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The following is a work of fiction. Any statements regarding any person, place, or other entity (real or imaginary) is the sole responibility of the author of this work of fiction. Fan Works Inc. takes no responsibility for the content of user submitted stories. All stories based on real people are works of fiction and do not necessarily reflect on the nature of the individuals featured. All stories based on other copyrighted works are written with authors knowing that these works violate copyright laws.

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Dreaming While You Sleep
By John Brengman

 


DREAMING WHILE YOU SLEEP

By: John Brengman

Inspired by a song of the same name

by Genesis

Benjamin Flanagan drove through the rain storm that had started to assault the city at about dusk. It was one of those late March rains that could turn an evening drive into a hellishly dangerous adventure as pools formed on the road and sheets of water slammed into the windshield, turning usually familiar surroundings into a swirling maze. Despite all this, Benjamin drove steadily onward through the torrent.

Benjamin Flanagan was an angry man.

He was married, and the relationship had turned as sour as the weather because he had found her in bed with another man. They had a long, drawn-out argument, in which he did most of the yelling, and she did most of the crying. Then they both stormed out ofthe house, he to the comfort of his sports car and the release of tensions that a drive would bring, even if it was in the pouring rain, and she to the company of a friend who lived a few blocks away.

It was now about 10 pm and the slow-moving storm continued to drench the small city. Benjamin was beginning to feel tired, so he turned his car around and started home. As he drove through the downpour, he became lost in thought. Marriage was something that should last forever; it should surely be able to outlast an affair. Other marriages had proven to be stronger than this kind of adversity. Benjamin became determined to make his marriage work, to forgive his wife, and to go forward from there.

As he drew near an intersection, a shadow drifted from the dimly-lit curb and into the street. He didn't see it until it was

brightly illuminated by the car's headlights. There was no time to react. The car slammed into the pedestrian with a sickening THUD which sent it over the hood, onto, then over the windshield, and onto the top of the car before it dropped to the rain-soaked road.

Benjamin stopped the car, horrified by the sight of a face on the windshield and the streaks of blood that were being washed away by the clensing rain. He slammed his foot on the accelerator and the car roared off into the night.

Once Benjamin got home, he was greeted by the sight of the deserted house. As he opened the front door, a flood of darkness reached out and drew him in. Even after he had turned on a lamp that sat on a end table near the door, the darkness retreated, but was not vanquished entirely. An invisible mist of loneliness pervaded the room, catching his heart in a vise-like grip of fear. The face on the windshield looked back at him with a blank stare in his mind's eye......his wife.

Benjamin went into the bedroom, closed the door, and sat down on the bed, which was still unmade from the evening's earlier activities. His wife and the stranger had made love here a few hours ago...but all he could see now was his wife's body laying face-down in the street.

After flicking on the table lamp, he reached over and picked up a bottle of sleeping pills, dumped most of the contents of the full bottle into his hand. He slammed the pills into his mouth and then drowned them down with the glass of water that he always kept on the nightstand.

Benjamin didn't bother to undress. He turned out the light and laid down on the bed without covering himself, but he couldn't force the image of his wife's body laying in the street from his mind, and her face in the windshield haunted his thoughts.

He sat up. He found himself plagued by his wife, the affair she had been having, the resulting argument, her face in the windshield, the passionate love-making they had shared the night before. He looked around at the bed and found it disgusting. He could not sleep here; he would be reminded of all of the things which kept going through his mind. However, once he had decided to sleep in the living room, he found that he could not do that either. The bed which reminded him of his wife's death also reminded him of the love the two of them had shared. So he went back into the bedroom, layed down on the floor, and fell into a murky sleep.

Benjamin sped down the road in the dead of night, his sports car glittering, the headlights impaling the rain-fillednight, illuminating the road, yet not quite banishing the dark.

A mile marker passed by...... 59 miles.

He drove blindly down the road...the miles sped past. Looking down at the electronic speedometer, he saw it blink back at him.....55 mph. and he eased off the pedal. Each cornfield that passed him blended into the next like sleeping waves of grass on slumbering hills.

A billboard flew by in the night. On it were pictures of tents, clowns, elephants, lions, and bears. Above them all stood the ringmaster in a black tuxedo and a big red bow tie. The ringmaster announced in bold black words across the top of the picture:

"WELCOME TO THE PALESTINE COUNTY CIRCUS

APRIL 16 - 20....."

The rain continued to fall in a drizzle-like spray. The headlights danced through it, the windshield was assaulted by it. The constant sound of the falling rain began to wear on Benjamin's nerves. Reaching to the radio, he pressed a button and immersed himself in the music that emanated from the car's stereo speakers. Once the song ended, the DJ came on the air.

"It's now 11 o'clock....time for the news. Police are still searching for the suspect of a fatal auto accident on Stuart Avenue. Mrs. Kathleen Flanagan was found laying face-down in the street after being hit by a car. Police are searching for her husband, Mr. Benjamin Flanagan, who is wanted for questioning in this matter."

The voice paused, then: "Come on, Ben, we know you did it! Why don't you quit running and turn yourself in?" Benjamin quickly reached over and turned the radio off, grateful now for the silence that ensued afterwords.

A mile marker passed by......59 miles.

