Graveyard Shifted No 20190108

Lucas Hargis
Featured image: Headstone © Danise Pimpinella 2019


The they who say such things, well, they say if you want to recall the dream that woke you, don’t dare move. Lie still. Keep your arms locked in the precise crossed position found upon waking. Do not disentangle your legs. Hold the whole of your body in absolute, perfect, motionlessness.

Think thru the dream. Remember what you can. Work your way backwards & forwards among them satiny dreamtime sheers. Count objects which seem to appear in exact numbers. Note specific colors what offer their names. Label facets of your own self robed in someone else’s.

My best friend & I were in an accident. Quiet nighttime stretch of country road flanked by a roadside flea market, almost like a fruit stand, but selling the precious crap we all try to unload in yard sales. On the other side, the graveyard my grandma’s sister’s buried in.

My friend drives her white cargo van while I sleep. Jerked alive. Unmoving, waiting, shocked out of a dream, unscathed. But she’s lost two fingers of her good hand. Always had half a finger missing from her bad one. We crawl over the two-lane hunting, frantic, searching out her lost fingers.

We crawl. Slow cars slice open the darkness. Headlights burrow underneath the van, hitting us, highlighting fingers digging into the blacktop. Long, scattered shadows. Six of them. One by one, on our creaking knees, we collect her pair of fingers shattered to segments at the joints.

A wispy nightgown hangs in pride of place at the flea market stand. Gossamer layers of maroon & peach flutter in passing traffic’s breezes. We rest on a granite bench, our backs to the graveyard. Every so often, in slow motion, to make sure the dead haven’t risen, I glance over my shoulder.

I try not to move any other part of my body. Just like they say.