a weekly series of fiction to enjoy with your bowl of cereal
Igor and Spank by Kel Rohlf
I didn’t want to get up today. What’s the use? The boys are in New York and I have no one to see off. No first day of school pictures. No lunches to pack, not that I ever did, I usually hauled myself out of bed long enough to write a check for their school lunch account. After their good-byes, I would sneak back to bed. I am getting better about getting up, but a day like today is difficult.
Yesterday afternoon Igor and Spank stopped by. I was out on the porch soaking in the lingering summer sunshine; it always seems brighter and warmer than the rest of the year’s sunshine. He told me that he and Spank were almost murdered. That boy sure has an active imagination. I let him tell me his story, but in moments I was on the edge of my glider, literally. Igor had another one of his dreams, and then it almost came true the next evening. He didn’t tell anyone about the dream because lately only the good ones were happening, like Spank and the car.
Igor recounted his dream with animation. He described how his mother’s ex-boyfriend came to their house while Elena and Georgie were at the grocery store. “Carl, that’s my his name,” Igor said with disgust in his voice, “was drunk, rummaging thru the living room, crashing into furniture and hollering, “You broke my heart, woman.” In the dream, Igor was in his bedroom with Spank huddled in his lap. He crouched down next to the dog on my porch to demonstrate. Next, “Carl walks down our hallway knocking on each closed door, and now huskily whispering, “Elena, where are you-u-u?”
In the dream, Igor and Spank scooted further back on his bed and bumped the headboard. Carl heard it and shoved Igor’s door open. “Where’s your mother?” he growled, “and get that bastard pup off your bed!” Igor remained silent. Carl bristled at that and scanned the room. Igor’s little league bat leaned in the corner, Carl picked it up and started swinging- striking air, pummeling the bed and getting nearer to Igor and Spank every moment. Igor pushed Spank off the bed, the bat slapped the dog’s tail and he yelped. Igor jumped up to grab the bat from Frank, but instead the sweet spot on the bat hit him upside his head, and Igor crumbled to the mattress. In his dream, Igor watched himself fall and the last thing he remembered saying was “Run, Spank!” Then he woke up. We both shuddered at the same time when he finished telling me.
He looked up at me with tears in his eyes, “I really didn’t think anything would come of the dream, but the next night, Momma told me she was going to run to the grocery store with Georgie. I told her I’d be okay since I had Spank with me. After she left and I locked the deadbolt, I remembered the dream again. I shivered and called Spank in from the kitchen. I told Spank not to worry, none of my nightmares have come true since Papa died. But just in case I took Spank to the basement with me to watch TV down there. About ten minutes later I heard a rumbling truck pull into our driveway. Then I really started shaking because that’s just how Carl’s truck used to sound when he came home from work when he used to live with us. I crept up the stairs and hid in my closet with Spank, even though I was scared, a strange part of me wanted to be there.
Igor leaned into me and whispered, “The spooky thing is that is happened exactly like my dream, the exact words Carl said, right up to the knocking on all the bedroom doors. I held Spank’s mouth closed and he whimpered, so Frank came into my room. I could see through the slats in my closet door. Frank stood their rubbing his chin, and cocking his ear to hear any other sounds. He even looked at my bat in the corner by my closet. It still creeps me out. Then he swore, and stomped out of the room, back down the hall and out the kitchen door. His truck rumbled out our drive and squealed down the street.”
“What did your Momma do when you told her?”
“Igor, you have to tell her. It’s not safe.”
“The dream helped me avoid getting hurt. I don’t want to upset, Momma.”
“I don’t know, I think you should tell her.”
“You don’t understand,” Igor stepped away from me, “then we’ll have to move again. Please, don’t tell her, ple-e-ease.”
I just shook my head. Then Igor stepped closer to me again, he popped my shoulder with his fist. “I got it, I promise to tell you if I have another nightmare, and you can help me if anymore bad things happen. Deal?” Igor offered me his little hand. I shook it and shrugged, still uncertain I was making the right decision.