“I keep dreaming… You remember when we were kids and you and Tim managed to win those movie tickets?”
Jack nodded, “Sure, we went to the matinee and got to stay for the feature. So?”
“Do you remember what was playing that afternoon?”
“A couple of really silly horror films, don’t remember which ones.”
“Yeah, you thought they were funny – I had nightmares for a week. Dracula, Frankenstein, and the Wolfman were the three movies. They scared the crap out of me.”
“I never realized that…”
“I wasn’t about to tell anyone. Momma knew but that was it. Anyway, back then I kept dreaming those monsters were after me. I haven’t had dreams like that in years, not until Mr J died. It’s weird ’cause I haven’t watched any horror movies or anything but every night since his death I dream about a vampire coming after me.” Kevin sighed, “Well, actually, the first couple times I dreamed a vampire was after Mr J. I’d come in and it would look up at me. Then I started to dream that the same vampire was coming after me.”
“A vampire, huh?” Jack scratched his cheek. Kevin was the sensitive boy of the family – at least relative to the rest of the boys – and he had always been prone to vivid dreams but it was a strange coincidence that he happened to be dreaming of vampires now. Truth was, Jack wasn’t a believer in coincidence but he didn’t dare let on to his younger brother now.
“Yeah, but it’s more than that. You remember when Uncle Harry fell off the fire escape?”
Jack rubbed the back of his neck and exhaled. ‘Uncle Harry’ was one of his parents many hippie friends and not one of Jack’s favorites. Some people are funny stoned; Harry was perpetually stoned but never in the amusing way. The guy was just creepy and Jack had not been unhappy to see him go. “Yeah, I remember -you and Marty were tormenting him and he chased you out there but was too stoned to climb the ladder. Got his foot stuck when he fell and broke his leg. Fire department had to get him down.” Jack paused, half expecting his brother to now reveal that Uncle Harry was the vampire.
“I dreamed about that accident a couple nights before it happened. I didn’t realize when Marty and I were messing with him but when he fell I knew I’d seen it before and I remembered the dream. It was different from most dreams – felt different. The dreams I’m having now they feel like that kind.”
“That was a long time ago…”
“I know, but it wasn’t the only time I had dreams like that. It’s happened a few times and they all feel the same. I can’t really explain what it feels like, I just know it when it happens. These vampire dreams feel like that.”
“You think a…”
Kevin shook his head emphatically, “No, I’m not stupid. Vampires don’t exist but maybe it’s someone who just reminds me of a vampire – or will when I meet him. Or something – I don’t know. As weird as it sounds it’s driving me nuts. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop but I don’t even know that it will.”
“Tell me about the dream – exactly what happens?”
“I’m in the apartment alone and someone knocks on the door. I open it and no one’s there but when I turn around, it’s inside. It’s mad because I saw it with Mr J – which is weird too since that was a different dream – but anyway, it comes after me and I run for it. I always wake up as I pass your door.”
Jack thought quietly for a moment, trying to get his tired brain to make sense of this and not getting quite the result he thought he should.
Kevin exhaled, “Anyway, I just wanted to talk. Momma’s been busy with everything and I figured you… well, thanks for not laughing.”
Jack shook his head, “You dropping that pop fly because you were showing off for the girls is something to laugh at; this isn’t.”
Kevin managed a grin, “I got two of their numbers anyway.”
“Only because they thought you were funny.” Jack retorted, then grew serious. “I have a thought, for what it’s worth. You sketch good, think you can sketch the vampire from your dream? If you’re right maybe someone else will recognize him. Lot of new folks moving in down here in the last few years. Maybe it’s someone you already met?”
Kevin shrugged, “I can sketch him, sure. But I don’t want…”
Jack raised a hand, “Leave off the fangs and I’ll float it around to see if anyone remembers the face. No one has to know about the dreams. At the very least, you’ll be doing something and that’s better than doing nothing.”
Kevin nodded, “Yeah, it’s better than waiting. A lot better – thanks, Jack.”
“Sure, that’s what big brothers are for. Momma know where you are?”
Kevin nodded again, “Yeah, I made sure since I didn’t know when you’d get back.”
“Okay, you know where everything is, go ahead and use the couch so you don’t wake everyone going home.” Jack got up and stretched, “I gotta get some sleep now.”
Kevin stood, “Yeah, me too. I’ll probably feel like an idiot in the morning.”
Jack shrugged as he headed for his bedroom, “No reason to – it’s probably just someone you’ve seen and all the stress is doing weird crap in your dreams. It’s not the worst way to respond to stress – at least you’re not busting things like Mike does when he gets stressed out…”
Kevin laughed, “Night, Jack.”
“Night Kev…” Jack responded as he shut his door behind him.