Friday Focus: When His Dreams Take Flight by Andy Holloman


 EBookCover_workingfinalI – June 5, 2013

Before Nick opened his eyes, before the morning light struck the back of his retinas, pain throbbed through his frontal lobe and settled in his temples.  He massaged them for a minute then opened his right eye.  The bright sun burned and he rolled onto his side to avoid the light.  With both eyes closed, he pushed himself towards the edge of his bed and sat up.  The room spun and bile rose in his throat.  He lowered his head between his knees and spat on the floor while giving his temples another deep massage.  He stood up and put his hand on the wall for support.  He swayed towards the wall, spilling a cup, the contents spraying across his foot and the carpet underneath his bed.

He walked out of the room and down the hall, bracing himself with the wall until he reached the bathroom.  He splashed cold water in his face and ran his wet fingers through his hair.  More bile bubbled up in his throat so he cupped his hand under the cool stream, bent down, and drank.  When he came back up and looked in the mirror, his dream from the night before rushed back into his consciousness.  This time his school would be under attack.  His students, his staff.


He hurried back to his room and grabbed his phone from the bedside table.  Eight-thirty.  Half-way through first period.  Get her out of there!   He punched Allison’s speed dial number on his phone.  Damn, voicemail.  “Allison, hey, it’s me.  Look, this is really important.  Don’t stop to talk to anyone, don’t drop by the office.  Just walk out the exit door beside your classroom.  Stay away from the front of the building!  The dream happened again, but this time at our school.  You’ve got to get yourself and the baby out.  Right now!”

As the principal, he had banned his teachers from having their own phones on during class time.  God, if only her phone was sitting on her desk, vibrating, lighting up, getting her attention.

He pulled on a pair of khakis and a white t-shirt.  Goddamn you Gene!  Just when I need you the most, you up and leave me.   He moved out of his bedroom and towards the door, pulling a baseball hat off a hanger.   The school was a ten minute jog from his apartment.   He stepped out the door, slamming it behind him, and started down the stairs.  Halfway down he paused, his face turned ashen.  He bent over the railing and vomited.  He spat out the remains and dialed the school’s number.

“James Thomas High School, how may I—“

“Jenny, its Nick.  I’m coming right now, I’m running out the door, but I need you to do something.  This is very important. Okay?”

“Sure Principal Nick, what is it?”

“Promise me that you’ll stay calm and that you will move fast when I say to.”

“Sure Nick, but you’re kinda scaring me.”

“Our school is going to be attacked.  There’s gonna be a shooter and—“

“A shooter?  Are you kidding?”

“This is no joke.  It’s the Laskins.  They’re coming and it’s going to be bad so I need you to pull the fire alarm in my office.  Move right now and get in there.  Break the glass and then pull down the switch.”

“You mean Timmie Laskin is going to shoot people?  What the heck are you talking about?  How do you know what—“

“Please just do what I say. It’s not Timmie, it’s—“


“Yes.”  He stopped and pulled the phone away from his head and vomited again.

“Oh my God.  He’s coming through the front door right now.  He looks terrible and dirty.  But how did you know Stick was going to be here?”  Said Jenny.

“Never mind.  You’ve got to get out of there!  Go in my office, lock the door and then pull the fire switch.  Do it now!”

“He’s coming towards the office Nick!  Oh God, he’s got a gun out.   Mr. Laskin, what are you doing?  Please put that gun away.  I, I have to; you have to, Mr. Laskin!   No!   Please no!”   The line went dead.

“Jenny?  Jenny?  Are you there?”  He looked down at his phone’s screen.

Call Ended.

By Andy Holloman