Kissed by your Dream

I’m staring down the barrel of a loaded gun.

You know that hoary chestnut: Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it. Well, I’m living proof of that. Only I didn’t wish for this. I should have listened to my father.

Once I thought it was the sweetest thing in the world to be kissed by your dream. I stumbled on it accidentally, my dream that is. I was 13 and perusing the stacks of my public library when I found it: Guardian Angel by Robert Colombo.

The world fell away when I pulled that book down off the shelf and saw my father’s picture on the back cover. My father – a writer? I turned that book over and over in my hands marveling that my father had written a horror novel. The only thing I’d ever seen him read was the sports section of our local paper.

I knew right then I wanted to be a writer, just like him. I slipped that book inside my jacket and stole it out of the library. Okay. It was in the adult section and I would have needed his permission to check it out. Somehow I didn’t want him to know I knew his secret.

That book was my ticket out of reality. I read it over and over again trying to absorb some of my father’s magic and writing bits and pieces of flotsam.

I never told him.

But, one day, that book was gone along with all my notebooks. In their place was a one word note: “Stop.” We never spoke of it. That was how it was in my family.

I put my dream away and got a sensible job. I became an accountant and I was good at it until the firm laid me off…well…okay…I was fired. I never was suited for life in a cubicle world.

I found the book in a box in the attic when I was cleaning out my parent’s house after they died. Somehow my dream was always waiting for me to find my way back to it.

The book stands on a corner of my desk. The desk where I’ve written 10 books, five of which made the New York Times Best Seller list. I can’t complain. It’s been a hell of a ride. Except…

Where was I? Right. I’m staring down the barrel of a loaded gun. He’s standing here with a gun pointing at my head. Why? Ask him. He…sorry, I know you want to remain anonymous.

H…okay…it. Hey, if I can’t use h or h, it will have to do. It breaks into my house and points a loaded gun at my head.

What? Sorry, I was talking to it. It wants notoriety, it said. It wants me to tell its story.

Me? Right. I’ve got nothing. Zero. Zip. Nil. Listen, I know I’m a writer but you expect me to perform well under pressure with a gun pointing at my head. Hell, if I could do that, I’d still be in cubicle world. Okay?

I should have listened to my father. I should have stopped. But it’s too late now. I’m sitting here with a loaded gun pointing….yes, yes, I know I’ve said that already but it’s kind of hard not to notice the gun pointing at my head. If I could turn back the clock and forget I ever saw that book sitting on that library shelf, I would. But I can’t give it back.

Oh, shut up, you’re not the one staring down the barrel of a loaded gun.

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