9.2 Working on Visions and Dreams

by Matt P.

“Yeah, we know,” Siobhan answered. “Listen…you don’t know us, but this isn’t the first time we’ve had people coming for us.” Antigone saw her sister swallow back the lump of fear in her throat and bury it under the kind of blase courage that she put up as a defense against the world. “We’ve beaten them before, and we will this time too. She’s the hero of the high school,” Siobhan bragged, pointing at Antigone. Antigone flushed in response, shaking her head.

“Oh…I heard about that right before I got taken,” Sally responded, looking with admiration at Antigone. Annie’s first instinct was to protest that it hadn’t really been anything she had done, that she had just gotten a headache and the tiniest bit of a vision and had also gotten breathtakingly lucky. But there was hope on Sally’s face, and even the others who had been there looked a little bit reassured by the comment. So she swallowed it, and just nodded.

“Yup, that’s me,” Antigone offered with forced cheer. Her cheer was obviously much more fake than Siobhan’s casual bravery, but it seemed to hearten the girl nonetheless. Maybe that’s all it takes, and why she does it, Antigone thought of her sister. Antigone knew that Siobhan was brave for her frequently, and had been brave for their brother Ryan, but hadn’t ever stopped to think of how frequently Siobhan would be brave in a way that would benefit other people. Random people, people just walking by or observing her or watching the situation unfold. When she had stood up to bullies in school, was there a part of it that had been for the rest of the school—encouraging them to stand up to bullies too? And how much of that is conscious, or just a part of who she is?

“Besides,” Siobhan continued. “I guarantee that something much more terrifying than whatever is coming will be coming pretty soon after.” That drew a round of looks from everyone except for Antigone, who snorted at that.

“He’s never going to let us go anywhere again,” Antigone pointed out to her with a sigh, which Siobhan met with a nod.

“Oh come on,” Monica offered, piping in to the increasingly weird and random conversation for the first time. “Your dad is pretty chill, and you’ve talked about his career some, but if there are bad people coming maybe we should get the hell out of here? No one person is that good.” Neither Antigone nor Siobhan looked convinced by that, but they shared a look that said they should at least be willing to consider it.

“The problem is we’re working on visions and dreams, and that’s not exactly…replicatable,” Antigone answered after a moment. “I…uh…” she trailed ff, looking around. There was a chair in the corner, and she shrugged. Walking over to it she stepped out of her shoes and sat cross legged on it, closing her eyes. “I’ll see if I get anything. Siobhan, you bring Scotty up to speed and keep everyone entertained while I get my ‘Om’ on and hope?” She couldn’t see if Siobhan nodded, but heard her sister shift to get comfortable on the edge of the bed while Antigone did the same in the chair. She was just beginning to take deep breaths when she heard Siobhan, in her best storyteller voice, begin.

“Let me tell you the time about that our Dad killed a god,” Bonnie spoke, infusing her voice with as much mystery and mysticism as she could. Antigone smirked, but focused on breathing slowly. In and out with deep, calming breaths, like her mother had taught her. And taught Siobhan, for that matter, but she had never had much patience. Antigone had, and had always enjoyed taking quiet moments like this to think and center herself. She was also particularly good at tuning out her sister while she was trying to do so, as a simple matter of survival.

When Antigone was younger her dreams had come and gone like she imagined was normal. For the last several years it had felt more like they retreated to a part of her. Rather than burning away with the coming of light and consciousness, they had begun to retreat to a place in her brain. Sometimes it felt like she could follow them if she tried, burrow down in to her self and find where they were hiding.

That’s what she was trying to do now. There was a feeling to them retreating, that was like remembering a word in reverse. With her eyes closed and her sister’s voice a comfortable white noise behind her, she followed the feeling in to her own mind. It felt familiar, and it only took a moment for her to realize why. It’s like opening the door, she thought. That brought back a host of bad memories, of blood in hallways and a door that she couldn’t open and the sinking feeling that she might die in a terrifying school basement. But beneath those memories was the feeling that she had been chasing the whole time, the feeling inside of her that let her open the door. The muscle that she didn’t quite know how to flex, the tune that danced in the back of her mind but she couldn’t quite remember the words to. It was there, waiting for her.

For some reason this part of it was easier for Bonnie, and she knew that—and it bothered her. Siobhan had been able to call her sword on command several times now, and while she was always grateful for her sister’s ability to save them via slice and dice, she was a little bit jealous her specialties didn’t come so easily. She spent the better part of what she figured was twenty minutes searching her inner self, chasing that feeling in her brain that she just couldn’t figure out how to work.

“I don’t think it’s going to—” she began, before the blackness crashed in on her and her eyes rolled back in her head.