Contagion in the Between

The night grew dark and I paced in a nervous anticipation of the show ahead of me. My fellow was gruff and impatient with my lack of experience performing and uttered horrid things in the hopes I would hear. I left to find my sister.

I arrived at a large estate undergoing renovations: piles of musty insulation and rot-addled wood sat in the middle of each room. The plaster veneer of the walls was crumbled, chipped and peeled away to reveal the skeleton of the structure and between the beams in the ceiling there stood a vast array of stars. Certain doorways contained sickness, others death and the remainder held other rooms.

A small, white cat ambled the halls, unaware of the nature of the betweens and subjected itself to misery. The cat ran wild and feverish through the building, which only housed me, until it exited and spread the contagion among men outside. The men, fearing suffering and mortality captured the cat, dragged it into the house and threw it into the space cradled in the ceiling. As the poor feline whiled away its time bored and lonely in the between space the men milled about and worked on the house. They formed plans of division and containment: in the near future this house would be filled with small rooms and winding hallways full of unwanted people. Here they could live without windows and in the company of dangerous betweens.

I watched from my perch on the third floor stair as they worked until I heard music from outside. I ran, finding my sister on the path back to the venue. The band had begun without me and played furiously to a crowd of faceless drunks. I waited until the song ended then climbed on stage to find the songs were not what I knew. I stood there, a statue of embarrassment as the band carried on without me.

The show ended, the crowd left and I stood with my fellow; his temper spent on the drums he was pleasant now. We returned to the dark house to explore now that the workers were gone. In the space above us a man cried out and told us that time would send an opposite cat. As we walked through the rooms in various states of disrepair and reconstruction, a cat, identical to the first but of a much nicer disposition, strolled into the house. She followed a serpentine path through the clutter on the floor and approached a blank wall  Before us the wall danced and waved like water cupped in unsteady hands. The wood and plaster became a dark jelly and through it walked the sick cat, no longer sick.

Dream snippet.


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