Writing prompt: Kinship as metaphor
When I Dream of Kinship
I opened my eyes in the darkness of this small enclosed place. I was trapped. Smooth walls slipped around my fingertips as I got this sinking feeling. Wait… I… I… I am sinking! My feet sunk into the floor, bringing my calves along with them. I thrashed about and tried to pull myself up. But my hands got sucked in too! I started to cry silent sobs as I pushed and stretched my body as it sank. In a matter of seconds, my head was the only thing that stuck out of the floor. I started to shiver uncontrollably. A scream wrenched its way out of my throat. Then my mouth was sealed into the blackness. I searched for a shape that couldn’t be seen. Then I was swallowed up into a free fall.
I open my eyes to see the blinding light invading them. The walls stretched so far it felt like a football field. Still, the feeling of claustrophobia clung, hugging my body in a blanket of despair. With all my might, I pushed up my body to settle on my knees. I scanned the room for anything suspicious. All I saw was a giant arched double door made of wood right in front of me. I stood up and stumbled over to the door. I would have tried to open it, if not for the thud I heard behind me. The man that lay before me had white and black hair. Mesmerized by the unnatural colors, I found myself on my knees in front of him. I poked him. Curiosity got the best of me and I poked him again. Suddenly, his hand shot out to grab mine, my finger lightly touching his cheek. Our eyes meet and stayed a few seconds. Then, an enormous creaking sound came from the double doors as they opened up. Pitch black shadows in human form darted out from them. They flitted and swayed around the room, creating a circle around us. The circle began to close in on us. The shadows spun with the shrinking circle. They were going to swallow us in a sphere of darkness and rip apart our bodies. That’s how it always ended. But the man took my hand in his and stood us up. “Together there’s nothing to fear” he whispered. I felt confidence sweep through my body as we raised our meshed hands above the circle. With that, light came from our intertwined hands and bathed everything in white. I jumped from my bed and let out the breath I didn’t know I was holding.
I walked into the Starbucks in Oak Park to get an energy boost. Not that I needed one. I felt like I could jump into the sky and never come down. I walk up to the cashier as I dig through my purse for the loose change I needed. “How may I help you” he chirped. I glance up and in five quick seconds I forgot everything around me. He seemed kind of familiar. My face must have looked awed. His expression mirrored mine. “Umm, can I get a mocha cappuccino… two sugars, three creams” I stuttered embarrassed. I watched him stumble around the bar to get my drink ready. It was hard not to laugh and I could see he was trying to fight a smile too. Bringing my drink to the counter, he passed it on to me. Our fingers slid slowly off of one another. The feeling of confidence rushed through me once again. Eyes meet once again. I leave with coffee in hand and a napkin in my pocket.