Sandman(10)By: Morgan Hannah MacDonald
He wished the day would never end.
She caught him around the waist, pulled him down in the sand, and tickled him until he thought he would pee his pants.
His mother was the most beautiful woman in the whole wide world. Her yellow hair was long and when the breeze picked it up, she looked just like the angel in the picture above his bed.
Suddenly the tickling stopped, her laughter died. The boy followed her gaze; a dark figure loomed above. The sun was so bright that the boy saw nothing but a large shadow. The ominous figure growled.
The boy screamed.
His mother stood quickly. A large hand appeared out of thin air and slapped her across the face. She snatched the boy up into her arms and ran. Her tears soaked the top of his head.
The man awoke with a start, drenched in sweat. His heart beat out a quick staccato. He got up to take a leak, the nightmare a tangle of confusion. On his way back to bed, he noticed a shock of light that crept around the edges of the well-worn curtains.
He sat on the edge of the bed, picked up a roach and lit the end. Drawing the smoke deeply into his lungs, he held it until he began to cough. He took another hit, then dropped it back in the ashtray when it burned the ends of his thumb and finger. He lay back down and covered his head with a pillow while he waited for the pot to take effect. Soon his brain was numb, the fear gone, and hopefully sleep would not be far behind.
Returning home, Meagan pulled out the key that hung on a shoestring around her neck. The second she got the door open, Godzilla pushed her aside, almost knocking her down. While she locked the door, she could hear him behind her slopping up water from his industrial-sized bowl.
Meagan followed him into the kitchen and pushed the button on the coffeepot, then opened the fridge and grabbed a bottle of water. As she drank, she looked out at her garden through the window above the sink and inspected her camellia bushes, which were pregnant with blooms.
Her garden was more than just a hobby. Everything in it she’d planted herself. It had all her favorites; giant bird of paradise, hibiscus, jasmine, gardenia, hydrangeas, ferns, and of course the two camellia bushes. It was her own little rain forest. She loved sitting out there with a glass of wine and a good book. It was her idea of Zen.
Meagan lived in a duplex with only one adjoining wall, no one above or below, so it was more like a house than an apartment. She loved to keep all the windows open so she could enjoy the cool ocean breeze. That was something she had dared to do only recently, thanks to Brad.
Her home was filled with plants and dark wood furnishings. Her couch and the overstuffed chair with ottoman were covered in a retro tropical design featuring bird of paradise. Candles of all shapes and sizes surrounded the room in lieu of a fireplace. Her china cabinet was filled with photos of loved ones.
She loved her little beach cottage in San Clemente; she couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. She moved here after her divorce and loved the fact that she got to make all the major decisions. Godzilla was a great roommate, too. He never complained about her music; he also liked Joni Mitchell. He didn’t care about her scented candles, incense, or whether or not there were dirty dishes in the sink.
Meagan glanced at the clock and kicked it into high gear. After her shower, she chose a brightly colored skirt, simple black top, and her silver hoop earrings. Her red curls were nearly dry, so she decided to wear her hair down today.
She ran into the kitchen, poured a cup of coffee and grabbed one of the fat-free bran muffins to eat in the car. While juggling her purse, keys and coffee, she stuck the muffin in her mouth so she could get the door.
Suddenly the phone rang and she stopped to stare at it. She turned her hand to look at her watch and spilled her coffee on the floor in the process. “Shit!” Godzilla ran over and lapped it up.
“Thanks, Godzilla, I knew I could count on you.” He always had her back. She glanced once again at the ringing phone, and deliberated. In the end she continued out the door and slammed it shut behind her. She ran to her frosty mint-green Honda CRV and jumped in. Soon she was speeding up Interstate 5.
Meagan’s license plate holder read; Get in, Sit down, Hold on and Shut up! She liked to drive fast. It wasn’t because she was always late, although she usually was. She just loved the rush, the feeling of power it gave her.
▶ Also By Morgan Hannah MacDonald
- · Sandman