Mark Ethridge’s Picture Choice: One
Title: If It’s Just A Dream, Let Me Dream, Part 2
"I'm Blue. Remember?"
"Your name for me." A tendril eased out of the blue and gently poked my arm. "You couldn't say my name, so you named me Blue."
“And where are we?”
I looked through the window at the tiny red sun hanging in the black sky. “This ain’t Earth.”
Blue sighed. “Unfortunately, it really is. It’s just not your Earth.”
I realized Blue was right. It was Earth. “It’s your Earth, isn’t it.”
I swear the blue shape smiled. “Yes, human. It is.”
“And you’re a human, aren’t you.”
“Indeed, I am.”
“So everyone calls themselves human. And their world Earth.”
Blue shook, I recognized the motion as laughter, “Yep. Makes for a hell of a mess trying to figure out who comes from what world where.”
I looked at the dark red sun in the black sky, with the stars shining like it was night. “And that’s the sun.”
“I see you’re starting to remember.”
Blue pointed to an area of the black sky. “Your Sun.” It was a dim, yellow light, barely visible to me. “Just another star from here.”
I sat on the floor. “Marie. I remember that name.”
I’d never married, yet I had a wife. “Where is she?”
“Your people have her.”
Images flashed through my mind. Four of us, Marie, Blue, a girl, and me. Running. Flashes of light. Searing heat. I thought my skin was on fire. The sky turned red. I lost Marie. She fell. I couldn’t find her. Blue grabbed my hand, grabbed the girl’s hand, “Hurry!” A cave. No light. The burning stopped. “Stay here. I’ll find her.” Blue ran from the cave.
I tried to follow. The skin on my hands blistered. “Daddy, no! Don’t leave me!”
A house. Blue, and several others like her. “Your people have her.”
“We’ll try to find her.” My daughter clinging to my hand, “Daddy, don’t leave me!”
Blue urged me to sit, coated my blistered hands, my burned skin with a blue salve. “This will help you heal. You must rest.” She coated my daughter with the same blue salve. “You must rest. Heal.” She looked through the windows, the sky was black once more, “Let us find where they have taken Marie. Let us help.”
And the images were gone.
“Thank you, Blue.”
I swear she blushed. Areas of her turned the prettiest pale blue I’d ever seen. She moved across the room, “Sarah has missed you, you know.”
I nodded as I stood, “May I see her?”
Blue lead me to a room in her home. It was an underground room, with no windows. “I make sure she gets outside every day.” She opened the room door, “Sarah?”
I followed Blue in. My daughter sat on the bed, in shorts and a sweatshirt, her hands over her eyes. She sniffed, and wiped tears from her face. “What?”
I ducked under the door frame, and stepped into the room. “Daddy!” Sarah leaped from the bed. She hurled across the room, threw her arms around my neck. “Daddy!”
I held my daughter.
“I thought you were gone!”
I remembered more. More images flashed through my mind. Centuries flipped past like pages of a book. “Time pulled me back.”
Blue nodded, “You remember now.”
I was home. The world Marie and I moved to, to start our family. To escape our people. To learn to live with nature, with the world. Thousands of years beyond the world I’d left. The world with the red phone booth in the back yard.
I kissed my daughter’s cheek. “Hi, pumpkin.” She wouldn’t let go of me. “I’m back now.”
Blue, being ever practical, like her people, headed from the room, “Let’s eat!”
We laughed. That was so like Blue and her people. For them, eating was everything. “By all means.” I carried Sarah from the room, “Let’s celebrate my return. And then, you can both tell me what happened while time borrowed me.”
[To Be Continued]
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Mark woke up in 2010, and has been exploring life since then. All his doctors agree. He needs to write.