Author’s Note: This Friday Flash is set in the universe of my web serial Animal Kingdom. Previous entries also set in this universe can be found here (scroll down to the bottom of the page).
For a long time, David didn’t dream.
Lying in a hospital bed, capable of doing nothing but sleeping, he did not dream.
At first there was darkness, nothing but inky black never-ending darkness, but then things changed.
He simply got up and left his broken body behind.
At first he thought that was a dream. But then a few days went by. Then weeks. Then months.
For over six months he was separated from his body. His family referred to him as a ghost. Maybe a better term would be disembodied spirit. He didn’t care about the name, just as long as it wasn’t poltergeist. He didn’t like thinking about those days.
Not that he needed to worry about such names anymore. Somehow, he returned to his body and everything returned to normal.
Finally, he could dream again.
He often imagined himself ten feet tall, flying through the sky high above the city.
Sometimes he wasn’t a gentle giant. Joined by a murder of crows; he left fires, explosions and even tornadoes in his wake.
After dreams like that he woke up drenched in sweat, sometimes screaming.
But still, he relished his dreams. His dreams didn’t have rules. His dreams didn’t have limits.
When David woke up every morning, he couldn’t simply hop out of bed. After all those months he spent in a coma, his legs were weak. Moving quickly was out of the question.
He lived his days in slow motion. Slow breakfasts, slow trips to the grocery store, slow walks around the park, slow attempts at dancing. Slow, slow, slow.
He could still talk as fast as the best of them though. And he could turn practically anything into a lengthy conversation. Being born into a family of lawyers had its perks.
Words have power. It’s not the kind of power David wielded in his dreams, but it’s a power just the same. Words can knock down walls, build them up and then knock them down yet again. As David puttered through life; tripping, falling, and getting back up over and over again; he used his words. Sometimes those words were screamed. Sometimes they were whispered. Sometimes the words left his mouth with nothing more than a shrug.
Whatever happened, no matter how he felt, he did not stop talking. Words may make people uncomfortable. Sometimes they made David uncomfortable. But he’d take discomfort over slowly shuffling through life in silence.
While he slept, David could fly over or crush any obstacle. While he was awake, his words kept him sane.
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