Sunday Photo Fiction: Bad Dream

© Mike Vor

“Mister, are you all right?” I looked down and saw a little girl pulling at my pant leg.

I lowered to her level and smiled, “Yes, I am fine. Thank you for asking.”

“It’s just you look sad.”

“I am okay, just thinking of someone.”

“Okay, you want to help me catch butterflies?”

“Sure, why not?” She ran ahead down the boardwalk and all of the sudden, the little girl reminded me of her again.

“Come on, daddy,” she used to say, waving the net in the air, “come catch butterflies with me!” Just like how that little girl was saying at that moment.

I don’t know you, I wanted to say but the little girl spun and the heel of her shoes caught on a nail. I felt like I was watching a split-second replay. One moment she was smiling, the next, her face looked distressed and frightened, then the next, she was mid-air. I couldn’t take it anymore. I ran forward but found myself farther and farther away. “No!” I shouted.

In the dark, I bolted up, awake. Next to me, my daughter slept soundly with a smile on her face. Whew, it was only a dream.

(199 words)

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