How i met my mother, p.1
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       How I Met My Mother, p.1

           Ray Daley
 
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How I Met My Mother
How I Met My Mother

  Raymond Daley

  Copyright 11/3/2014 by Raymond Daley

  Each evening, the nightmare is the same.

  The almost pitch-darkness of the tunnel, water flowing underfoot, jagged walls I knew must be avoided at any cost. Yet I did not know why. The labyrinthine passages from here to there to nowhere to everywhere crossing all points in between.

  Yet I knew exactly which route to take.

  Left at the glass-sharp stalagmite, left again at the cairn of stones, two rights after the luminous moss and straight ahead until... until... until somewhere. Or something.

  I heard the scritching of movement in the distance, something moving over the rocks. I then had to remind myself that wasn't overly helpful information in a tunnel where every surface was made of rock.

  Currently the only thing in this tunnel not made of rock was me. Perhaps.

  I clicked the button of the flash-light just long enough to get a good visual. Cobwebs.

  CLICK.

  I felt oddly safer in the darkness, its blissful ignorance provided a modicum of peace of mind if not safety. As I walked forwards I knew I was in a large irregularly shaped chamber with many exits leading off to only whatever dwells here knows where.

  "Hello my child," said the female voice, possibly in my mind but almost certainly coming from everywhere in the chamber.

  *

  "And that's the point at which I always awake." I said to the Doctor.

  He made noises like he was interested but he was only here for the money, they'd already decided I was crazy. The little orphan boy who finally lost his mind. I'd lived in the Foundling Home my whole life, soon they'd probably be finding me a room at the Asylum. Especially if I didn't stop describing these dreams. But they didn't feel like dreams.

  "Very well Connor, you may go now. We're done." the Doctor said.

  Hmm, suspicious. He normally told me we were done for today. Was I finally cured? Did he know what was causing these dreams?

  In the Day Room I sat and read, no-one disturbs the weirdo. Then I became aware of the shouting.

  "Hey, weirdo!"

  "Oi! Weirdy!"

  I discovered they meant me when one of them punched me in the arm. "We're talking to you, weirdo!"

  It was kinda odd to be called a weirdo by kids who other people had already labelled as odd or unusual, that was generally the reason most children ended up in here.

  I looked up from my book, gave them the 'What the fuck do you want?' stare that I'd perfected before my fifth birthday. It got me out of a lot of fights. It also got me into a lot too. It maintained Cosmic Balance, I liked to think.

  One of the kids thrust out his hand, I didn't see why, at first. Then it moved.

  Spider.

  The kids here knew I had a thing about spiders from the first time I ever saw one, those with a disposition towards bullying and mental cruelty then went out of their way to make sure any spider found here quickly appeared on, in front of or generally near me.

  I didn't know why I don't like spiders, the Doctor had never managed to unlock that particular mystery. Yet.

  The spider on his palm was small, barely more than a couple of centimetres across. For some reason I suddenly didn't feel afraid, even though he was almost pushing it right into my face.

  "Hello." I said to the spider. It backed up a little on his hand and visibly relaxed.

  The kid holding it realised he'd lost his amulet of power and mentally ran down a list of things that could still traumatise me. And hit on the most destructive.

  I could see his other hand slapping down towards his open palm in slow motion. I don't know why I reached out and flicked the spider off, for some reason I couldn't face the thought of seeing him squash it. His hands slapped closed but empty, hitting nothing but each other.

  Behind him on the floor I could see the tiny spider high-tailing it to freedom in some darkened corner of the room.

  "What did ya do that for, weirdo? I thought you hated spiders?" the ringleader asked.

  "A man can change. Try it some time, perhaps?" I said, picked up my book and went back to my room.

  They left me alone.

  Until the Field Trip.

 
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