An older woman sits in a hospital bed more than half a century ago and watches as her late husband comes into her room in the dark of night. She is being treated for pneumonia, an often fatal illness in the 1940’s. “Have you come for me?” she asks. “No,” he says haltingly, “I’ve come for the little boy. Go back to sleep and be well, it is not your time. You will be needed,” Then he leaves. In the morning light her son comes to her, he is struggling not to cry. “Mama,” he says, “the baby died last night.” She puts her arms out to him and says, “I know son, I know.”
A young girl wakes in tears in the middle of the night. She’s just had a nightmare of a burning apartment and watched while a teenage babysitter passed two young children through the safety bars and dropped them to passerby on the street below. The baby sitter cannot fit through the bars and perishes in the blaze. Still crying the young girl is comforted by her parents as she relates her dream; she eventually falls back to sleep. Her mother has the morning news report on the television when the girl finally rises and the reporter is lauding the bravery of a teenage girl who saved the children she was watching but unable to save herself during an early morning fire. Wide-eyed the girl watches the screen as her nightmare comes back to her.
A family gathers for a young man’s coming of age ceremony. His grandmother, who died two short months earlier, was very excited and bought her gown for the event; she kept it secret from all but one of her daughters, the boy’s mother. A guest looks up from the entrée she has just been served to see the grandmother resplendent in her gown – the vision so real she is compelled to tell the daughter. The daughter pales and then smiles as the gown is described; it’s exactly the one her mother planned to wear. She shares the news with her recently widowed father and other family and they rejoice in knowing that the woman is present after all.
Impossible scenarios? Not to the individuals who experienced these. Many of us are raised with biblical stories of angels and premonitions and we allow ourselves to imagine a future filled with mental telepathy, time travel and many more fantastic things. Yet many deny the possibilities that such otherworldly and extrasensory incidents can happen, especially when they experience such events. Keeping our minds open to all possibilities can frighten some and for others they find a comfort in the visit of a past loved one or the mental communication that transcends miles. Children who haven’t been schooled in the impossible and implausible have wonderful imaginations that permit them to see imaginary friends and pretend magnificent abilities and accomplishments. As we get older and experience the derision and skepticism of those around us, we learn to deny such occurrences if only for self-preservation.
For the fiction writer, though, all things are possible. We create worlds where the strange happens, where the seemingly impossible occurs with regularity and is easily explained and accepted. A writer can build a world on paper, create made-up characters, plot unseemly and unexpected events, create heroes we adore and villains we hate and fear… and it is all in a day’s work. We write about life as we imagine, or know, it to be.
*one of the dreams Annie has in the story, Karma Visited, is about a burning apartment and a heroic baby-sitter. This "dream" is taken from real-life. It is a dream I had as a young girl - including the news report the following morning.
About the author:
Chelle Cordero writes stories of Passion and Suspense. Vanilla Heart Publishing has published ten Cordero novels and a short-story collection: Bartlett’s Rule; His Lucky Charm; Within the Law; Courage of the Heart; Final Sin; Hostage Heart; A Chaunce of Riches; Common Bond, Tangled Hearts; Hyphema; and Karma Visited. VHP just published The Many Faces of Chelle Cordero featuring several short stories. Chelle has been writing both fiction and non-fiction for the bulk of her adult life and has been with Vanilla Heart Publishing since early +2008.