Julie yanked at the sweat soaked sheet, tugging extra hard as the fitted corners refused to budge. “I can think of much better ways to soak the sheets,” she muttered. “Being a psychic is a pain.” She bundled the smelly linens into a ball and left the mattress to air. She put the bedding in a clothing hamper before going to the kitchen to make herself a cup of tea. Past experience told Julie that it would be a while before sleep returned.
A gift my ass. Fear of going to sleep because of what I might dream. I am always wondering who is going to want to show me gruesome shit this time. And what will I see? Cradling her cup in her hands, Julie slid open the sliding doors to the balcony. Leaning against the railing, she took a few, slow breaths and allowed the hum of tires on pavement to calm her. Many people would think living this close to Hastings Street – only an alley and a few buildings between her and one of Vancouver’s main thoroughfares – would be disturbing, but Julie found the sounds soothing.
The view was another thing Julie found comforting about this area. The lights from North Vancouver lightened the night darkness. The North Shore Mountains were an intense dark blue right now and seemed to be standing guard over all beneath them. The orange cranes from the Port of Vancouver were manmade sentries, their lights blinking messages to the peaks. The normalcy of it all was very soothing. Julie leaned back and began to take a few deep breaths. Walking to a plastic moulded chair and sitting down, she closed her eyes and started piecing together the fragments of the dream that still haunted her. She hadn’t seen what happened, but experienced everything from the viewpoint of the victim. It was always that way it seemed. Julie swallowed and fought to clear her mind so the dream would return.
It started with a droning sound. Julie was in a room with wooden benches, like the pews in a church. Yet not quite, something was off. This wasn’t a church. She could feel the hardness of the wood floor beneath scrawny, malnourished knees. In the dream, her arms were covered with track marks from years of drug abuse, her skin felt slimy and dirty yet it didn’t bother her. Julie had the impression that this slovenly state was normal for her. And besides, there were more important things to worry about, not that Julie was sure of what those concerns were. She did know she was going to get money from whoever brought her here. In the dream, that was the only reason Julie had agreed to come; she really needed the money.
Someone was chanting or praying. Ah, that was the droning noise. But everything else seemed so quiet, almost as if she and the voice were in a mausoleum or something. No noise from vehicles or people penetrated the stillness, it was so silent. She couldn’t really tell what was being said or where the other person was, but she was aware of a voice murmuring in the background. She sensed movement behind her, but it was so slight that she wasn’t sure if she’d imagined it.
I wish he would shut up and get on with it, she thought, so I can get outta here. She shifted position; the pressure from the floor was uncomfortable. Yet she knew that she had to stay like this, had to appear pious. Not that she was but that was how the game was played. She hoped the speech would end soon and she could do what she had to do and leave. She knew she was supposed to be repenting for something, but Julie wasn’t sure what. And still the droning continued.
There you go, part of Chapter One. On Friday I will continue with this chapter and show you photos of places in the book. So be sure to come back then.
And be sure to download Missing Flowers when it goes free Black Friday and remains free through Cyber Monday!
I hope you find the beauty around you.
I hope you find the beauty around you.
Karen Magill, Vancouver, Free eBook, history, Missing Flowers, British Columbia Black Friday, Canada, Cyber Monday, four, Chapter One