop. More screams entered my head that were from both men and women and they were filled with grief and anguish. I was so scared and confused by this time that I drew my knees up to my chest and started rocking.
“What the ‘ell?” Dave reached down and shook my shoulder. “Come back to us sweetheart you aint with us, come on back now.”
I hesitantly looked up and was relieved to see his familiar face staring down at me with concern. The sounds had faded away and everything around me seemed normal. What was wrong with me? This had been like an awful dream but I was sure I was awake. I tried to make sense of what I had just seen but to be honest I simply couldn’t. I swallowed and blinked a few times. “I… I think I am OK now, I don’t know what came over me.”
Dave held out his hand to help me up. “I think that I should take you home young miss.”
“No, no I feel fine now; it was just a funny turn that’s all.” I smiled to convince him. I couldn’t miss school today because I had history. My weekly dose of staring at Sam. Even the thought of that rusty haired piece of perfection was enough to detract my mind from what I had just seen. “School is good Dave so you have a good day now.”
“If you’re sure love.”
“Very. Now see you tomorrow Dave!”
“As always girl!”
By later on that day I had forgotten everything that I had seen earlier and just shrugged it off as a kind of waking nightmare. It must have been the continuation of a dream that I couldn’t remember. I mean, what else could it have been? Since when did people become mist for Pete’s sake?
History class came and the new girl sat where Sam unusually did which made me scowl. I had my head down when the chair beside me scraped back and a figure plopped down. I looked up and my ‘eart raced as I found myself looking at Sam. He looked angrily at his usual seat before pulling out a book. I just sat and stared before realising it must look rude. I felt the burning of blood under the skin of my cheeks and so I dropped my gaze to my own book before anyone noticed. I peeked at Sam often through the class but he never looked my way. Oh, how I longed to grab the hand which rested on that book. Somehow I could see my gripping his hand someday but I just passed that off as a flight of fancy.
I couldn’t recall much of the class that day but I do remember him flashing me a small smile as the bell rang and he rose to go. If only he knew me; if only I had got the guts to speak. Next time I promised myself. Yes, next week I would talk to Sam which would please Dave for sure.
I was going to wish I had spoken sooner just to see that toothy grin one more time.
Sam wasn’t in the class the following week which disappointed me more than a little. I mean, I had finally got the courage to at least say hi and he didn’t even have the decency to show! I was angry anyway until news started filtering through the gossip channels about a cave in down at the pit. Honestly right then the images and the noises I had seen and heard the week before all made sense. I had seen this coming and hadn’t warned anyone; why hadn’t I warned anyone?
Reality hit home then as I figured out what the swirling mist had represented. I bolted out of my seat and the school as panic rushed me to the pit head. Nobody questioned me or tried to stop me in my flight.
As I approached I heard anguished screaming for the second time in a week. I also saw men whose faces were smeared with dirt and blood. Now I felt really sick as I was seeing this for a second time too. There was no rumbling though and the ground was steady so I guess I had been hearing and feeling the actual cave-in. I shuddered at the thought of what had happened to the men screaming in my waking dream. Had Dave screamed or had it been too fast? ‘ow I ‘oped for the latter for all those who would never again see the sun peeking through the clouds. ‘ow many missing faces had I seen? It had been well over ‘alf of the shift. Oh God, I should have told someone what I’d seen and ‘eard.
How was I supposed to know what I’d done was predict the future? I never believed in it before let alone think it was something that I could do.
Then I saw Sam just standing back quietly and silently as he waited to see if his dad would be pulled out the pit alive. I knew this weren’t gunner ‘appen but what could I do about it now? I crept to stand beside him and hesitantly slipped my hand into his fulfilling the last thing I had seen on that fateful day.
He turned to me and smiled before squeezing my hand, “Tar for coming Alice,” he said softly sending a thrill through me because he knew my name. Returning to what was to become a vigil we waited for any sign.
Good news never came; I had been right in what I had seen and Dave was lost in the mists of time forever.