Welcome to Part III of The Good Hider, written for Trifecta Week 103. The challenge this week was to use the word:
REMEMBER (verb): 3 a : to keep in mind for attention or consideration <remembers friends at Christmas> b : Reward <was remembered in the will>
If you haven’t read the first two parts of The Good Hider, you can find them here:
The Good Hider, Part III
Karni awoke with a hair-raising scream. Covered in sweat and gasping for breath, she clutched her throat as if an unseen presence was strangling the life from her. She choked; a long-lasting retch that threatened to empty her stomach. It was dark and hot. She could swear the air smelled of smoke. She couldn’t focus her eyes.
The door creaked open, throwing a shaft of light across her face. She shielded her eyes with the back of her hand.
“Karni? You okay, sweetheart?” whispered her mother.
“Mom,” Karni replied, “I had a bad dream, really bad. It scared me.”
Her mothered sat on the bed, pushed the damp tendrils of hair from Karni’s face and said, “Don’t worry. It’ll get easier. The dreams will go away. I promise.”
Karni blurted, “But the dream seemed so real. Lucy and I were playing hide and seek in the neighbor’s junky lot. I was trapped in a car trunk. A woman with wings came, and she caught on fire. I think she tried to kill me. I thought I was going to burn up.”
Her mother listened with uneasiness. It had been a month since it happened, and Karni wasn’t coping well.
She changed the subject. “I thought maybe we could go out tomorrow and do something fun. Get out of the house for a while. What do you think?”
“Okay, Mom. Can Lucy come with us? I wanna tell her about my dream.”
Her mother was speechless. Her heart was breaking for Karni. Her summertime and childhood were forever tainted. She would always remember them with angst. She thought about the doctor’s advice for when Karni regressed. She cleared her throat and gently said, “Sweety, you know that’s not possible, right? We talked about this.”
Karni’s eyes glazed and her body deflated under the burden of reality. With a quivering lip, she whispered, “Lucy?”
“No, Karni. Lucy’s gone. You remember; the house fire took her.”