Friday, August 20, 2010
Billy woke, tied to a chair in his studio apartment. Aware of having soundproof walls, he knew yelling for help would be a waste of energy. Everything seemed to be in its place. The window blinds were drawn. He heard someone turn off the water faucet in his bathroom. “Who’s there?”
His identical twin brother, Blake, entered the room, drying his hands with a towel. “Good morning, Billy.”
“Is this a joke?”
Blake pulled over another chair and sat in front the sequestered twin, turning it so the backrest faced forward. “The door is open, Billy. The dreams started again.”
Billy tried to bend his wrists which were tied behind his back. He needed to loosen the knot. “Can we talk about this dream stuff like civilized men?”
Blake had a strange look in his eyes, much like he did the time he sliced open a toad while it was still alive. “Three nights ago, I dreamt that I was at work and a window washer fell to his death.”
Billy frowned. He recalled watching the news report. He wanted to challenge his brother, but he knew Blake’s honesty tone well. Nevertheless, he watched for telltale signs of lying. Maneuvering his arm just right, a mechanism he had rigged in his sleeve released a knife. He felt a sting in his fingers as he worked the tip of the blade against the rope. He was grateful his brother was focused on his story.
Blake continued, “Two nights ago, I dreamt a man was pushed onto the tracks as a train approached.”
Billy recalled watching that news report as well. He remembered having a sudden migraine. As a matter of fact, he recalled feeling the same stabbing pain in his head, around the time the window washer fell.
Blake leaned his chair forward until his nose almost touched his brother’s. “Last night I saw you die.”
Billy felt the rope loosen. He suspected with one final pull, he’d be free. He said, “Did you tie me up so I wouldn’t go to the location where you saw me die?”
Blake shook his head. “Nah bro, I saw you die in this room, but I figure, if you’re tied up, I can’t kill you.”
Billy sighed, “In this dream of yours, how did I die?”
Blake leaned his chair back, then forward, back and forward. “I couldn’t tell exactly, but you fell on me and somehow I had a knife in my hands.” He raised his empty hands and grinned.
Upon leaning forward the leg of the chair snapped. Billy’s natural reaction was to catch his brother. In one motion he broke the rope, but held on to the knife. Tears rolled down his face as the blade penetrated his brother’s abdomen.
The look of betrayal in Blake’s eyes hit Billy as if his worst enemy pounded a sledgehammer on his chest. The newly freed brother set his injured twin on the wooden floor. Blake’s blood gushed over Billy’s hands.
Blake whispered, “But it was you I saw die.”
Billy pressed his hands against his brother’s wound. They both shed tears. They both felt the intense pain dwindling to a subtle discomfort. Billy’s head ached again. He said, “The only part of the dream I had, showed me smearing blood on your face.”
Blake lifted his left hand and caressed his brother’s cheek, leaving bloody fingerprints, until his body went limp.
Billy cried, knowing he tried to stay away from his brother. He wondered if he should have left the country. He had no idea Blake would sequester him.
Billy wished dreams would reveal the complete story. He wished they could tell each other apart in the realm of nightmares.
- 618 words