I - The Magician



"You ain't never caught a rabbit and you ain't no friend of mine."

Elvis Presley


July 4th:

From the corner, a mirror watched the room. It was the doorway for a world of strange possibilities. Alice had found Wonderland inside the looking glass. A blind boy named Tommy saw himself. In this particular mirror, a green glow began to form.

Like Alice, young April had chased a rabbit. Like Alice, April caught up with the March Hare, had even taken tea with it . . . him. But like all storybooks, this one should have been coming to a close. Either way, April wanted to put this matter to rest and get on with the rest of her life, even if it didn't include:

" . . . and they lived happily ever after."

But because of things remembered, nothing changes. No matter how much she tried, she couldn't block it from her mind . . . block him from her mind. It wasn't just any dream that she was trying to erase.

It was The Dream.

And where once her faith in the dream cocooned her safely in the web of the possible future, the place where anything possible may occur, now it tormented, haunted, and threatened to drive her mad. It pounded into her mind, captivated her thoughts, motivated her every move, scared her. Yet she could tell no one about it . . . anymore. She no longer had the energy to talk about it, anyway.

"Besides," she told herself, "it sounds crazy. It is crazy! Stop it! You're at it again! Stop!!"

She drove her fists into her temples, a vain attempt to shut out the incessant dialogue taking place in her already aching head. She closed her eyes, squeezing them shut until the pressure produced flashes of pain and colored lights on the dark screen of her mind.

It had been a month since she had seen him in the last dream that night. A month and a day. But almost ten years had gone by since she had seen him by day. And now, since the dream, she hadn't quit thinking about him.

Quit thinking about him, girl! God dam Englishman!

It was just like old times. Only worse. He no longer came to town. No more news. Where have you been?

The clock on the night stand clicked loudly as it reached 6AM, triggering the alarm, which switched to music once she fumbled with the knobs. Although she was awake already and the alarm was anticipated, it still made her jump. Before she could groan about the routine wake-up, which would lead to a routine work day, heralding in the first day of the rest of her routine-now-becoming-pointless life, April froze.

"My song!"

April's heart fluttered, then raced wildly. Breathless, she listened transfixed. His voice told her to be patient because he was with her forever in spirit, as it always had been. As it always would be.

Then just as quickly as the thrill had come to her, it passed. The feeling sank into her stomach, and though she was no longer pregnant, it was by sheer determination that she was not ill. The song was over.

In that split second, she felt like she was being watched. She cringed, unable to turn around to look. If April had looked into the mirror, she would have seen the eyes form, floating, watching. Shimmering green and black, the eyes laughed at her. She felt the eyes, but no longer would she look into them. She was terrified. She had never gone crazy before.

"Oh! So this is what all the excitement is about!"

How would she explain this to everyone?

"You see, I'm being hunted down by the Devil or God, or something, and I have to save the world. So, . . . I can't come to work today because I have to have a nervous breakdown."

. . . calling in weird for work . . .

"Won't take much too convince them, I'm sure!" her mind-voice replied. "It would only follow naturally since they already think you're nuts."

Scenes from the Terminator movies came to mind, layers of time, perception, history. Then, as if to really piss her off, her brain conjured up another classic - Misery. #1 fan!

And that was the real reason why she knew she said nothing more about it. All these years and the only thing she had ever achieved was a headache and a text book case of nuts. And an illegitimate child.

"Oh, God! Why me?"