The Dream… short story by Gladys Hobson

 The Dream

 She couldn’t help thinking that it was odd to have stone steps leading in a curve upwards to your dwelling, not only that, but a dark empty cellar-like space underneath, with brick pillars supporting the floor above. Odd too, to be carrying a bright-eyed little girl on her arm; balancing there like a fairy on a tree bough. But she knew that she had another home, an ordinary house; dull maybe, but comfortable. It was at the other end of the dark tunnel she had just walked along.

The child was chatting happily and saying how nice it would be to have a party.

‘But people won’t come to my parties.’

‘Yes they will. They’re coming already.’

Suddenly, there seemed to be a lot of activity going on: people with happy faces going up and down the stairs. But who were they?

She opened the door to the room above — plain brick walls just like down below. There were a lot of people milling around. Not only that, but a table was by the door bearing food and drink. And yet more people were arriving (guests?) carrying bottles and bowls, plates and packets, all of which were placed on the table. People were chatting happily, but she did not seem to recognise any of them.

Then a couple of men, formally dressed in dark clothes, came through the door. They did not seem as cheerful as the others but they looked vaguely familiar. Surely they could not be those consultants from the hospital, both of which she knew to be church attendees? They were not exactly social contacts but on ‘smiling in recognition’ terms.

What was going on? Well it seemed like a party and the child was certain of it.

Still more smiling, seemingly happy, people were coming and going — more coming than going. How many more part-goers could be crammed into the place?

Oddly enough, they seemed to be ignoring her. But then she was used to that.

She left the room to go back to her real home — the child still sitting on her arm — and carefully walked down the stone steps, maneuvering around the smiling people on their way up. Finally she arrived at the bottom and looked around. There was the dark passage leading from the bottom of the steps towards her real home. People were walking in both directions, but mostly her way and up the stairs. Her eyes were drawn into the darkness of the cellar-like space under the floor of the building.

Horror! The upper part of the brick pillars were beginning to crumble. A section of brick fell away. Dust and cement chips with it. Then another… and another….

She ran up the steps, turning this way and that, warning the partygoers not to go to the room above, but rather to run as fast as they could down the dark passage and away to safety. No one listened and neither would the partygoers in the room above. She shouted and shouted, all the time wanting to run away herself but she could not… she had to warn them… warn them… the floor was about to cave in….

Where was the child? Who was the child?

She was now awake and knew the answers. That bright cheerful girl was the happy young person inside her ageing body. The child of her youth: the child that was shy yet loved to be free… to dance and to sing,

The dark cellar with the crumbling pillars?

Was she allowing the young child to lead her into areas beyond her reasoning self?

These things she pondered while awake. Then getting up she walked to her study and looked at her computer. Coming to a decision, she subdued the child within her and collected an axe from the workshop….  

 

Read the first two chapters of Hobson’s novels (some with pen names) at: 

Magpies Nest Publishing 

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One Response to “The Dream… short story by Gladys Hobson”

  1. Payton L. Inkletter Says:

    Don’t do it Gladdy, Gladdy don’t do it!’: the Gripes of March.

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