Saturday, November 24, 2012

Chapter 19: Tornado Dreams

Kate woke up with her heart pounding. Last night’s dream was a little too real for her tastes. In fact, as she thought about it, she realized that she’d had more of these kinds of dreams since she first received that envelope. In her whole life before this one she’d never had so many dreams she could clearly remember days or weeks later. These dreams were just so incredibly vivid, and frightening.

She wanted to talk to Kevin about her dream. She was sure he would know what it meant, but Kevin wasn’t at school that morning. He didn’t show up at the band hall at lunch, and she worried about him and his family all day. It was Wednesday, so she stayed after school for her private lessons, but even the music couldn’t take her mind off of the things that were going on for every long. She put her books in her locker, disappointed that there was still no neat and tidy brown envelope with her name on it to tell her anything.

She called his home, but he didn’t answer. She wondered if maybe he was just sick and sleeping, so she didn’t try calling again. She wanted to run over and check on them, but didn’t want to over react either. She didn’t know how to contact anyone else to ask about him, either. She didn’t have a contact number for Father Donovan, didn’t know where anyone else in the group lived. She supposed it was clever of them to do that. She couldn’t tell the government something if she didn’t know the answer to it. Right now, about the only thing she could do was tell them about Kevin’s family, but she knew they already knew those things.

Her mom noticed how tense she seemed during dinner, and asked her about it.

“Kevin wasn’t at school today, and he didn’t answer when I called after school. I’m worried, Mom,” she admitted.

Claire smiled at Kate. “Sweetheart, I’m sure it’s nothing.”

“I don’t know, Mom. What if they came for him, too?” she said.

“I’m sure it’s fine, sweetheart. Why don’t you try calling again after dinner?” her mother suggested.

“I guess,” Kate said, sounding unconvinced.

“Look, if you call him and he still doesn’t answer, I’ll drive you over there myself, is that okay?” her mother asked.

“Would you?” Kate looked at her mother hopefully.

“Of course, sweetheart,” she said.

Kate relaxed and they chatted for a while about how their days went, but her eyes couldn’t help darting to the phone every now and again, so Claire’s mother finally gave up and told her to call Kevin already. She dialed the number, holding her breath as she did.

“Hello?” Kate recognized the voice as belonging to Bridgette and breathed a sigh of relief.

“Mrs. McConnolly, This is Kate Devries. I was wondering if I could speak to Kevin?” she said.

“Oh, Kate, I’m sorry. Kevin’s not feeling well and he’s sleeping. I’ll let him know you called when he wakes up,” Bridgette said.

Kate thanked Kevin’s mother and hung up the phone. She was sorry that Kevin was sick, but very glad things weren’t as bad as she’d feared. She felt some of the worry slip from her shoulders.

“Everything is okay, I take it?” her mother asked.

“He’s sick and sleeping, so he can’t talk now. She told me she’d ask him to call me when he woke up. I’m so glad he’s okay, Mom,” she said.

“What’s got you so on edge, honey?” her mother asked.

Kate sat down and told her mother about her dream that morning. She told her about the feel of the glass shards embedded in her arms, of being tossed around by the tornado, and how afraid she’d felt. Her mother just listened as she described everything to her. When she was finally done, Claire put her arm around her daughter’s shoulders and gave her a reassuring hug.

“I tell you what, why don’t I see if I can help you understand what this dream means to you?” her mother offered. “Then, maybe it won’t be so frightening anymore.”

Kate looked at her mother in surprise. “Since when do you know how to interpret dreams?” she asked.

“Oh, I was very interested in such things when I was younger and I’ve done more than my fair share. Want me to give it a go with you?” she asked.

“That would be great if you can,” Kate said. She was a little bit skeptical of this, she’d never heard of her mother doing anything like this before, but also hopeful that maybe her mom could actually help her make sense of these things.

Her mother took out a legal pad and a pen.

“Kate, what does a tornado mean to you,” her mother asked.

“I don’t know. I mean, it’s a tornado,” she said.

“I’m not asking you to define it. I want to know what it represents to you. What comes to mind when you think of a tornado?” her mother prompted.

“Death. Destruction. Fear. Lives, homes, and property being torn apart. Devastation,” Kate said.

“Perfect. Okay, so in your dream you said you were outside with friends and family, right?” her mother said, “Were they specific friends and family?”

“No, I couldn’t see anyone specifically, it was just everybody,” Kate answered.

“Alright. So you saw this death and destruction moving toward your friends and family. You were trying to warn them to take shelter. What did the shelter look like?” her mother asked, “Was it some place familiar to you, or someplace you’ve never seen before?”

Kate thought for a moment. “It is the house I went to with Kevin the first time I went with his family. It had all these pictures, I remember, of people with halos and doves.”

