The message had left him emotionally exhausted and beaten. As a child, a younger child, Rolen would seek solitude after a tiring day or an argument with his parents in one place. Not the shop. Not the riverbanks with a fishing pole. Not his grandfather’s tree house. Rolen would always retreat to his room. With the daylight pushing the darkness away, Rolen left the shop, walked up to his room in a stupor and crashed. Eyes red, cheeks moist. Jeans still wet.
While Rolen’s body rested comfortably, his mind did not. Dreams, vivid, real-life dreams, filled his sleep. He called them continuation dreams. Occurring rarely and without warning or reason, the continuation dreams would pick up right where the day’s – or night’s – activities ended.
It began with the message on the answering machine with Rolen’s father shouting his name. Rolen stood from his chair and walked over to the answering machine. Rewind and play, rewind and play. Rolen played the message over and over again. Then the door opened and his father was standing there which Rolen thought nothing about because the world within that particular dream, his father was alive.
“Didn’t hear me calling for you?” his father inquired.
“Yeah, I thought…” Rolen noticed his father was entirely covered in dirt. “What were you doing?”
“I have something to show you. Bring your bat.”
The two of them walked down through the narrow clearing that eventually led to the bigger clearing in the middle of the woods.
“It’s over here.”
Several pickup trucks lined the field with their headlights on. The diggers stood outside of the trucks, backs leaned up against the hood, shining flashlights for Rolen and his dad to see. They didn’t move or say anything. Just watched.
Rogan approached a massive hole and motioned Rolen to come take a look. Peering over, Rolen felt as if he was looking down upon a small city or community. Hundreds of people were moving about, but appeared very small from Rolen’s viewpoint.
Rogan spoke. “They’re digging in the wrong spot.”
“Who is?” Rolen asked.
“Them,” Rogan said pointing with his head to the men standing at their trucks whom were now armed with shovels and appearing to becoming closer.
“Rolen, you need to jump.”
“What about you?!” Rolen asked, heart rate elevating.
“It’s okay, I’m over there, but listen to me. When you get down there, you’ll need to crawl to find me. Do you understand?”
Rolen nodded his head, but answered no. “So you are coming?”
“No,” Rogan pulled Rolen over to another hole. “I’m right there.”
Rolen peered over the hole, this one more shallow than the other. Noticing a man sitting with his arms wrapped around his knees, he asked, “Is that you?” Rolen looked up again, but his father was no longer there.
“Rolen! Are you there? Rolen!” his father shouted.
Looking over into the hole again, Rolen again saw his dad, but this time he was looking up and shouting.
“I’m here. Where are you?”
“Go now, Rolen. Remember to crawl. Hurry, now!”
Rolen turned towards the shovel-carrying men who seemed to be shouting, but it was inaudible. The trucks were and subsequently the headlights were too. The only light was from the universe. Glancing at the massive hole again, it seemed to be lit. Rolen looked at the men, looked at the hole, looked at the men again before making a tremendous leap into hole and fell a long, long way until there was a thud and darkness.