Lost in a Dream
By Legend Rose (USA)
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Marina found herself walking on a narrow sidewalk in a small town. She noticed that the townspeople had on clothing from many different era's. To her right she saw an old church guarded by gargoyles more beautiful than she could have ever imagined. Marina crossed the street to get a better look at the church.
"Hi, 'been here long?" Marina turned around startled. A young boy with sandy blonde hair appeared next to her. His eyes never left the church.
"No," she replied. "I just got here. I was out taking a walk, but I must have made a wrong turn because I don't remember this place at all. "
The boy turned and looked at Marina. He held out his hand. "I'm Dante."
Marina took his hand and shook it. "Hello, Dante. I am Marina. "
Dante told Marina that if he walked near the church it would burst into flames. Marina looked at the young boy and held back a giggle.
"Really? I have to see this! "
Dante started walking towards the church. Suddenly it burst into flames. Marina could not believe what she was witnessing. There were people running in the streets shouting, "He did it again!"
A man cried out, "When will he ever learn?"
Dante grabbed Marina's hand and led her across the street. He told her the church would stop burning in a few minutes. They started walking to a part of town where Dante said he lived. They stopped in front of a dilapidated building that looked like it had once been apartments. Marina thought it would crumble to the ground at any moment.
"Don't tell me you live here. It looks very dangerous."
"Well, that's all you get when you're bad", Dante said. "Want to go inside? You can watch the fire go out from in there."
Marina looked at Dante in disbelief. "Inside there? Are you kidding me? "
"No," Dante said, "besides, you'll get a much better view. Come on." Dante pulled her arm and started leading her up the stairs.
"Charming", she said with a smile.
When they got to his room Marina saw a window that looked like it was blown to pieces. Dante led her to it and told her to kneel down beside him. They both peeked out the window and right before Marina's eyes the fire went out. Marina was confused.
"How can this be, Dante? I don't understand."
Dante looked sad. "Well, I'm not allowed near the church. I try to go in, but it won't let me."
"Can others go in?" Marina asked.
"Yes, but only a few."
Just then, a strange looking man dressed in black walked into the room. Marina couldn't help but notice how tall and frail he was. He stood there for a few minutes staring at Marina. He walked away confused.
"Dante, who was that person? Does he share this place with you?"
"Yes, but I really don't associate with him."
"Why is that?"
"It's a long story. Maybe I'll tell you another time."
The room started to fill with smoke. Marina began to cough. Dante told Marina to crouch down and hold her nose.
"I'm not sure how much longer I can take this," Marina gasped. "How long is it going to last"?
"It's ok, Marina. I am not at the church anymore. It will stop in just a few seconds."
The smoke cleared. Suddenly, the man in black came back into the room. He gave Marina a grim look. Frightened Marina said, "Can I help you?"
The man continued to stare at her, never uttering a word. Dante could sense Marina's fear. He looked at the man in anger. The dark man vanished before her eyes. Marina promised herself that she would not say another word to him if he came back. Dante saw that Marina was shaking with fear. He put his arms around her to comfort her.
"Dante, what am I doing here? I was walking in town but I don't even know why."
"I called out to you Marina." Dante put his head on Marina's shoulder and she hugged him tight.
"Marina, I want to tell you a secret, but I am afraid you will stop visiting me."
"Why would you think something like that, Dante?"
"Because I know how scared you are and how strange all of this is to you." Dante looked at Marina intently. "Marina, I am in purgatory, and for some reason I can contact you while you sleep. "
Marina looked like she was in a trance. "Are you telling me this whole thing is just a dream?"
"Yes, and you are the only one I can contact and I don't know why. I tried to contact my family and friends, but they can't hear me." Marina looked into Dante's eyes. She saw pain and loneliness. Marina didn't know what to think.
"Why me, Dante? I am so confused."
"I don't know, Marina. I guess that's just how this world works."
Marina sat in silence trying to make sense of it all. She could stay lost in time with Dante and help him out of purgatory or leave him to his fate. He would either be blessed with the promise of Heaven or a grim life in Hell. Marina knew she could not let Dante down. She had to respect his wishes. He called upon her to help him and in spite of Marina's beliefs; she knew that somehow she held the secret to releasing Dante from this life in Purgatory.
Marina woke up to the sound of the alarm clock. She had a difficult decision to make today. Should she keep her baby or get an abortion? As she lay in bed rubbing her belly, Marina smiled. She realized she had just met her son.