Claire nodded. “Okay, what does that house mean to you, what comes to mind when you think of that place?”

“It was peaceful, warm, quiet, and I felt safe there. I felt, I don’t know, like I was protected,” she said to her mother.

“Okay, so it was a place of safety and you were trying to get everyone into it, right?” Claire asked.

Kate nodded. “Only some people just wouldn’t come, they just stood there while the tornado got closer and closer. I tried but I couldn’t save them,” Kate said, closing her eyes.

“You then turned to get to the safe place, but got caught in the tornado yourself, am I right?” Claire asked.

“Yes. I made it inside the doorway, but the tornado got me anyway. It lifted me up and there was all this debris flying everywhere, embedding itself in my skin and I could feel it slamming me around,” Kate said.

“After that, though, you were put down safely. You were banged up but otherwise unharmed, right?” her mother asked.

“Yes, that’s right. I was hurt but I was otherwise fine,” Kate said.

Claire looked at her daughter for a moment and then she spoke, “Kate, there’s something destructive that’s about to come into your life, something that’s going to threaten the people you care about most. You’re going to be able to save some of them from it, but some of them won’t listen. Your efforts to save them will result in you getting caught up in the destruction. However, you’re going to come out fine, hurting but otherwise fine. I think that’s what the dream means, Kate. I think you’re being warned there’s trouble coming your way but you will make it through just fine.”

“Mom, how can you know that?” Kate asked.

“Our subconscious often puts things together, Kate, long before it works its way up to our conscious minds. It spots trends and makes connections between events that we hardly even notice. When we dream, the subconscious takes everything and puts it all together like some giant puzzle. Your dream is taking all this information you’ve been gathering, the information about the FEMA camps and your talks with Kevin and his family, and then it’s using something you’re familiar with – tornados, to try and let you know that you’re about to get caught up in it,” her mother said.

“Why couldn’t I save everyone, Mom? Why wouldn’t everyone listen?” Kate asked.

“Because, Kate, the honest truth is not everyone wants to be saved. Not everyone wants to believe. It’s part of human nature to avoid truth when we don’t like the truth that’s being presented,” Claire said gently.

Kate hugged her mom and thanked her for her help. She then went upstairs to take a bath and get ready for bed. In light of her earlier dreams, the tornado dream now made sense. It was just another dream presenting the same information to her in a different way. She was supposed to help people, to help save people, and her life would be turned upside down but she would come out on the other side of it just fine. It did change her perspective. The dream wasn’t as frightening, it was more comforting now.

It was also another confirmation that she had been called and chosen for this fight. It wasn’t something she wanted, but it was something she was meant to do. There was no getting around that, or more to the point if she tried to get around it the people she loved would be hurt because she wouldn’t be there to warn them. She wouldn’t be there to help protect them.

She finished up her bath and headed to her room to write in her journal all the things that had happened this evening. It seemed like a lifetime ago that she had first gotten that letter, so much had happened since then, but she knew in reality it had been a very short time.

That night, there were no dreams. She woke up to the sound of the alarm clock. She wondered if Kevin would be back at school today. She wanted to share with him the things her mom had told her the night before. She wanted to see what he thought. Truthfully, she just wanted to see him.

He was there waiting on the steps when she arrived. “What kept you?” he asked.

She smiled and hugged him, “Nothing. I wasn’t sure you’d be here.”

“A little strep throat isn’t going to keep me away from you for long, girly,” he said, grinning at her. “So how was your day yesterday?”

“I was so worried about you I hardly remember. Things were okay once I knew you were just sick, though. I did have an interesting dream yesterday,” she told him.

“Oh? Do tell,” Kevin said. She proceeded to describe the dream to him and to tell him her mother’s interpretation of things. When she was finished he smiled at her and said, “I think you are mostly right, but I think you’re overlooking something.”

“What’s that?” Kate asked, puzzled.

“The house we were in when we went to Eucharistic Adoration was not just a house that day. That day it was being used as our Church, our sanctuary. You were bringing people into the Church, trying to save them from the darkness that was threatening them. You weren’t just trying to get them to safety. You were bringing them into the Church,” he said.

The dream made sense now, in a way it hadn’t before. The tornado wasn’t just any threat, it was the darkness that threatened everyone. Some people would listen to her warning about the darkness, like she had, and some people would reject the warning and be swallowed up by it instead. Kate would fight to get people into the Church which would put her in its path, but she would come out of the fight with bruises and bumps but otherwise fine.

“Why do you think I keep getting these dreams?” she asked Kevin. “Why can’t God just tell me this stuff directly?”

Kevin chuckled. “Perhaps, Kate, because it’s the only time you listen to Him.”

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