(Short Story | Humor, Urban Fantasy)
Brian can talk to just about anything–trees, doors, pets and so on–which might come in handy for solving problems, answering questions or winning bets if everything weren’t so annoyingly crazy…
1. odd dreams
One-thousand-and-three goodbyes chorused from within the aging two-story townhouse, crammed between two similar townhouses on a street packed with same. “Goodbye,” Brian answered. He pulled the door shut but didn’t lock it because he had lost the key years ago and even the mice couldn’t find it. He trotted down the porch steps that reeked of transients’ urine.
Brian stared over the top of his sunglasses at the crayon yellow sun scribbled on a sheet of pale blue sky. He contemplated its ragged edge for entirely too long, until he felt the back of his eyeballs begin to sizzle. When he finally looked away the brightness followed, obscuring the crumpled newspapers, the cigarette butts, the discarded and crushed styrofoam cups, the discarded and crushed people with no place better to be. It was a beautiful morning.
“Good morning, Brian,” Sigmund said. “Sleep well?”
Brian spun freely in a circle, arms extended, gazing at bright nothing. “I’m afraid not,” he answered, one hand narrowly missing a diminutive old Asian woman whose sandals slapped on the concrete as she slowly passed, clutching her groceries.
“Sort of. I dreamt that I couldn’t sleep and when I woke up this morning I was completely exhausted.”
“Most odd dream. It must have something to do with your mother.”
“You’re probably right, Sigmund.” Brian spun to a stop. The world faded out of the white and circled around him like he was standing in the center of a moving carousel.
A red fire hydrant passed in front of him three or four times and said, “Of course I’m right.”
“We can talk more about my dreams later. I have to be going. Busy day ahead. I’m going to try to find out what art is today.”
“Good luck,” the hydrant shouted after him.