(WP) Dream a Little Dream of Me

(WP) Dream a Little Dream of Me

               The
Dream Police hadn’t been an official unit for very long when a rather unusual
case was brought to my desk.

Never mind that I was just a
rookie, the head of a brand-new department, designed to combat the rampant
crimes that took place inside of the subconscious. The stew of dark thoughts
that brewed in the human mind had the power to manifest in real life if not
eradicated from the brain properly.

It scared the hell out of me, and
it reminded me of a Lovecraftian tale; but being the greenest on the squad, I’d
been stuck with it. Of course, there was a senior detective above me, ‘overseeing’
what me and my guys did, but that was more for show than practice.

I was just about to head home to my
husband and children when I noticed a fat manila file sitting on my desk, with
a bright purple post-it note on it. Blocky red writing ordered me to ‘look into
this as soon as possible!’.

I took off my coat and put it over
the back of my desk chair; I needed to make coffee, but first, I needed to let
my family know that I wouldn’t be home for dinner.

I pulled my phone out of my coat
pocket and dialed home, cradling the device between my ear and shoulder.

When Jasper picked up, I could hear
the kids shrieking in the background; the sound brought a smile to my face.

I loved my job, but I loved my
family more.

“Hello?” Jasper’s voice was
breathy, as if he’d been running around, chasing the children.

“Hey, Jasper.” I said, already
dreading having to say the words. “I’m not going to be able to make it for
dinner tonight.”

There was a short pause, as if he
wanted to say something, but chose not to. If he was angry, I couldn’t really
blame him; recently, work had been taking up most of my waking time. I hated
it, but I didn’t want to let my boss down either. He’d chosen me for this.

“All right, honey,” He replied. “I
can just save a plate for you, put it in the fridge.”

“I’m so sorry! I know that this is
the third time in a week. I promise I’ll make it up to you.”

“With a date with me and the kids?
They miss you, Darius.”

“Of course. I’ll ask for time off
this weekend, and I won’t take no for an answer. You know how important you and
the kids are to me.”

I could hear Jasper’s smile in his
voice, and almost feel him softening.

“You better, or you’ll be in
trouble, mister! I love you. I’ll see you when you get home.”

“I love you too, Jasper. Kiss the
kids for me. I’ll try not to be all night.”

We said our goodbyes, and I got to
work.

**

I spent the night poring over the
case file, and as I gathered details and took notes, I became more and more
disturbed. A kernel of unease began to grow outward from my chest.

The dreams always had the same
theme: someone running through a dark marsh, slogging through mud and brackish
water, unable to find their way through the dark. And then something springing
from the water and dragging them under. There would be some struggling, and
bubbles floating to the surface, and then the person being chased bobbed on the
water, eyes staring up sightless at the sky.

It appeared that we had a serial
killer haunting everyone’s dreams.

**