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 Category:  Supernatural Fiction
  Posted: February 20, 2020      Views: 42

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I am a widower who has retired from U. S. Military with over twenty-six years of Service and thirteen years of instructing and conducting business research at a university. I have five children, nine grandchildren and eighteen great-grandchildren. I - more...

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A nightmare within a dream
"Walking a Dark Mare in Daylight" by Henry King

"I want to go on a picnic to Tom Mays Park this weekend. It's the park on Transmountain Highway." Said my wife on Friday.

"Let's do it Saturday, because I want to watch the Cowboy's game on Sunday." I replied.

I remembered thirty-years earlier, while in grade school, my class made a trip there to see the remnants of an ancient reef. Sea shells were abundant, many appeared to have been recently washed ashore. Two weeks ago my Geography Class had a field trip to a rockslide above the Park's parking lot. It would be an easy one-mile walk for us.

"There will be our two youngest boys going with us. The other two have practice at school in the morning, and they will eat lunch with their teams. They won't be home until two or so. When will we be back home?"

"It will take thirty-five to forty minutes to drive there. The picnic area is on the edge of the parking lot. I'll guess we will spend an hour eating and an hour and half exploring. If we leave the house at eight in the morning, we'll be back before two."

"That's perfect."

"We may even find some sea shells laying around there."

"Sea shells in that dry pile of rocks that's called a mountain? No way."

"That pile of rocks is over 7,500 feet above sea level. It was a sea bed millions of years ago."

"I'll believe it when I see it."


"I'll carry a couple of gallons of water in my pack, and you three will have to tote your own water bottles. This is the trail we will follow. This sign marks that trail. We will follow it. There are no sharp turns until we reach that rockslide about a mile from here. There are no steep hills to climb. I'm going to move the car into the shade of that Mesquite tree. Go ahead and walk towards the rockslide. I catch-up with you."

They must have walked faster than I thought, I can't see them. Ah, here's some footprints. Yes it's them. This is her foot print and the two boy's footprints. I'll start jogging.

It doesn't seem like I'm making much headway, I've been jogging for five minutes. This turn in the trail wasn't here a couple of weeks ago, but the rockslide is still straight ahead. Another turn, and the trail sign points to the rockslide. This is weird.

There they are, at the base of the rockslide. She sees me. We wave. She is pointing to her wrist and shrugging her shoulders. Oh, she's asking what's taking so long. I shrug back and start jogging again.

I should be there in five minutes. It's less than a mile away. I can jog a mile in six minutes, this is the oddest picnic I've ever been on.

Damn, I got a rock in my shoe. Slow down boy, now you put a knot in your laces.

I have to take my pack off, to I untie the knot. I'm out of breath. Finally my shoe is on. That feels better.

What! Where did that canyon come from, I just bent down for a couple of minutes?

Now we are close enough to yell at each other. "How did you get across this gap?"

"We walked straight here, just like you told us. What's taking you so long?"

"I'll get to you as soon as I find away around this thing."

After walking about fifteen minutes on what felt like a treadmill, there was a sharp turn. In the turn was the trail sign. It was pointing in the right direction towards the rockslide. I need to sit down and catch my breath. I pulled a jug of water out of my pack and as I drank, I leaned back against a rock and shut my eyes.

What was that noise? A huge dust cloud was moving up the canyon. It was so thick you couldn't see through it. About fifteen minutes later it quit blowing. The sky was as clear as could be.

I guessed it would be ten minutes longer until I reached the rockslide. It's just around that next turn in the trail.

As I turned the bend, I was at the top of a cliff overlooking miles of sand dunes. The dunes were about 400 feet down a sheer rockface.

The dunes were of uniform height until they reached the base of the mountain to the left. That dune was about four times higher than the other dunes. It dawned on me. These are the Samalayuca Sand Dunes, southeast of Ciudad Juarez. That's forty miles from El Paso's mountain. Where's Conan the Barbarian and Red Sonya, or the Worm Riders from Dune, when you need them?

There's my wife and the two boys, sitting in the sand. About a mile from them were three converging rooster tail of dust. The dust was coming from pickup trucks, with men armed with automatic rifles in the truck beds. They must be Drug Cartel members, defending their plaza.

I jump up and down, arms waving and yelling at my family, I can't help them. My God, what do I do, but continue trying to get their attention? I'm screaming!


Warm arms are holding me tight. "Honey wake up, you're having a nightmare."

"What? What did you say?" I could smell my wife's deodorant, and I could feel the love and warmth she was exuding.

She turned over, climbed out of bed; mumbling something as she walked into the bathroom.

I shot out of bed, sweating and wide awake. That couldn't be. I looked in the bathroom. Of course no one was there. My wife died six-years ago, in my arms, on Easter Sunday, 2014.

Author Notes
This story evolved from two recurring dreams. Since I returned from Vietnam, I have had frequent nightmares of not being able to protect my family. Each time, my aid was hindered by not being able to reach them. There was always a natural barrier like a cliff or a river. The other dream, it seems so real, is my deceased wife shaking the bed as she gets up to go to the bathroom. She mumbles something I do not understand as she gets up.

Conan, Red Sonya and Dune movies had scenes from the Samalayuca dunes in them.

I thank Daphne Oberon for allowing the use of her painting, Espiritu 7.
Pays one point and 2 member cents. Artwork by Daphne Oberon at

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