Sandy had been having the dream since she was five years old. It always started the same way. Looking down at her bare foot as she stepped onto the deck of a huge sailing ship, masts and rigging creaking in the wind, salt spray on her face, the smell of the ocean and its deep mysteries surrounding her. There was a boy at the helm, his dark hair blowing in the wind, his face alighting when he looked up. He would hold out his hand to her and say something, but what he said was always muffled. She’d take his hand, stand next to him at the wheel, hip to hip, their hands steering the ship in unspoken unison, both of them rolling and swaying with the crash of the waves as they sailed together on an endless moonlit night into unknown adventures.
As she got older she had the dream less. College, career, marriage, children, grandchildren and then on to the aching sad hollow of widowhood, all progressed one into the other in the usual fashion.
Over the years, Sandy wrote poems and stories about the dreams. Sandy confessed that the only published poem of the lot was her favorite. Her husband, several of her friends, and each of her children could recite it flawlessly:
I met a pirate in a dream...
Circles of plundered
gold and jewels
in his ear
tough yet tender
of a knowing craftsman
Sinews like well oiled teak
Hungry lips and dark
eyes full of longing
Emboldened with love
To pierce and
avast my heart
This night the dream was very different. Sandy wore a curve hugging, swirling dress of white, diamonds sparkling in the fabric. Her bare foot touched the deck just as the sun was setting; its pink reflections turning the waves and the sails into tapestries of color. The boy was a man. He looked up as she stepped her bare foot onto the deck. He crossed to her and took her into his arms kissing her like a man starving.
She smiled and said: “What is it you always say?”
He looked at her, searching her face with his eyes, running his hands over her back, his face lit from inside with the joy evident in his smile.
Golden light streamed from his fingers. He put his palm to her chest and said Avast.
Sandy woke up.
“Father Davis? Stephanie Peters, I hope I didn’t call too early and interrupt your breakfast. No, I’m fine, thank you……it’s Mom, she passed in the night. No, it hasn’t quite sunk in yet….she looks so peaceful, quite beautiful actually. Yes, a simple service. Everybody should be able to be here by tomorrow. No, not a burial. We’ll rent a boat and sprinkle her ashes in the ocean. Mom always loved the ocean.”
A link to the master list of this week's 86! #fridayflash stories at Mad Utopia