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Author Topic: Prompt 2: Why He Doesn't Remember His Dreams  (Read 87 times)

* Brick Dumay

    (08/02/2019 at 21:36)
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The jolt wasn’t terribly jarring- he dropped into his mindscape much as he did every night, with a dull wet thud.  Sometimes he had a couch waiting for him to break his fall.  Sometimes it was books, ancient and musty and never opened.  Or his mother’s fine china, carefully laid out on the table with scones and jam.

They were there, somewhere nearby; in another scene, sorting through another pile of stuff.  If there was dynamic lighting, there would be dozens of spotlights dotting the vast open mindscape, each focused on one pile of stuff.  They were organized, after a fashion.  Things that Brick considered went together, by shape or color or because they reminded him of home.  Several of the things existed elsewhere, too- his Herbology textbook fit neatly into the Horner Farm pile, the Mother pile, the Gryffindor Commons pile.

Old Brick was the first to notice him.  Heya, Dummy.  You’re late.  That was it.  That was his way.  Old Brick was the consummate bully that lived in Byron Dumay’s head.  Mildly offensive, critical of Brick’s emotions, and generally rude.

“Don’t start, not in the mood,” Brick retorted in six words.  Once upon a time, he couldn’t get in five words edgewise against Old Brick- Byron never spoke more than five words at a time back then.  Old Brick required all snap-to, jump up, do-what-you’re-told-and-give-me-no-lip from him.  It was like that as far back as Brick could remember.

That bothered Byron, memories.  He couldn’t remember a time when Old Brick wasn’t there- back then it was just Brick- constantly reminding him that he was a coward at heart.  Selfish.  Oafish.  If not for him, he’d be ruined already.  His sister knew.  His mother, too.  He was not right in the head.

S.E. spoke up- the disembodied voice that translated words for him.  Sometimes it was a genteel voice- deep and basso and soothing; or annoyingly tinny and nasally and whiney.  Sometimes it was the voice of his sister- demanding and condescending; or his mother- over-loving and then downright cruel.  Today it was his mother’s voice.  Trouble in paradise, Brick?

Brick rolled to his feet and looked around the mindscape.  Old Brick, tossing books absentmindedly from one pile to the next.  Over there, New Brick doing his best to catch a small sandpiper hopping and peeping and making a sandy mess of what might have otherwise been a zen garden.  He stood up straight, ready to face them.  In a loud voice he exclaimed, “We need to talk.”

They didn’t respond.  Not even to scoff.  It wasn’t as if they were pointedly ignoring him- they just didn’t seem to even notice.  He said it again, this time a little louder, “We need to talk!”  Again, to no response.  Flustered, he stomped his foot, “NOW!”

New Brick caught the bird as if it were standing still, Here we go again.  Old Brick threw the heavy tome in his hands, clear across the divide between them to strike Byron in the shin just below the knee.  He never missed.  You don’t order me, Brick.  Other way ‘round.  Capisce?  Even as he was saying it, S.E. was translating for him, Understand?  Then it added, Aww, little Bricky-kins throwing a tantrum?

Brick was turning red,”Why am I like this?  Why are you here?  Any of you?”

New Brick was next to him in a heartbeat, You really don’t remember, do you?  He never remembers.  Isn’t capable of it. Dummy.  Old Brick shoved him back to the ground.  Lets do this again, yeah?

New Brick sighed, sitting in the oversized chair that sat in the middle of Radish Horner’s living room.  Ol’ Brick was created- by you, Byron- when you were five years old.  When your sister Brenda began speaking and you hadn’t yet.  That mean streak, that angry and ruthless strength.  Not much on brains, though.  I am right here.  Oh shut up and do your part.

Old Brick pulled a scene- from who knows where in this vast mental mindscape- and it came to him.  Normally Brick had to traverse the empty space between them- why he often was slow to answer a question.  He literally had to make the trek to find the answer!  But Old Brick did it effortlessly, drawing the scene to them instead of just pointing out where it was.

A baby girl, not quite toddler stage, sucking on a bottle.  Byron reaching for it, angry that she got fed and he did not.  Dropping it and watching as the top came off, the contents draining onto the floor.  Her crying, her first word an accusatory “Brick!” which seemed to burrow into his brain.  Out of the blue, out of nowhere at all, See what you’ve done?

Brick, suddenly the young Byron, “I didn’t mean to!”

Old Brick growled, Oh, you meant it.  It felt good to ruin her day.  That’s me, Dumay.  The part that loved to ruin her day.

