laura dawe

I used to dream a lot about the same man. For as long as I can remember. He was always about seven years older than me. He was handsome, but he did the worst things. One time we skinned all the kids in the neighbourhood with a thing he called The Spanish Meatgrinder. We scattered their teeth under a copse of trees for their parents to find.

When I was 12 he smashed my favourite doll, the crying one my father had mailed me from Alberta. The one I slept with every night.

Then my mom had a dream.
She dreamed I was in the backyard with my friends. There was a man with us. She didn't like him and she told me to come inside. He stood between us. My mom told him to step back and he got angry. Unnaturally angry. She maneuvered me into the house behind her. He started shrieking. My mom, raised Catholic, resorted to The Lord's Prayer. He, louder now, began lifting off the ground screaming. And disappeared.

It was the same man. He looked kind of like my dad's friend Harvey.

I never dreamed about him again.