My homework was finally finished. I was having trouble with my fourth grade math, but some extra work was helping me out. It was now time for bed, but it got to the point where I was wishing for more work. I dreaded the thought of sleeping, of dreaming, and of seeing the lion again for the zillionth time. A few months ago everything had been fine, but ever since September, I started to have these terrible dreams about a lion. He would ferociously charge out from various unexpected places and attack me in one huge pouncing motion, devouring me in a tangled mixture of screams, roars and body parts. I would transfer from those screams to a semi-awake state and dad would be there trying to bring me back to reality. "Easy Carl. You're just dreaming again. It's okay. It's okay," he would say comfortingly. Afterwards, I would try to sleep again, hoping that morning would not be far away.
"Carl are you almost finished up there? It's close to ten and you should be in bed by now," Mom called out from the living room.
"All done Mom. I just have to brush my teeth."
Before going to bed, I went downstairs to say good night and get the usual hugs and kisses and then slowly headed for my bedroom. It didn't take me long to fall asleep. The soft billowing clouds washed over me and carried me away to that place where we all escape reality. I started to climb some stairs that seemingly had no end. Bending and circular. Going nowhere, yet everywhere. Through clouds and forests, over hills, charging like a freight train through huge wide halls, into nooks and crannies and over large geometric shapes. Suddenly, from behind a floating rectangle, the lion appeared in all his ferocious terror. Roaring, with teeth bared and dripping with anticipation, claws at the ready and his mane blowing in the wind, the lion attacked me. Engulfed me like a blanket until there was nothing but darkness and screams...I awoke screaming in fright as rivers of sweat rolled down my forehead. Dad was there in a flash quietly talking to me. Would it ever be "okay"?
Breakfast was a rush and I got out the door just in time to meet the bus. The ride was the usual noisy, clamorous activity that occurs when you try and squeeze a large group of elementary school kids into one of those yellow rolling sardine cans. When we got to Charles A. Timmons Elementary, the bus pulled up to the front door and got rid of of its contents. We all headed into the building and went to our lockers, looking like a massive swarm of insects invading the inside of the building. Once settled into our homeroom seats, our teacher, a huge woman with a thundering voice, and long hair that sprayed out from the side of her head as she walked, entered the class. She had the ability of moving with great strides without making a sound and could surprise you quite unexpectedly.
"Good morning class!" she roared. "Are we all ready for another great day?"
"Good morning Mrs. Lyons!"