Words: 418 The Nightmare
by Sally Madison
“Mother,” Julie called from the kitchen, “I brewed us some tea before bed.” Dressed in her white cotton nightgown and burgundy housecoat, Julie carried the tray with two cups of tea into the living room. They had just recently reconnected after many years of separation, when Julie decided to moved to Baraboo to get to know her mother better.
Mille sat in her oversized nightgown in the oversized chair that she use to fill, but now she seemed small and vulnerable. Without her glasses Millie saw Julie enter the room as a blur in a burgundy coat. Millie, screamed at the top of her lungs, “Ohhh!!!” Millie squirmed to recede into the oversized chair. She raised her forearm to protect her eyes from seeing the offending coat. The flesh from a once strong and supple arm hung corpulently from her aging bone.
“Mother! What is it?! What’s wrong?!” Julie, crashing the tea tray on the nearby table, began to run to her mother.
“GET AWAY!! GET AWAY!!” Millie yelled and squirmed and began sobbing hysterically.
“Mother, it’s me, Julie! What is it?” Julie pleaded.
“THE COAT, THE COAT”, Millie screamed, crunching into a fetal position, hiding her face. Julie looked around. There was no coat in the room, except the burgundy housecoat she was wearing, and then she realized that Millie had started screaming, as soon as she had entered the room. She tore off her housecoat and tossed it in a heap behind a chair and ran across the room to her mother.
Soothing her as best she could, Julie spoke softly and gently, “Mama, Mama, it’s me, Julie. It’s ok now. No one can hurt you, now,” as she cradled her mother in her arms to protect her mother from the world and from her memories.
Several minutes later, Millie had calmed down and opened her eyes slightly to see she was surrounded with white cotton and warm protective arms. She slowly stopped sobbing and fell to sleep.
After hours of holding her mother, Julie slowly removed herself. She went to the kitchen to get fresh tea.
When she returned with the tea, she called out into the room from the kitchen, “Mother, I have our tea ready.”
Millie opened her eyes to see Julie in her white cotton nightgown and greeted her with a smile. “After we have our tea, I think it’s time for bed,” Julie recommended.
The nightmare was just that- another nightmare, Millie convinced herself. She was safe now, in Julie’s care.