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He started having the dream when he was six. Just a dark place, full of fog. the ground wrapped all the way around - hid the sky. there was just rocky dead ground, but the paths of two smoothed roads met in the middle. And there in that cave grew a massive tree, every year growing taller and skinner and more and more dead.  By the time of his tenth birthday there where no more leaves left on it - just the long skeleton branches.

He swears he saw his brother that day - standing across the street from where he played in the park that afternoon. But a car went by - and no one was there. But... he looked happy. Proud even.

Six months later - the tree of Sam's dreams turned upside down - the roots in the air, grapping and pulling. Angry and tearing. Twisting and coiling. Dogs growled and raged, hiden in the churning fog.He woke up screaming. He'd never felt to afraid. Or so cold.

His mother ran into his room that night looking as terrified as he felt. Dad was right behind her. She had a sawed off in hand. He has his hand gun and a fire extinguisher. She checked his room - gun at the shadows while his father sank to his knees by his bed, "Sammy?"

He sounded so lost. like those first months after dean, "Sammy? Are you okay? what happen?"

"just.. jsut a dream.." he managed, his voice shaking. mom stood gaurd infront of the windows, looking back to him from where she'd been studing the street outside.

"What was the dream, sammy?" her voice was soft too. scared. maybe.

Sammy studied the blanket in his hands, forcing them to let go and smooth out the abused fabric. "Just a dream, mom. It's oaky."

"What was the dream, Sam."

She got that way about his dream sometimes. Like his brain's fondness for that tree was soemthing important. "It was just he tree mom. Just like always."

"You've never been frientent by this is dream before, dude." His dad lifted his chin up, but Sam couldn't meet his gaze. He focused it instead on the fire extinguisher.

It was true - his first remebered dream had been that tree - just a spout of a thing when he was little - and while it was certaintly creepy, it had never been scarry before. Well - maybe when the dogs first showed up in the fog - but never like this.

"The dogs where attaching.. The tree was too...." The exgastinguisher burned in his tired eyes. When he'd been a baby - there'd been a fire in his nursery - or so he'd been told. Dean's scream had allerted mom and dad to the flames. Mom grabbed Dean - Dad had grabbed him.

He was told.... the ceiling fell before mom and dean got out. Dad had to get sam out - he couldn't stop.

"The dogs attacked the tree?" Mom sounded unsure. They'd never been able to figoure out what the tree had ment..... But mom always had that tone like she had an idea on the dogs. She never shared it though.

That night - so long ago.... Dad had went back in to the fire - after securing him to the car seat in the Impala. Everyone lived. But they's been burned pretty bad. hands and arms mostly. Mom said once she'd lost her hair. She had some burnes on her face still. A bunch on her back.

'I.... i don't think so?" He really wasn't sure though. It didn't sound right.

Mom had protected dean from getting burned too badly  - BUt even now, years since he;d held his big brother's hand - Sam could remeber the thcik burns, could still recall the feel of the thick slick scars where dean had tried to open the clasp of sam's crib to get him out. How no matter how warm the summer's got - his big brother wore long sleeves all year 'round, becuase the heat had cuaght his pajama's on fire that night - the fabic sticking to his skin as it melted and burned.

Mom still studied the street, and Sam finnaly turned to look his dad in the eye. The fear was so plain on his face. Sam felt tired, small, and while no longer scared, his heart still raced too fasdt. He reached out to his father who wrapped his arms around him tightly. Maybe too much so, but Sam felt safe from the moment that wight closed aorund him.

"I gotcha sammy. You're okay now."

And ya.. Ya - he was. he sighed deaply, falling limp in his dadn's arms. Mom came away from the window, settign the gun down against the wall, and kneeling next to dad.

Ya. It was okay. He was safe now.  The fire was ten years ago. And whiel it was okay to be prepared it wasn't coming back.
It was just some dumb fire. Dumb acnient fire, and dumb dreams about a tree ground in the middle of an intersection and invisible dumb dogs.

Him, Mom and Dad. Safe.


The dream - while always repreating - moved forwards, never back. It was again upside doiwn in his dreams - jsut as it was last he slept. But it was still now - calm. No longer angry and fighting.

The noticible change took him until waking to reliase. Past then actually. It wasn't until the neighbor's cat - Samara - darted out in front of him on his way to the bus stop that he even thought about it.

The had been no dogs in his dream the night before. As long has he could remember, he'd been able to hear them in the fog. But last night... nothing....

It was a stupid little thing - but the dogs had been part of his dreams his entire life. He spent the whole day lost in thought - trying to figure out what had changed. Why it had changed. He should be knuckling down - new school this year (he'd been advanced a grade so he'd started at the West Junior High School this year) and he wanted to prove that he had every right to be there. But all day his thoughts drifted.

He'd even hit the library at lunch - dug though their whole catagloue looking for a book on dreams. It wasn't like they'd looked into all this a million times already. They'd even visited a woman when he was old enough to really explain the dreams - and she hadn't been to sure either. He rememebers - very faitly - she said something to make mom mad, and they'd left in a rush.

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June 2012


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