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5. The Not-Remembered, Forgotten People

October 16th, 2006 | Posted by pftq in Possibility | #
   I didn’t sleep easy that night.  The wind had risen miraculously; it felt as if the town was in the middle of a hurricane.  Every few moments, something thudded against the wall outside.  I think it was probably a branch of the old oak tree next to the house, but I wasn’t sure.  Every time, the wind picked up, the house was filled with a deafening roar.  The shingles on the roof rattled wildly, and the shutters slammed open and shut, although I do believe I had them padlocked.  If I hadn’t turned up the heat and turned on a little bit of music to listen to, I would be scared stiff.
   Suddenly a bright flash filled the room without a sound.  Was it lightning? I glanced outside the window, but there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.  I flipped the lights on and off, but they produced a dim, incandescent light, rather than the glaring white flare I had seen.  I was very tired, and I probably imagined it.
   I decided to go downstairs for a glass of water.  Every step created a low creaking of the floorboards.  As I neared the kitchen, there was a low dripping noise.  I thought I saw a dark shadow sweep over me, but the entire house was dark so I don’t know what I was thinking.  I switched on the lights.  The faucet was dripping water, even though I don’t recall using it today.  I grabbed a cup from the dishwasher and reached over to turn it up all the way.  Something foul and rotten filled my nostrils.  I gazed down, but there was nothing except the drips of water that had fallen.  Maybe another rat found its death at the blade of the food dispenser; that tends to happen every now and then.
   With the cup of water in hand, I sat down at the diner.  Something was different about the water; I couldn’t figure out what.  I must be imagining things again; I always do when it’s so late.  Without further thought, I gulped down the water, and regret it I did.  The water was filled with dirt.
   I ran over to the kitchen sink and started rinsing my mouth straight from the tap.  Somehow I had forgotten where my water had originally come from, and I ended up spitting my mouth dry.
   What was dirt doing in the tap water? My first impression was that whoever managed the water system had screwed up again, but then again it was pretty stormy tonight.  Perhaps something had broken.  Was the repair still open this late?
   I glanced at the clock.  It was one o’ clock.  One o’ clock.  Did Sam mean one in the morning? That’d be crazy, but Sam was indeed crazy.
   The wind was a lot stronger than it seemed from inside the house.  Several times during the drive, the car skidded sideways and sometimes refused to move against the wind at all.  It might have been my imagination, but to me, it felt that the farther I drove, the stronger the winds got.
   I finally got close enough to see the library in the distance at around twenty-five minutes.  It definitely wasn’t empty.  Something shiny flickered from the lot.  As I approached nearer and nearer, it got larger and larger.  It made everything else around it appear miniaturized.  It looked pretty solid and round.  It was silver and unscathed.  It was huge and out of place.  It was Sam Pete’s car.
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