Another night full of dreams. I dreamed of M and my father, both following me around outside yelling about how useless I am. I ran from them, down the road to the beach and all the way to the little forest that banks the escarpment; I could hear their voices bouncing off the waves.
“You stupid, selfish, unfeeling whore!” My father called.
I clamped my hands over my ears but it threw me off balance and I kept falling down. M almost caught up to me at one point and was snatching at my ankles with his outstretched hands, trying to trip me.
“You’ve never cared about anyone but yourself!” he spat.
“You’re wrong you’re wrong you’re wrong I keep TRYING to care but no one wants me!” I half screamed as I tried dive into the protection of the trees.
There is a small swamp inside the forest that I sometimes visit in dreams and I was heading for it, planning on submerging myself in the muck so I couldn’t hear their words anymore. As I rounded a clearing I saw my chance and without a sound, slipped into the underbrush and began crawling on my belly to the swamp that was about 100 feet away. They couldn’t see me anymore and I could hear them conspiring in whispers about 10 feet to my left. They made plans and split up to find me again.
When I reached the swamp they started to call me.
“C’mon now hen, I no gonnae hurt you. You ken I donnae understand yuh, but I can take what I want, when I want…” I involuntarily shuddered at his Glasgow drawl.
I slithered into the muddy water filled with rotting plant and animal materials like an alligator, not a single sound was made. My head went under first and their voices dimmed; my shoulders followed and then the rest of me slid out of sight and I was gone. I felt around the bottom of the shallow murk and touched the slimy rocks, looking for something I knew must be there. Suddenly, my hand touched something that felt like a skull and I pulled my body to it, feeling as frantically as the thick, horrid water would allow.
I found her. My mom, under all that darkness and decay. I used to have this dream as a child and the moment I found her I remembered it all. I moved my body until I felt her bones beside mine, lined up perfectly, femur, spine, skull. I sheltered her bones in my arms and pressed my cheek to her bony jaw, closed my eyes and slept, safe, for a while.