Promptly Penned ~ Dream

Welcome to another edition of Promptly Penned. This month the prompt it… “I had that dream, again.”

Lots of ways this one could go. Here’s the resulting story. The prompt will show up at some point, lol.

“I had that dream, again.”

Jade pursed her lips, worrying her hands in her lap before glancing up—facing the man sitting in the chair across from her. Bastard wasn’t even looking at her—scribbling away in his freaking notepad. Who did that? Weren’t the union shrinks supposed to record everything? In case the department wanted to access it later? Use it as evidence one of their detectives had lost their shit? Did he know how easy it would be to destroy all his records?

The guy. Brown—last name, she thought—didn’t even meet her gaze. Just kept scribbling. Asshole was probably just doodling. Drawing a stick figure of her with horns. That’s what he thought. That she was sick. Evil.

He tilted his head to one side, as if admiring his work. “Which one was it? Where you’re giving a presentation in only your underwear?” He spared her a quick shift of his eyes. “Or were you naked, this time?”

She didn’t roll her eyes. Wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of seeing how his remarks affected her. He was trying to get a reaction. She knew it. Unstable cop with probable PTSD—he’d made it his sole mission to see if he could push her completely over the edge. Get her booted. She wasn’t sure what she’d done to piss the guy off—why he had it out for her. Jade just knew that he did. That she’d never get any real help. Wouldn’t be able to rejoin her precinct because the dipshit would never sign off on her recovery.

Instead, Jade stood, paced over to the window then leaned against the frame. The sun was setting. Reds and oranges chasing each other across the sky. Staining the approaching clouds a deeper shade. Rain was coming. She could smell it. Feel the weight of it in the air. The slight charge that suggested things could turn nasty.

“No. Not that.”

A grunt. Fucker couldn’t even be assed to reply a simple, “Oh.” The sound of that pencil on paper, again. The constant scratching making her eye twitch. “Which one, then? The raid?”

The raid. He said it no different than if he’d said, the burger combo. As if it had been just another day. Another shift. That it hadn’t changed her entire life. Imploded it. Cost her her job—even if temporarily, for now—her partner. Her damn sanity. Two liters of blood, too, and a chunk of rib.

Jade focused on the cars starting and stopping on the street below. Rush hour had ended hours, ago. Just the last few stragglers heading home. Soon, it would be dark. Mostly deserted. More than enough cover.

She glanced at him over her shoulder. “No. Not the raid. The one where I’m standing in the darkness. No moon. No stars. Nothing. The occasional flash of lightning sets off the building above me. It’s open. Under construction. It starts to rain. But I don’t care. I just stand there, staring into the hole at the edge of the foundation.”

He nodded, and for a moment she thought maybe he was actually listening. That he was one of those people that just couldn’t make eye contact. That rode that fine line between functioning socially and not. That, maybe, she’d been wrong all this time.

A sigh. “I’m sorry, did you say you were staring at a bowl?”

She hadn’t ben wrong. And it was time this ended.

Jade paced across the room, going to the shelves off to his right then slowly walking toward his desk directly behind him. “Hole. Staring off into a hole. There’re those metal rods in them—the ones they use to hold concrete together?”


“Right. How did I forget that?”

Another sigh. How he managed to make it sound condescending, she wasn’t sure. But he pulled it off. Succeeded in making her question her sanity. “You’re still suffering from side effects of the concussion—brain and sound. As I’ve told you, there’s a chance you won’t completely recover. Be fit to rejoin the force.”

“Yes. You’ve mentioned that since the start. Every session, in fact.” She walked over to the left a bit. “Anyway, I’m staring into this hole, and there’s a body inside. Blood pooling in the dirt. It doesn’t look red. More like tar collecting around the rebar. Slowly sinking into the ground. The rain is washing away everything else. Cleansing it. I keep thinking that I should feel sad. Or angry. Maybe guilty. But there’s nothing. I’m just numb. Relieved, even. That it’s over. That I’m free.”

More scribbling. “And you’ve had this dream before?”

“At least a few times a week since… It should be in your notes, if you want to flip back.”

He grunted, again, but paged through the notebook, stopping closer to the front. “Here. You said you feel as if this place is familiar.”

“I figured it out. It’s that new construction a block over. I pass it every time I come here. All that steel standing against the sky. There’s a crew coming in late tonight to finish pouring the cement. Bet they won’t even have time to check those holes. Dig under. They’ll just cover everything up.”

“Interesting. And what about the person in the hole? You said that no matter what you do, you can’t see the man’s face. Is that correct?”

“Yes. In the past, no matter how hard I try, I can’t turn him over or dig the dirt away fast enough. Then, I wake up.”

He nodded, then stopped, and by the way his head cocked to one side, she knew he was frowning. Brow furrowed. Eyes slanted. He made an effort of turning his head. No nearly enough to see her. Just a small twitch. “In the past? Was it different this time?”

“Funny you should ask. It was. This time, I saw his face. It’s all so clear, now. What’s been holding me back. Why I’m not getting any better—can’t find forgiveness. Peace.”

He snorted. “Did you see yourself, Detective Morrison?” God, he sounded smug. Like he’d known all along that she was the monster in the closet. Hiding. Waiting.

Jade slipped in behind him, the smooth glide of the nylon rope calming her movements. Making them feel effortless as she slipped it around his throat—pulled tight. Jacks was outside. Waiting. Willing. “No, Dr. Brown. It was you. All this time, it was always you.”

Guess he was right. She was the monster in the closet.

And that’s it for me. Please join the other ladies participating this week.

Bronwyn | Jessica |

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