Let the Dead Lie & Other Stories

Welcome, fair readers to this little corner of the darkness around us, By picking up this anthology, you are willing to expose yourself to the dark recesses of my mind, in the forms of stories ofcourse. So please, sit back, relax, and delve into the abyss with me as the darkness enraptures us within each of these short stories...


3. A Means to an End

~Dreams of Death & Deception~

    It is often said that dreams are our perception of the world around us, twisted to fit our deepest desires...and, greatest fears.Some say that what we know as 'Dreams' are nothing more than our mind's unconscious self displaying what you desire most in some way as to be pleasing... Still others claim that, it is the mind's eye opening up the world that normally, only spirits may dwell in....

   "Come on Mitchel," There was that voice again, it came to him every night when he dreamed; dreaming... that was something he had been trying to avoid doing for the past two weeks. Every time it happened, it was the same; a wreck on a roadside with flames of burning gas, the remaining silence filled with the moans of the dying and suffering. "My friends are there, as are yours, why won't you help them?" it would ask.

   "It's a dream," he muttered, "Nothing but a shallow deception of the mind, you are not real, this place is not real, nothing... nothing is real." His defaulted response to the voice, to which there would be a scream that always broke his heart, that of a child in pain, crying for the mother, who Mitchel knew was dead in the front seat, her head cracked and bleeding onto the steering column; it was sad but, it wasn't real, and so... he didn't care. There was really only one part of the dream that bothered him; over by the destroyed truck in the back of this pile up was a body, crushed and mangled having been thrown through the windshield.

   "Why does that one body bother someone who is so heartless to the suffering of others?" the voice called again.

   "Because... it's me, I'm dead when I shouldn't be." And like that the dream would always end, but not before a man in a black suit and tie would show up and, with one gentle stroke of his hand, the child would fall silent, the voice would fade away, and the mother would stop bleeding; and then... darkness.

   "Son of a bitch!" he yelled as he shot awake, sweat dripping from his otherwise cool and clammy skin, "I let myself doze off again... I hate that... I really hate that damned dream..." Sitting up his eyes wandered around within his skull, observing the grey world around him; "Not much changes around here, does it?" he thought to himself. He placed on of his hands against the concrete wall behind him, pressing his entire body weight into his hand as he began to heave himself to his feet. Twisting his spine he felt release as several quiet cracks emanated from his back and wrists.

   "Oh, you're up, that's good," came a voice that he recognized all too well. Looking into the pale blue eyes of his friend of many years; Eckhart Niedman. He was an acquaintance of his since they first met back in preschool. His wavy hair had fallen over one of his eyes again to which, he blew it out of the way in annoyance. Normal skin tone, about five foot, ten, he liked to wear ragged jeans, Converse high tops and all sorts of grunge and punk style T-shirts. The chain that hang out of his pocket was attached to his wallet which lay empty save for his ID and a couple bucks. "Shit though, you really need to find better places to fall asleep, finding you is becoming a real pain in the ass."

   "Yeah well, you're the one that signed up to find me if I disappear," he shrugged, carelessly shoving his friend in a playful manner, to which Eckhart shoved right back.

   "I never signed up, I'm just the only poor bastard that can find you when you drop off the face of the Earth," he responded with a cracked grin. "Now then, what did you dream about?"

   "What buisness is it to you?" he grew solemn as he began to walk towards the park across from them; the hostility told Eckhart what his friend had dreamed about, that accident that had haunted him for the past few weeks.

   "If he only knew the truth of the matter... oh well," Eckhart smiled to himself as he ran to catch up to his friend of so many years. The truth, he knew however, would most likely destroy his friend and he didn't want that to happen. "C'mon, let's go get some pop from the gas station, that'll calm you down, wouldn't it?"

   "Yeah sure," Mitchel answered, still walking in an aimless manner. "Hey, Hart," he always called his friend that, ever since he learned his name; not having been able to pronounce the first portion of his name, he just started calling him Hart, he only kept it up to this day because his friend didn't seem to mind.

   "What is it Mitchel?"

   "Can I confide in you something?"

   "Go ahead, you know I've always been good with secrets," he looked a bit quizzically at his friend who simply sighed heavily and locked eyes with those of his friend's.

   " I think I'm dying, not physically but, still, dying," He waited for a laugh from his friend; the laugh never came, instead, the comforting pat of a hand on his shoulder followed by a quick hug reaffirmed what Mitchel had been hoping for. "Ever since the dreams started, I feel as though it's been getting harder and harder to wake up, I'm scared that one day... I won't wake."

   "You poor soul," Eckhart mumbled, spinning his friend on his heels, "I know what you're feeling, I know it well, but do not fear, all will be fine."

   "You promise?" The pair stopped, Eckhart did something he hadn't done since they were young children; He crossed his finger over his heart and with a smile answered, "Cross my heart, or I shall die, I'll forever be by your side." 

   "Thanks, I really needed that," he managed to sheepishly grin. "It's nice to know that I haven't been totally abandoned, atleast, not yet." His partner drew close to him, whispering words of reassurance.

   "Since the day we met, we've been bound to the hip, why should that change now?" Eckhart mused, "Now, let's go and get us that pop I promised, shall we?" Mitchell smiled in agreement as the pair turned down the main road, heading to the five and dime on the corner. It was a quick run into the store, grabbing an icy glass bottle filled with some honest to god cola and beer of the finest roots. It was the boy in the Converse that flipped the bill for this one without a second thought, after all, what ere friends for, right? 

   "Hey Mitchel, do you believe that dreams tell us things?" The other boy put down his bottle of soft acid as he looked at his friend with a most bewildered stare.

   "I believe so," he finally answered, the confusion gone, "Why ask such a question?"

   "A means to an end, or rather er, curiosity I suppose," Eckhart smiled quickly, rubbing the back of his head in a most benign way. Mitchel, being too tired to honestly care, simply returned to his drink; he was used to Hart being somewhat enigmatic and shifty, it was part of his personality.

   "I just wish," he thought to himself, "That all my dreams didn't have to be of death, and deception..."

~To be Continued...~

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