Bad Dreams (Flash Fiction)

“Maybe it was something I ate.” Claire said out loud, wiping sweat off the bridge of her nose with the sleeve of her t-shirt. Dan started at her, his head still on the pillow, his eyes foggy with sleep. “I’ll go spend the rest of the night on the couch.” Claire said to him.

“You don’t have to do that.” Dan protested in a drowsy mumble. Claire took her pillow and left the bedroom. She shut the door and stuffed her pillow against the crack at the bottom of the door frame.

Claire made her way to the kitchen, turning on every light along the way. She opened the microwave door and the refrigerator too. Their meager light doing some small part to abate the darkness of night.

She turned on the radio and glanced back at the bedroom door. The pillow was still in its place blocking light and sound from reaching the sleeper within.

Claire used the broadside of a chef’s knife to smash a couple cloves of garlic. She slipped open her cell phone and used one hand to dial a number while the other hand started the stove and pulled a skillet from the cabinet. Claire edged the phone into the crook of her neck and held it steady with her shoulder while she peeled the garlic and threw it into the hot oil of the pan.

It only rang once before a man answered.

“What made you change your mind?” He asked.

“These damn dreams.” Claire said.

Muriel is the creator of 'Documinutes: 60 second documentaries' and a contributor to the podcast 'This Manic Mama.'

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