“I had my bike back, and I was riding alone. It was dusk. A damp wind. At first I couldn’t remember where I was going. Then it came to me: the backyard of a cathedral, fenced in with chain-link, all overgrown with fox grapes and bittersweet. I was supposed to meet someone. Someone important, someone I cared about.
“The streetlights were coming on. And I had that feeling you get — a kind of detachment from everything? Nobody could bother me, nobody could catch me, but I was part of this place I was riding through. I could smell the smells, I felt the heat.
“I miss that a lot.
“I crossed this broad, empty street into a neighborhood lined with old trees. There was a house that looked like it had imploded, then one that had burned, then one all fortified with block glass and iron cages over the windows. Deep shade.
“I caught up to Christian, and they were older, a little blond kid kicking along on one of those bikes without pedals. They wouldn’t notice me, they kept looking at something further ahead. I wanted to ask — how did I miss this, what happened, were you all right growing up, who took care of you? I was afraid they might not even remember me. But then a big truck came up behind me, a blast of wind, and when I looked again Christian was gone. It was such a terrible feeling. Lonely. I was so afraid for them. But also — this is awful — I was relieved. And I hated that, so I kept searching for them.
“There was someone still ahead.
“I came out of the neighborhood onto another main road, and this one was busy, with headlights rushing past too close. A neon corner store, a graffiti-covered warehouse, an empty lot. New condos behind a fence. Then the river, and the island beyond. I knew where I was, and I kept expecting the city, downtown rising up — but it didn’t. There was no freeway, no parking garages or casinos.
“Then I was riding on wood — like on a railroad bridge, you know, but this was the whole street. It was smooth, nice, but hard to control — I had to slow down. And then I stopped in front of a church. The brakes worked great.
“I couldn’t tell if this was the church. There are so many. But I could see a long way down Jefferson, and this was the only one in sight. Simple, brick, with a white spire. I couldn’t see Christian anywhere, but there was this strange bike lying by the doors.
“So I went up the steps, and the doors were swinging closed, and I caught them. They were heavy.”
It was the first dream she remembered since Christian was born — at least aside from the hallucinations. “I know nobody wants to hear about other people’s dreams. I know it doesn’t mean anything. It just made me feel … weirdly like myself again.” She laughed, embarrassed.
Pre-Order Night Roll
|Night Roll Paperback | $18.99 CAD
Release Date: October 15, 2020
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|Night Roll EPUB | $9.99 CAD
Release Date: October 15, 2020
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