|Posted by John Hochstein on June 24, 2010 at 1:06 PM|
The sky sparkles of white, blue, and yellow stars like a black sheet speckled with millions of tiny paint droplets. The moon, near full, is half covered with a lonely cloud of grey, as its brothers begin to roll in from the west, above this Midwest town.
A four-year-old child, named Tad Covert, wakes from a nightmare crying for his mother. A teenage, high school dropout, Pion Cassel, is in an alley way spray painting the walls of a local family restaurant. And a second year college student, Jayk Cal, is sprawled out on his dorm room bed with the music of some loud band screaming in the background from his three disc CD player.
Jeryl Covert trips over a pair of shoes as she comes to comfort her crying son, with love in her sleepy eyes and in her heart. Pion Cassel is placed in the back of a white and black, police car, handcuffed while stating a sarcastic excuse for his recent self-expression. Jayk Cal rises from his bed in response to someone furious fist banging on his dorm room door.
* * *
“What’s wrong sweetheart?” Jeryl asks trying to quiet Tad down.
“I had a bad dream mommy,” Tad replies, takes a short breath of air, wipes his nose with his sleeve, and continues. “There were these two monsters who were fighting. The big one was a good monster, though. He was keeping the bad monster away, and then... and then... the bad monster killed the good monster with a really big, sharp sword. Then he yelled Soren. Then he looked at me, mommy. His eyes were really red and he was pulling me closer. I couldn’t get away. And then he said I’m next.” And Tad begins to weep again.
“Now Tad you know that monsters are not real.”
“But... they were real. And... and I was there with...”
“Tad! You were dreaming honey. Now go back to sleep,” Jeryl instructs as she lays her son back into his bed, pulls his cartoon character blanket over him, moves the bangs of his hair with her thumb, and kisses him on his clammy forehead. “Good night, sweetheart.”
* * *
“Shut! Up!” A man pinned with a golden sheriff badge yells at the graffiti artist. “I don’t want to hear your damn excuses, Pion. This is the third time, TODAY, I caught you painting graffiti on the city walls.”
“It’s not graffiti,” Pion yells back clenching his hands into a fist and his jaw tight, his eyes furiously emphasizing his passion.
“I said shut up!”
* * *
“Quit beating on my f...ricking door,” Jayk yells lifting himself off of his bed and walking to the door.
As he opens it a middle-aged woman says, “I don’t want to tell you to keep your music down, again, Jayk. I will take away your privileges if I have to tell you again.”
“What... I can’t hear you. Let me turn my music down,” Jayk yells as he turns slamming the door in the woman’s face.
“I mean it, Jayk!” the woman screams back, now enraged.
“It’s a Friday night, damn. Lay off woman.” Jayk mumbles to himself as he turns his stereo down a couple of notches.
* * *
“I’m going to Slay the Dreamer,” the monster, Sourenn, says as he sheathes his sword, laughing, and fading into the darkness that surrounds him, leaving only the echo of his laugh.