Friday, May 27, 2016

Beach reading: Sara looks around, wondering whose dream this is

Just like that, John’s room is gone, and Sara finds herself outdoors.  It’s sunny out, and warm, and she can see green all around.  The athletic fields.  Intramural softball.  Sara looks around, wondering whose dream this is.  When she spots Jackie standing there at the plate ready to bat she knows for sure, although she couldn’t say how, that this is her dream.  It seems perfectly normal, a regular game of softball.  Until she turns her gaze towards the pitcher, and standing there instead of another player is a giant insect.  An ant, Sara thinks.  Wearing a university sweatshirt, with a glove on one of its–claws?–mandibles?  Whatever, Sara thinks, this is just too strange.  What the heck is going on in Jackie’s head?  And the ant winds up, and throws a pitch…
…And she’s back in another dorm room, also vaguely familiar.  She’s been in this room, and its occupant is a friend of hers.  Mark.  Mark Bainbridge.  Sara remembers attending several of Mark’s parties freshman year–or at least remembers not remembering some of them.  She also remembers that for the first couple of weeks of that year, she had a huge crush on Mark, just like nearly all the other freshman girls.  Tall, handsome, clever Mark.  Mark who is just now opening the door and walking in.  Walking straight towards his bed, which, Sara notices for the first time, is not empty.  Someone’s hidden under the covers.  For one guilty moment Sara, the memory of her crush still in her mind, hopes that when Mark pulls the covers up, it’ll be Sara under there, Sara that he’s dreaming about…

Excerpt from Dream Student by James DiBenedetto
The novel is included in At Odds with Destiny


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