Tammy’s attempt at living on her own involved roommates and failed twice: one month following the first move-in date, her roommate became suddenly engaged, soon to walk down the aisle, then her second roommate unexpectedly chose to become a nun. So, she finds herself living in her childhood house again with her parents. The house is conveniently designed with three bedrooms – hers is on the opposite end from her parents with the kitchen and living room in the middle. A great floorplan that affords her a little privacy. She also has her own bathroom, not to mention, the third bedroom across the hall acts as her media room with a TV and the comfortable sofa that her parents will probably own forever. Tammy really has no means to complain, except that her twenty-sixth birthday is fast approaching, so she should be living on her own in the hub of independence. But she feels grateful that her parents allow the revolving front door, until she finds an affordable apartment of her own. She has dealt with enough stress with the roommate scene.
She and her parents arrive home on the quiet block in their suburban neighborhood around the same time on this Thursday afternoon. The coffee cup shaped clock hanging on the kitchen wall shows five o’clock, and although Tammy is of drinking age, she doesn’t feel like joining her parents for their nightly cocktail. Work has been hectic, so she just wants to hunker down and fall into her Elin Hilderbrand book and its characters whom she feels like she’s known a lifetime. Her parents head for the black faux-leather bar in the corner of the dining room to shake their dry martinis. She strolls down the hallway, walking into her room and can’t wait to pull on her soft gray sweats before winding down. Funny, it’s only been ten minutes or so, but she doesn’t remember the weather raging outside. When she steps into her room, the wind blows up a storm, howling to the universe with what sounds like a very urgent message. Tammy rushes to the big window to pull down the blinds hanging above her oak desk.
Oddly, when she tugs on the blinds, they resist by pulling themselves up! They seem to have a mind of their own. With the fierce strength of the wind for support, it feels as though the blinds are angry at her. This struggle lasts only a few minutes, but long enough to cause some anxiety as she finally gives up and sprints out of her room. What just happened? Am I hallucinating? she thinks to herself, trying to catch her breath. Her heartbeat matches a marathon!
“Mom? Dad?” Tammy calls, her speedy footprints muffled on the tan carpeted hallway. The rest of the house stays eerily calm. She finds her parents sitting in the living room, sipping their martinis. Outside the slider, the sky can’t be any bluer and the sun shines brighter than a high-powered flashlight! What?
“I need to talk to you both!” The panic in Tammy’s voice piques her parents’ attention, so they follow her down the hall, as she motions with a wave of her hand.
When the trio steps inside her four pale lavender walls, they can hear a feather drop. The window blinds hang calmly as can be, and if those blinds can wink at her, Tammy swears they are doing just that! She explains with trepidation the horror of the blinds, how they acted uncontrollably in the stormy weather as though they had a pulse and were very much alive.
“I tried to pull them down, but they resisted, and the wind blew even stronger against my touch.” Even after the words tumble from her mouth, Tammy knows how ridiculous she sounds. She closes her eyes for a minute, breathing in, slowly breathing out. She recalls the sun shining in the living room. They won’t believe me. Why would they?
Her parents look at the blinds then they look at their daughter. Tammy reads their minds. She understands their facial expressions, the concern in their eyes.
“Honey, we don’t know what to say. We had a little rain in the early afternoon, but it certainly wasn’t storming, and now look! The sun is shining; the day has turned out to be glorious!” Tammy’s mom says. She turns her head towards her husband, silently pleading for him to say something.
“Sweetheart, maybe you’re just tired and need some rest,” her dad says with empathy. “You said the bank has been especially busy with new clients recently, so maybe exhaustion is the culprit.”
“I’m not tired! I literally fought with those blinds! Every time I pulled, they pulled back with force! Look, I don’t mean to raise my voice. I know this sounds irrational, but it’s the truth! You guys have to believe me!”
Tammy suddenly sits up in bed, reaching for her cell phone that reads 5:03 am – her eyes the size of golf balls. A headache tries to attack every muscle in her head. She practically slides out of bed as quietly as possible, so she doesn’t rouse her husband out of his deep slumber. She walks into the bathroom, hoping to find unexpired Advil in the medicine cabinet. What the hell was that all about? Since when do I remember my dreams, and since when do window blinds come alive? Inanimate objects don’t communicate with humans…or do they? No!
Last night’s dream is so bizarre that Tammy fears it will control her thoughts throughout the day. She holds the title of Account Manager at the bank downtown, and with four new appointments on her calendar, concentrating on getting their accounts set up will take more effort. What is even stranger is the setting in her dream; her childhood home that she lived in with her parents before she married and had three children. Only her parents were in the dream, and they had passed away years ago. Tammy portrayed a younger version of herself still living at home with them. Made no sense at all.
Tammy’s desire to interpret this dream becomes all-consuming. Maybe recent threats of a drought manifested themselves through that storm, and the blinds were angry because of the potential fire danger developing. Yeah, that sounds perfectly logical.
But how her parents held the leading roles remain a mystery. Perhaps, subconsciously she missed their physical presence. She does miss them very much, and she often reminisces to her childhood. Okay, this reasoning sounds valid.
The supernatural quality confused Tammy, though, and it was a bit unsettling. She’ll never forget as a teen, watching The Amityville Horror in terror with her best friend, Melissa. It took weeks to shake those images from her mind.
Will I ever unearth the why’s of this unnerving dream, pieced together with an array of question marks? I have no idea! But I’m keeping a close eye on the blinds in this house!
Lauren Scott (c)