As he passed the marker, a feeling of deja-vu seeped over Benjamin. Then the billboard appeared from the darkness....along with the lions, elephants, bears, tents and ringmaster.....

"WELCOME TO THE PALESTINE COUNTY CIRCUS

APRIL 16 - 20.....

COME TO THE PALESTINE COUNTY CIRCUS

HOME OF BENJAMIN, THE WONDEROUS WIFE KILLER!!!"

Benjamin suddenly was scared. He then caught sight of the speedometer ....57....59....61....63....65....68....71....

The road flew by blindingly fast and the reflectors were only sparks at the side of the raod when the headlights flicked off them.

....85....90....95.... Benjamin sat stunned as the speed continued to climb....105....113....121.... He began to see smoke from the tires. Soon the speed got to the point where Benjamin was forced back in his seat....140....151....162....

It now seemed like the car was in flight. Dips in the road could not be noticed. Benjamin slammed his foot down on the brakes, but the car kept accelerating....185....198....213....

The engine was a roar in Benjamin's ears. His hadns fell from the steering wheel, but the wheel didn't move. He tried to turn the wheel even though success would mean instant death, but the wheel refused to move....250....269....288.... He began to notice a dull pain in his chest, but he was too scared to care....

A hand touched Benjamin's shoulder. It was a soft delicate touch that Benjamin wouldn't have noticed through his fear-filled attention to the road that blurred past him except that the smell of perfume wafted through the air.....

Stealing a glance at the passenger seat, Benjamin saw his wife sitting there, apparently oblivious to the fact that the sports car was doing a three-digit speed down the road. She smiled and clasped his right hand in hers. Drawing herself nearer to him, she whispered, "I've missed you."

""I've missed you too." The words formed on his lips, but Benjamin was too confused and frightened to give them any more substance. He was mesmerized. His wife looked as beautiful as she had when they were first married, which had been ten years ago. They were both in their late 20s, and while he looked his age, she still looked like she was sixteen. Her blonde hair fell a little past her shoulders in lazy waves. Her slim body was outlined by her favorite dress...a blue silk-like dress that he had given her on their first wedding anniversary. She had a look of ecstasy on her face, a smile.....and her eyes were closed as though she were enjoying the rapture of the moment...

She leaned closer to Benjamin and gave him a peck on the cheek. "I love you." She said.

He heard himself reply, "I love you too."

"We're going to be together again....."

Through the haze in his mind, he replied, "Yes." All thoughts of the speeding car and the blurring road vanished as he stared at the woman he loved. She pressed herself against him and kissed him, her tongue darting into his mouth, exploring the crevices it found there. She broke off the kiss long enough to murmur: "We'll be together forever." He lazily nodded his agreement.

"Good," she replied, and returned to kissing him. Their tongues danced and probed into the deep recesses of their mouths. Benjamin fell back in his seat. His wife leaned forward and their mouths remained locked together.

Suddenly Benjamin felt his wife's had clench around his, getting tighter and tighter. When he lifted his hand up, he saw that his wife's hand was black, shriveled, and......dead-looking. The blackness that covered her hand and lower arm spread quickly until it covered her entire body.

Her dress now hung limply off of her twisted frame. Her hair was thin and white, and her skin was as black as pitch. As he pulled away from her face he saw a trickle of bright red blood dribbling from her mouth. Her eyes were still closed as she grinned an evil, toothy grin.

"What's the matter, Ben?" She hissed. "Don't you like my face?" Benjamin managed to shake his head.

She gave a ghostly whine. "But why? I try SO hard to make myself look nice for you. I guess you don't appreciate me enough!" With that, she squeezed his hand harder and Benjamin screamed with agony as several bones in his hand shattered. The pain in his chest gradually grew to match it.

"You'd better learn to appreciate me more, Ben! After all, we'll be together forever!" She cackled wickedly. "It's part of that marriage vow, Ben!" She seemed to be able to stare deep into his soul, even though she still had her eyes closed. "You know," she screeched, "for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health.....'til DEATH do us part!!"

His "wife", laughing insanely, quickly turned her head toward Benjamin, leaned toward him even as he struggled to get away, and opened her eyes.....

Benjamin felt himself being drawn into her eyes. They were pools of fire which seemed to rest on boiling water. Her demonic laughter echoed in his head as the flames burned his skin and the water scalded him. Fire seemed to erupt from his chest, searing all of him from head to toe....

"'TIL DEATH DO US PART!!!!!" The demoness screamed.

With that, the steering wheel jerked slightly and the sports car, which had been careening at over 300 mph, exploded into a towering inferno as it impaled itself on a telephone pole which somehow did not shatter with the force of the impact.

As the column of orange-red flame rose into the air, the wind itself seemed to be whispering: "'til death do us part.....'till death do us part....."

 

The preceeding was a work of fiction. Any statements regarding any person, place, or other entity (real or imaginary) is the sole responibility of the author of this work of fiction. Fan Works Inc. takes no responsibility for the content of user submitted stories. All stories based on real people are works of fiction and do not necessarily reflect on the nature of the individuals featured. All stories based on other copyrighted works are written with authors knowing that these works violate copyright laws.

Please see the Terms of Service for more information.

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