I am in incredible pain at the moment.. and have been since last night. I haven’t done anything strange, not that I know of.. in fact it was a rather normal week of work and friendships; split by the occasional odd dream of another time and place.
But no heavy lifting, no packing, or horses whipping their reins out of my hands to take off, as my Tennessee Walker is want to do from time to time..
No, this pain was new, but at the same time, familiar.
I was sleeping last night when it came, hitting me like a rifle shot to my hip, and sending me reeling. When I fell asleep I slept in batches, waking up to watch for movement in the dark night on a hill.
Which again, strange.. as I was sleeping in a comfy queen size bed with two cats piled up nearby and warm heat drifting in from the vent, making a cocoon for me to slumber in.. ah the modern living of our current time frame.
But thats not where I was.. in another reality I was stuck on some god forsaken mesa, dusty, and snake infested. We had come far, ridden ’til our horses were nearly dead, splitting up earlier with the others of the botched job to make it harder for the law to follow.
Flashes of a train, dark iron and confusion fill my brain, but still the constant pain brings me back to the present.. or what I think is the present.
A rifle shot in the distance and I roll in agony, uprooting the cats that are sleeping and snoring up to this point, so that I can get my hand on the, what I am quite sure is.., a gunshot wound. Fresh warm blood can be felt underneath my palm and my shirt.. I grit my teeth and try to sit up and instead of feeling pillows I feel dirt and sand.. not a good sign.
I sit up and in the distance I don’t see my room, but the horizon line as the moon shines down… and far down in a wash I can barely make out a horse and rider.
Ed, my cohort this go round, is visibly panicking, checking his led and setting up for a fight.
I’m calm, this was meant to be in some way. And I knew this was a possibility. Quite frankly Ed’s fear is oozing self doubt; part of the problem on the job. I grip the wall I’m against and get up, pain shockwaves through me and I stumble at first, before I’m able to steady myself. Without a word I head around the corner of the cliff and hide comfortably in the dark of an overhang.
The cats, at this point, have turned their kind eyes and are watching me on the bed, wondering if I will ever settle again so they can sleep. I’m flailing around I guess, and half wonder if I’ll have to clean the sheets of this sandy rock I’m on tomorrow morning…
Reality bleeding into unreality… or vice versa. At this point I’m not sure which.
I settle down and check my gun.. and then sip some whiskey, to take the edge off. I can hear Ed whisper calling me now.. but I don’t answer him. In his desperation he can get us both killed.
The exertion of the move and in the middle of the pain, somewhere I fall asleep.
Lovely soft pillows greet my head and I sigh, hoping this strange night is done… but as I settle into the blankets I hear Ed yelp and go silent.. then low voices and they are coming my way.
I reach for my gun but as I do all I feel is soft mattress and no, dirt.. but where the hell…
Suddenly I feel the lost gun under my fingers of my left hand as my right arm is wrenched back and I’m in a battle with a dark figure who hisses at me to stop. I make contact with some part of him but its too damn dark and I’m at the disadvantage.
And instead of a cool pillow I feel cold steel barrel at my temple. I freeze and right before I go down to eat dirt, my arm is wrenched again, shooting pain up through my tendon.
My hands are tied behind me and nearly black out as the pain from my side doesn’t quite yield to the new positioning. Thats when the dark figure notices and quickly rolls me over, curses and then I’m out… swimming in a sea to my pillows my annoyed cats.. a respite, however brief.
I wake up in the morning to a sore side, and a wrenched arm that hurts all day.. but thankful at least for now, no sand in the sheets.
No wonder I need sleeping pills..
(written in cooperation with Sophia B. & DR.) Wickedlydrivenmedia@2017