He shook his head, his emotions running amok.  In the mindscape, there was nowhere for hide.  No place to put up a calm demeanor.  “No!  I didn’t want to hurt her!  I’ll make it up to her!”  He stumbled forward, but fell forward.

We did what she said from then on.  Everything she asked.  We knew our place.  Things got better worse perspective.  You became her little thug.  If she wanted a kid beat up, you did it.  Happily.  A little food in your belly and you’d draw blood for her.  Hurt became your tagline.  But you were a wimp!  You were weak-minded.  One punch in retaliation and you were crying.  You needed me to toughen you up.  Take the reins so your feelings don’t show you for the wimp you are were my story, I tell it like I want okay, if that’s what you want and I do.

The scenes passed in rapid succession- the freckled kid on the playground with the broken teeth.  The dark-haired girl whose pigtails hid a bruised head.  Selfish, silent, brutish Brick.  The Boy He Was.  “Hated all that.  Couldn’t stop…”

Oh cheese off!  You loved every minute of it.  The power, the sound of meat hitting meat.  Of wailing and crying.  You craved it!

Byron- now all of 13 years old- objected, “I got better.”

S.E., long silent in this story, spat in his mother’s voice still, You got worse!  Not bad enough that you hurt my Brenda, you tried to do away with poor Bernie!  A night in the woodpile would have been the death of him, you stupid Brick!  My poor, poor Bernie!  She sent you away.  Abandoned you.  Scared of you.  You were a monster.

Bryon objected again, “I got help!  Aunt Gert and Uncle Radish...  I… I got better!”

Now S.E. sounded like his sister, You got bitter.  On the inside.  You couldn’t show it, not with Brick standing guard.  But you got bitter.  And to punish you, Brenda got sick. Don’t try to deny it.  You know it’s your fault.  You should have been there  for me, but you were out snogging the redheaded girl.  You failed me, big brother.

New Brick spoke up, That isn’t fair.  He’s just a dumb kid, and all these new emotions are just too much for him.  And that’s where you come in.  New Brick was created by you, Dummy, to deal with your little rebellious streak.  I wasn’t good enough for you- you wanted to abandon me too…

The images were now in the Music Room at Hogwarts.  The old oak at midnight, in the middle of a wild rainstorm.  Kissing and saying, “...voler avec moi” (which S.E. immediately translated, with me) and finding a place in his heart that he didn’t even know existed before.  Passing notes.  Sweet bliss. And then... just like that, when she needed him most, he wasn't there.  And she dumped him like a bad habit.  Old Brick continued, All that and a bag of crisps.  If not for New Brick, you’d have probably punched her in the nose for that.  For all the good it did him.  His fumbling and bumbling lost her as soon as he’d gotten her.  To someone she actually wanted.

S.E. now had the voice of an angelic Hufflepuff devil with red hair, Needed someone with class.  Someone not afraid of himself.  Someone to use, snog with, and discard like the trash you are.  Poor ickle unloved Bricky-poo!

Brick pushed back, “I found my love.  My Lecia!”

S.E.’s voice was now a perfect likeness of the same, You drove me to unspeakable things, Brick.  Brought me joy, then tossed me aside like Julia tossed you!  I almost died, Brick.  And it would have been your fault!  And then, it was a chorus of voices.  Brenda.  His Mother.  Julia.  Lecia.  Even Daisy and Mari and Dot.  The guilt piled on, the accusations mounted.  His evil ways.  His brutishness.  His stupidityEndangering those he loved.  AbandonedHopelessHelpless!  Louder and more persistent with each passing moment, while he shrunk away against it.  Angry and brutal- he was unprepared.

New Brick was not unprepared.  He stepped in front of Brick, taking up a defensive stance,  Keep your head down, Brick.  We’ve got you.  Old Brick, in turn, stepped behind him.  Back to back, Like every night.  Plug your ears.  And he did as he was told.  His tormentors by day were his defenders at night.  Those parts of him that could face the assault... did the impossible every night.  They kept him whole by keeping him separated.

Brick woke at first light, as he did every morning.  Wide awake, ready to face the day.  You got this, Brick.  Don’t wake her up, Dummy.  Go get her some breakfast.  He was on his feet in a heartbeat, ready to take on the worst life had to offer.  Just like every day.  He was the Wall.  He could do the impossible.

With no memory of his dreams.
« Last Edit: 08/02/2019 at 21:54 by Brick Dumay »