She Saw the Future

Alice slept restlessly in her bed, her covers tangled around her legs, as the images of her subconciousness took over her mind. She had been having the same dream every night for six months now. Always the same. It had been on the night when Jasper, her ex-boyfriend, had left town that it started. She dreaded sleep – she dreaded sinking into the images she blocked out of her mind when she was awake.
Waking up with a jerk, she was screaming. Sweat covered every inch of her body, making her hair stick out in clumps. Her breath came in quick gasps, and her room was spinning around her. Her parents didn’t come to check on her though, for this was the norm now. In the past month, she had awoken from her usual nightmare, screaming in terror, every night, although nothing in the dream had changed; it was the same as always…
Jasper and she were walking through the local park, as they had done the night he left. Alice felt completely content, like she was in her own little bubble, in her own little world, and nothing could ever go wrong. Leaves lazily fell from the branches they hung from, littering the path ahead of them. The low sun in the sky was slowly setting, and night was approaching. They were laughing and joking as usual, but then Jasper’s hand, the one Alice was holding, started slowly slipping away from hers. It was as if he was turning into sand, and he was vanishing right there in front of her. His fingers seemed to disappear into themselves, tiny particles of sand poured from where his body had been, and piled high on the ground where he had stood. Her surroundings then dissolved into themselves, everything became hazy, like someone had smeared paint across a canvas, and she was standing in a street she’d never seen before. Her heart was pounding in her chest, a drum thumping an uneven beat. Alice was terrified; she fought for breath, her lungs aching with the effort. The desolate street had a few shops open, but the remainder of the buildings towering over her were boarded up. Peeling posters were hanging limply from some of the walls, with corners ripped off of them, covered in graffiti. A car was parked opposite her – its rust seemed to have engulfed it, the sky blue colour it had once been was no more.
After a second or two, whilst Alice was still trying to adjust herself to her new surroundings, Jasper’s jet black hair peered round a corner, but disappeared again in a flash. A warm feeling of hope burned through her, and then disappeared completely. It was at this point that the screaming began. It was at this point that the feeling of dread, the feeling that there was nothing more to live for, took her under, like a monster of the sea, pulling her deep under the waves.
Looking in the mirror, Alice tried to smooth down her hair, but it was hopeless – it stuck out at all angles. She always looked like she had just received an electric shock, and her hair was paying the price for it. She loved her hair, but her parents thought differently. She was forever getting into trouble for it being a mess, being too short, or being the wrong colour. Alice was a big hair dye fan – today, her hair was chestnut brown, tomorrow, who knew? She was like a chameleon, constantly changing. Long, thick eyelashes framed her hazel eyes, and some faint freckles were scattered over her cheekbones.
She got herself ready for another day of school. Her room was that of an average teenager’s – always a little bit of a mess, posters covered every inch of wall, so none of it was visible. Nothing really mattered to her anymore. There were no events that meant anything to her. With Jasper, every day was magnificent, every day had meaning. Now, school was just another thing she had to do.
Alice had always been a smart pupil – she always did well in tests, but school was a bore to her: everything seemed too easy, especially maths. She was very good at it, but the teacher’s voice droned on and on, like a lullaby you would hum to child.
Walking into maths that day, she felt exceptionally exhausted, as she hadn’t slept very well the night before. She took her seat, and as the teacher began to speak, she felt her eyelids grow heavy. No, she thought, I have to stay awake. She couldn’t risk falling asleep, and terrifying the rest of her class with her screaming. She tried to concentrate on what her teacher was writing on the board, but found it impossible. Before long, she could feel herself dozing off…
It wasn’t the same dream as usual. It started off the same, with Alice and Jasper walking through the park. Alice waited on him disappearing, a strange feeling of unease lingering at the bottom of her stomach as she did. She had seen it happen countless times now, but still felt ill whenever it did. Although, this time, before he did, she noticed what she thought was a phone number written on his arm. Strange, she thought – this was new, different. She stared at the number for as long as she could, trying to memorize it, waiting for Jasper to disappear, but he didn’t. Instead, she was awoken by a sharp jab in the ribs by Steve, the boy who sat next to her. The phone number still fresh in her mind, she grabbed her pen, and quickly scribbled it on the back of her hand.
“You look terrible, you should really go home,” Steve whispered under his breath.
Taking his advice, Alice excused herself from the class, muttering something about feeling ill, not meeting her teacher’s eyes. She slipped out of the door, and then took the corridor at a jog, slowing whenever she passed a classroom door. Forgetting about reporting to the office, she threw open the nearest door out of the building, and ran to one of the benches around the perfectly trimmed lawns surrounding the school. She felt a little guilty for leaving school when she was perfectly fine, just a little tired, but she was determined to see this, whatever it was, through.
She burrowed her way through her bag until she found her phone, and with shaking hands, she punched in the number from the back of her hand, not knowing if she wanted the person on the other side to pick up. After a few rings, it went through to voicemail, saying the number was that of “Dillon Solicitors”.
Alice hung up, then ran home. Her feet pounded the streets below them, her hair flying madly in the wind. I can’t go on, she thought. I’m bad enough at P.E., there’s no way I can make it home.
However, she eventually made it home, fighting madly for an even breath. She forced the key into the lock, having to stop and calm down for a few seconds, trying to get her hands to stop their uncontrollable shaking, and then opened the front door.
She ripped open the phone book, going to the solicitors’ section, her eyes scrolling down the page until she found it – Dillon Solicitors. She took note of the address, and then, in a flash, she was back out the door, as fast as her legs would carry her. She hadn’t yet recovered from her run, but was determined to get to the address. She hastily turned the key as she shut the door, not knowing, and not caring if the door had locked or not.
At the back of her mind, she couldn’t help but think of what her mother would say if she could see her now – “Don’t be so reckless Alice, this is all a joke, and no good can come of it.” She shook the thoughts out of her head, and continued on her way. She whipped around the corner, and to her extreme luck, she saw an old man slowly getting out of a taxi. Alice ran to it, opened the free door, and launched into the seat. Both the man and the driver gave her puzzled looks, but she didn’t care.
Alice bounced irritably in her seat, waiting on the man leaving. Come on, she thought, this is getting ridiculous. Hurry up and pay already! The man finally handed over his money, and then slowly hobbled away. Alice told the driver the address, and gave him all the money from her purse, hoping it would be enough. Telling him he had to be fast, he roared the engine to life, and sped down the street.
After what could have been five seconds, five minutes, five hours, Alice didn’t know, she felt the vehicle slow down, and it pulled over. The driver looked eager to get away as quickly as possible, probably due to the fact that he’d spent most of the journey over the speed limit.
Where on Earth am I? She thought.
Alice got out of the taxi, and it wasn’t until it drove off, revealing a rusting sky blue car parked in front of where it had been, that she realised where she was. It was the old rough-looking street from her dream. Her heart raced as she grasped what was to come. Could Jasper be just around the corner?
Then, she saw it. Jasper’s jet black hair peered round a corner, but disappeared again in a flash. The flash of jet black hair. Like a light bulb being flicked on inside her head, Alice understood – she saw the future…

She Saw the Future

Lynsey Campbell

Kilmarnock, United Kingdom

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Artist's Description

Just a silly short story :)

Artwork Comments

  • bluevelvetrose1
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