She stared at the ceiling, listening to the phone ring. Then she looked at the clock. She’d been in the dream for twenty minutes.
“I need more,” she whispered, and closed her eyes.
But it was impossible. She couldn’t empty her m ind. She told herself that it was okay. She just needed a break. Something to eat, something to drink, and then she would try again. That would also give her time to think about what she had seen.
“That was me,” she said to the plant, sitting on the kitchen windowsill. “And, I know it was, or IS real.” The plant tried to nod but it had incredibly stiff leaves and, therefore, couldn’t manage it. “I want to know when that’s happening? Where it’s taking place, and if it’s a memory, my future, or just a dream and nothing more?” The plant remained silent. In fact, it had fallen asleep, so it was absolutely was no help to her at all.
She ate another peanut butter and jelly sandwich, three gigantic chocolate chip cookies, a fudge bar, and a couple of cashews. Then she ripped the top off of a strawberry Greek yogurt, and ate that.
“I think it’s in the future,” she said, tapping her spoon against the edge of the yogurt cup. “That feels right,” she grunted, popping a frozen waffle into the toaster oven.
“Okay. It’s me, in an ocean, looking like something from out of the the black lagoon, only a really pretty green color, doing something I know is truly important. But why?”
The toaster over binged and she grabbed the waffle, then dropped it onto the counter, shaking her hand and muttering, “hot, hot, hot.” She gave the waffle a minute to cool off, then ate it in big bites. “I’m ready to try again,” she told the plant, who was quite busy dreaming about roots, small seeds, and chlorophyl.
She got down on the floor, made sure everything was in order, closed her eyes, and slowly drifted back to the cave.
The woman was tapping and twisting the crystals, and looking at some kind of crystal tablet. Upon closer look, there seemed to be a platform farther back in the small space. A bed possibly, or natural table, made out of another huge crystal. There was a large shell on one corner. A decoration, or something else? She wondered which.
She watched the woman continue twisting, and tapping, crystals. She sometimes ran a loose crystal over the face of the tablet. She did that for quite some time, and the longer she watched her, the more beautiful she became, and the more she understood.
She was a researcher. An oceanographer, of sorts. She lived in the small alcove inside the cave, and worked in the ocean itself. She took samples, did experiments, and counted fish and other species. She was trying to help the ocean, and those survivors who remained . She knew the chances of reversal were slim, but she was doing what she could. She believed that she might make a difference, no matter how small.
She had been made for deep ocean depths, as well as topside. She had volunteered for the job. Everyone had volunteered for the jobs they held, and they were all altered to fit into the environments in which they would live, for the rest of their lives. Apart, and alone. Always.
But she was happy, that much was obvious. She was doing what she loved. She thought the ocean was beautiful, the fish, her only companions, had become her friends. She was never lonely. She had no memories of being anything but what she was. And then she stopped touching the crystals and hung her feet over the edge of her small cave floor, and kicked her webbed feet in the water, like a child playing. Then she turned a rich, dark purple, slide into the water and sped away.
She sat up and pushed the blanket to the side. She stared at the clock, two a.m. Her head was full of pictures and the story. She went into the kitchen and put water into the tea kettle. Then she ripped open an envelope of hot chocolate and poured it into a mug. The plant wanted to know how things turned out, but had no way of asking, so it sat there hoping to be watered.
The whistle on the tea kettle snapped her out of her stupor. She stirred the powder, while she poured the boiling hot water over it.
She was positive that what she saw was in the future. She knew the choices she would make when that time arrived. She stared at her hands, trying to imagine webbing between her fingers, but she couldn’t do it. Then she poured water into a glass and watered the plant, who made a sound of relief that she couldn’t hear.
She turned, when she heard the key in the lock.
“Still up, I see,” he said.
She smiled, and nodded. “How was your gig?”
“That’s great,” she said, happily.
“Did the dream keep you up,” he asked, walking toward her.
“Yes, but not in the way you think. I have a story to tell you,” she said, putting two frozen waffles into the toaster oven.
He watched her, and knew he was in for something big. She was cooking, and that always meant something big.
“This is NOT cooking,” she laughed. “I know what you’re thinking.”
“Looks like cooking to me,” he snickered, putting two plates on the table.
“I know what the dream means,” she said, walking into his arms.
“Tell me everything,” he said, hugging her. “I can’t wait to hear.”
When she told him, over waffles, and lemonade. The plant was happy because it really wanted to know what was going on, and people never remember that plants are part of the family, so they fail to explain things to them.
Post Script 2
I’ve been having that dream for a very long time.