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FB-THE GAZEBO



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   The heat of the long day and his Lasagna supper were weighing heavily on him with drowsiness  The action on the TV screen seem to have blurred out again from his field of vision.  Surely the wave of numbness that soothed his thoughts was simply him dosing off again.  He had fought that feeling of nodding off for the last half hour or so.  This time he allowed himself to be over taken by the sensation.
   His vision blurred back into focus from a soft blackened-gray to a brilliant green glow.  At first his eyes hurt.  But quickly they adjusted to his woodland surroundings as the forest colors he found himself in were less saturated in light.  A fallen tree on his left and the moss covered branches overhead had a familiar look; like the area near his own apartments.  Yet they were not.

   He found himself walking along on a pathway. Naturally cut through the woods by its lack of foliage. The smells of damp leave and distant bird calls felt somehow comforting and all the more inviting to him, so he continued. There slowly appeared from the thickness of trees, a clearing. In the midst of the open area was a stair-stepped gazebo encircled with paved stones inscribed with designs of stars, moons, swirls, and names he couldn't make out.
   Just as he was standing there taking in the fascinating sight the figure of a young woman emerged.
   “Who are you?” He called to the woman on the other side of the woodland’s strangely place gazebo.  She seem to have appeared out of nowhere, or having just stepped out from the shadows.
   Her hair was up in a high fashion with ringlet curls along her smooth jaw line. Short sleeved white blouse, and a long blue jean skirt; very attractive, but conservative look.  She answered back through the frame work of the structure before her, “You don’t know me?” Making him suddenly blush in his ill-recognition of her.
   “Hum - Sorry, should I?” Her expression was as if she it was her turn to have been caught off guard.  Her wide eyes puzzled to place his bearded face, framed by shoulder length graying-hair.  The man was in his late forties but his aged highlights always got him pegged as being older.  With John Lennon glasses riding his nose she caught him smiling at her from fifteen feet away.
   "My name is Neil.  Neil Lindsey, and you?"
   "Sabrina." Then with a brilliant smile, beamed, "Sabrina Huffman."
   The black haired woman could have been brunette, but who could tell for sure in dreams, he thought to himself. She looked to be in her late twenties maybe, yet her youthful looks and soft blue eyes had captivated him already.
   She held an upright pose as her well formed body seemed to gracefully glide closer to the gazebo that stood between them both. Speaking as she glanced about for a moment, “Well, you are in my dream.” She intoned emphatically while climbing up the three steps as if she owned the cushioned seats personally.

   “No.  You’re in mine.” He nudge with a softer voice making her smile back as he edged around approaching the pristinely painted steps.
   “Well, looks like we’re both dreaming the same dream here.” She said with an almost seductive blush on her high cheeks.
   He quickly added as he beamed back, drawing closer to where she sat. “…and in the same one it seems.”
   “I must have went to sleep ‘bout an hour ago on the couch reading a Ted Dekker novel on my Kindle.”
   His brows furrowed for an instant at not knowing her favorite author’s name, “Hum - well, I was watching an episode of The Tudors on Blue-Ray.”
   Feeling a little pleased in an odd way; she had never heard of his movie either, “Strange how different we are and yet we’ve found one another in the same dream-scape it seems.” Her cutting eyes had a captivating charm to him as he blushed back, wanting to know more of her.  His eyes soaked up her form and his thoughts raced with imaginations.
   Hoping his fishing for a compliment would work, offered up, “Not all that different I guess.  Seems this gazebo’s tiled-courtyard could have been from both of our imaginations, hum?”
   Half buying his offer, conceded,  “I suppose.  Could have, I am a ferocious reader.” Then looking about for any extra book or movie props added, “Who knows?”
   Giving her a full smile, “You - are just - beautiful.  Gorgeous in fact, if you don’t mind me being so bold…”
  Accepting his boldness with a smile of her own and deep inhale, “Not at all.  Flattery is nice sometimes.” Quickly glancing him up and down she offered her own complimentary remark, “You seem perfect yourself.”
   Yielding up a blush, “Ha - I’m anything but - but thanks all the same.”

   “Well… Now that we’ve found ourselves here what would you like to do?”  She smiled and folded her hands in her lap.
   “You’re voice is like a song. Wow! I hear you so clearly yet your lips aren’t even moving.”
   She smiled a brilliant grin, and blushingly rolled her eyes, brushing off his compliment.  “Seems anything goes here; dreams are that way ya know.”
   Continuing his thought filled answer, “Well, I love it! Makes you all the more fascinating to me.”  She rolled her eyes again with a slight grimace of annoyance at his endearment, but gave him a second chance to redeem himself as he continued with, “How about we just sit up here awhile and chat before to reality of the world comes crashing in around us and we both wake up."
   A little more uplifting, she smiled and rewarded his efforts with, “You’re cute.”
   His whirling thoughts searched through the expressions and asked her, “How’s that?”
   She softly pronounced her surprise, “Wanting to stay with me, I was just thinking the same thing about you. Are you reading my thoughts?”

   Surveying the woods as he paced back and forth from one railing to the other.  After a moment or so Neil finally took a seat across from his dreaming companion as a light mist of rain began to haze about them.  As a purple butterfly fluttered between them he suggested, “I guess I should just share who I really am instead of complicating things with a lot of wishful thinking or complex fantasies, ‘eh?”
   Then almost completing his thoughts, she injected, “…and just what are we to one another; if not, apparently each other’s ‘Happy Thoughts’?”

   Over the next few weeks Neil had begun going to bed earlier, and found himself sleeping progressively later and later in the day.  So much so had his obsession with sleeping, and trying desperately at trying to recapture the same blissful dream and its continuation; that he ended up losing his job as a forklift operator at the Wal-Mart warehouse.
   Two days into his search for a new job something from beyond the newspaper’s job listings caught Neil’s ear.  Blaring as background noise came a story from the nightly news showcasing the very gazebo from his obsessive dreams.  The anchorman said the structure, which happened to be a real place near a local wooded area, was to be replaced by a mall’s off ramp.  It was to be bulldozed that very afternoon.

   Rushing in his car to the exact site, Neil drove twelve miles from his Lake Cliff apartments. Jumping out of his car and   He stood in the parking lot and starred with a mixture of emotions.  First at the carnage before him, then at what lay passed it.  For there, just as the last roofing shingles and timbers imploded beneath the roaring force of the reversing bulldozer, was the woman from his dreams.  Dressed in a long blue jean skirt and white blouse was Sabrina Huffman, standing on the opposite side of the newly rubbled heap.  Like him she had raced to the site hoping against hope to find him as well.  So it was how they met for the first time during their waking lives in a parking lot on the verge of creating a new reality

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VENTURE INTO MY WORLD

VENTURE INTO MY WORLD
The Watcher's Book of Books