Daydreaming
 

 

 

 

 

 

Tara awoke one foggy, rainy morning with a burning throat and a raging headache. The weather seemed to fit her mood perfectly. Tara crankily called to her mother, who frowned when she saw her daughter’s state. "I’m afraid you’ll have to stay in bed today." She said, fluffing Tara’s pillows. After breakfast, which Tara could only bring herself to eat half of, she settled under the covers in her warm bed and fell into a deep sleep.

Tara awoke, surprised to find that her comfortable bed had become hard and was rather hurting her back. She stood up and looked around, finding herself by a wooden bench in the middle of a strange bustling city. Tara looked around for her Mum or Dad or even a familiar face, but all she saw was the crowded street.

A business like woman with a briefcase hurried past, shoving Tara out of her way, as if swatting aside an annoying fly. A single tear escaped Tara’s eye, and she began to run, following several signs, to the Police Station, a welcoming building surrounded by flower gardens. Tara stood outside the Station puffing. Her face was covered in a mixture of salty tears and sweat. Tara soon realized she was not alone.

Beside her, a little man, not much taller than herself, stood smiling at her. He had dark hair, a beard and secretive eyes. Mystery seemed to linger around him. The small man wore a grey suit and several rings on his fingers, making him appear quite well off. But the scrappy blue thongs on his feet proved otherwise. He spoke to Tara with a slight accent. " Are you lost, little girl?" Tara despised being called a little girl, but the man, although he appeared to be old, seemed so young and friendly inside. Tara couldn’t help but like him.

The little man sat down on a bench and gestured for Tara to join him. She did, he put his arm around her. Tara found his presence comforting, and her loud sobs gradually softened to become hiccups. " There. That’s better, isn’t it." He murmured in his soft accented voice. His voice was like a lullaby for Tara, and she found herself falling into a light sleep. The man suddenly stood up, dropping his hanky as he did so. Tara reached down to pick it up. It felt soft and warm. She held it out to return it to the kind man but he had disappeared and she fell asleep right there on the bench.

Tara woke toward lunch time in her snug bed, hungry, but feeling remarkably better. Her strange dream was not remembered until the next day when, feeling better, Tara returned to school. At three o’clock her mother, usually punctual, was exceedingly late to pick her up from school. Sick with worry, Tara ran to the phone box, just outside the school grounds. A man was already talking and another was waiting outside.

The man waiting with her was very short, not much taller than herself, with dark hair, a beard and secretive eyes. Mystery seemed to linger around him. He wore a grey suit and several rings on his fingers, making him appear quite well off. But the scrappy blue thongs on his feet proved otherwise. He looked vaguely familiar and had a very pleasant look on his face. Tara couldn’t help but like the little man, and smiled at him.

He pulled a tissue out of his pocket and sneezed into it. " I rather prefer a hanky, but I dropped it somewhere." He told her in an accented voice, gesturing at his tissue. He smiled as if he knew a secret. Tara put her hands in her pockets and was surprised to feel the unfamiliar fabric of a soft, warm hanky. Eyes wide, Tara looked up, expecting to see the small man’s smiling face. But he had disappeared.

 Penny Falk
Copyright, 1999.
All rights reserved.


 

 

 

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