Farther Than Russia
by Minim Calibre

The dreams start midway through his freshman year.

He thinks they're stress related; he hasn't had much of a chance to sleep, not with his workload, so his subconscious is probably trying to tell him something, like lighten the workload or take a break. It's his own fault for trying to be Superman. But Brian's always been like that, always been an over-achiever. When he tells Tracy about them over IM, he jokes that he'll be using himself as a case study for the next quarter of Cog Psych.

What he doesn't tell her is how vivid they are, or how he wakes up, heart pounding, listening for the sound of the predator he thinks is there for the half-second it takes him to adjust to the fact that he's just in his dorm room, listening to his roommate's drunken snores and the laughter of his neighbors as they make the most out of Spring Break.

His name isn't always the same in the dreams. Neither is his father. He wonders if he's been spending too much of his time on Freud, given the some of the themes.

Brian's always been a good kid. Senior Class President, Most Likely to Succeed, Most Talented, Friendliest, Best Sense of Humor--all those entries in the yearbook had his name and face on them. But he dreams of death and blood and betrayal, of a night sky that rains fire over a battered cityscape that he thinks is L.A., even though he's only been there once, when he was eight, and they were on their way to Disneyland.

He and Tracy have been best friends since they were lab partners in Honors Chem in the tenth grade. They started dating that spring, almost as a joke, and have been together ever since. His dreams used to be about the two times he saw her topless in the hot tub. Now the girl he dreams about is someone he's never seen, someone older than him, slowly undressing by the light of the candles and the fire in the sky. He can almost smell her skin, with its hint of cheap soap and less cheap lotion, and can almost taste the salt of tears and sweat on her face as they move together on a makeshift pallet in an abandoned warehouse.

When he wakes from those dreams, he feels her loss like a missing limb before he remembers she isn't real. He tells himself she probably represents homesickness; he hasn't seen his family since Christmas, after all.

Brian stares at his clock in the darkness, trying not to sleep. One more quarter, then he's home. He hopes the dreams will stop by then.


Silverlake: Authors / Mediums / Titles / Links / List / About / Plain Style / Fancy Style