“It’s a… I’m sorry, but it’s none of your business!” I snapped and straightened myself in the bed, pulled my knees up to my chin and shook back my hair. “What did I say, anyway? Did I mention coal or dragons or a man named david?” “No, I don’t think so,” he replied, pulling a stethoscope out of his pocket.”But there’s no call to get indignant. I’m indigenous and I don’t get indignant. It gives you diverticulitis.” Then he smiled, “Most of the words were not familiar to me. You were speaking in some kind of foreign language for the most part. I remember you kept saying something about “The Eye, the Eye!” What was that all about?” I shrugged. “Just a nightmare, I suppose. Do I have a concussion?” He bent to check my heart beat and remained silent for quite a while. “What is it, doctor!?” I said, alarmed. I reached out to grab his wrist and accidentally pulled the end off his stethoscope. It fell on the sheet between us and we both looked at it and sighed.
The doctor cleared his throat and swung the ponytail back over his shoulder. “Uh, actually, Miss Voo, that’s the strange thing. When I came back on duty this morning and did my rounds, I heard you talking and moving very restlessly in your sleep, so I put one of my little dream catchers over your bed and you quieted down considerably. It’s an Indian thing, I know, but it sometimes works on you Pilgrims.” And he grinned and blushed and looked down at the floor. ”I appreciate your concern, Dr. Burr,” I said, “But, really, I’m sure that modern medicine…” But he shook his head and said a few words in his native tongue. “Not in this case, miss. Grandfather Storklegs told me that you needed strong medicine to pull you through this one. So I listened to the wind and consulted the rain and put my ear to the floor to determine….”
“Grandfather Whatlegs !?” I interrupted impatiently. “What are you talking about? Am I going to be alright? What about my head w..w…wound?” And I put my hand to my head and felt around frantically trying to find the goose egg I’d gone to sleep with. Apparently, it had hatched and flown the coop. I was incredulous! “But h.h.how…?” I asked, puzzled, and the doctor smiled at me and threw another feather full of rain on me. “Strong medicine.” he said very solemnly, tapping the side of his head. “Grandfather knows.”
After checking me out further and finding nothing more unusual than a bruise or burn or scrape or stab wound, (so far I had never been shot or dynamited but had come close on several occasions) the good and wise Cherokee medicine man told me I could expect to be checked out of the hospital shortly but to take my time and to lie there and reflect on my good fortune and miraculous healing. (For which he totally took credit.)
I didn’t know what to think. It was a miracle, I supposed and yet…something in the back of my mind kept saying, “You’ll be well in the morning.” Who had said that? Had I dreamt it? The satchel! Where was it? I looked around the bed and the perimeter of the room. It was nowhere in sight. Had it ever even been there? I stretched out in bed, yawned and sighed and wondered what it might be like to live a normal life. I kicked my leg out to one side and connected with some kind of lump in the bed. It was soft. And hard. “Soft and hard??” I thought crazily and sat up and threw the covers back. There, lying on the white sheet was a little purple velvet bag with drawstrings pulled tight. I picked it up and felt the weight of it in my hand. A distant memory ran through my mind like a flash and disappeared. I pulled open the bag and poured about three dozen shiny gold coins into my lap. They were beautiful and cold and real. I put one to my teeth and bit it. Yep, they were real, alright. Solid gold coins. From what country, I had no idea, but who cared about that? I was looking at a small fortune. “Mr. Arehte!” I said softly and snuggled down against the pillows in amazement. “I didn’t dream you up after all.”
And I laid there happily thinking of all the wonderful things I could buy for my pets and my friends and new high heels and paint thinner and sand paper and…..And that, of course, made me think of the late Mr. Si and his mysterious demise and of the terrible tall man in black with his awful red eyes and his horrible plans to take over the world, or at the very least, his grandfather’s coal mines. But then I wondered if that had been real and not a result of my now non existent head knot. It was all so confusing. I decided to take a short nap. I put the coins back in the bag and hid it in my own purse with it’s additional fortune of five thousand dollars. And the exquisite piece of jewelry from my small and generous client in his hideous sandals.
“Darling,” I said to myself sleepily, “Tomorrow, we are going to go shopping for a new convertible! And lots of insurance!” And just as I was about to drift off to dreamland, I looked up at the ceiling and saw a movement in the dream catcher above my head. “Help me!” a tiny terrified voice called and I imagined that I saw a miniature figure in black with long hair and awful red eyes struggling there in the strings of the Indian art object. I pulled the cord and turned off the lamp over my bed, threw the pillow over my head and shut out the light that peeked in through the blinds. “You’re not real, ” I muttered, “You’re only a dream! A dream, dammit, do you hear me? You’re only a dream!” From somewhere down the hall or out of the air vents, I don't know which, there came the lovely and soothing sound of flute music and it calmed me and took my imagination to lovelier scenes.
And I fell into a deep and much deserved dreamless sleep and when I awoke, I made up my mind that I would hunt down poor lovable Andy and take him a truckload of flowers, fix the dent in his Studebaker, pay his hospital bills, and convince him to give me another chance. My luck had changed and I was determined that so was my life!
(Note to self: Enroll in a Charm and Etiquette School and learn how to go on a date without killing somebody!!) (Also, investigate J.R.R. Tolkien and see if he actually exists.) (Ask MiMi Voo if hallucinations run in our family on the Voo side, not the Paramore side, I already knew her opinion regarding the Paramore side) and lastly, get Dr. Burr’s phone number in case it didn’t work out with Andy or worse, they had not been able to remove my high heel from his head and he had succumbed to…..well, a bad case of…..me.)