Church Camp Pt. 1

Nolan went home to a week in the bliss of summer. His parents were at work and he only had one chore a day. He would clean a portion of the house, it took less than an hour and then he was free to be alone. Sometimes, when he had a few extra dollars he would walk to McDonald’s or Wendy’s and treat himself to fancy lunch. Or at least it felt fancy because his family didn’t eat out that much. He could walk to the arcade or the mall or anywhere he could afford to go but he usually didn’t. His house was centrally located though and so some of the kids from church would ask to come over just so they could go to the mall. But no one came over this week, it was just a nice quiet clean house.

At night Nolan would look out at the Red Lobster sign and imagine the ocean. He recalled the feeling of the hurricane blowing in off the Mississippi coast and how alive it made him feel. The taste of fresh caught shrimp and fish was so much better than the seafood across the street. But he remembered his grandmother’s birthday party at Red Lobster and it was still some of the best food in town. The biscuits were amazing even though they were very different from his great aunt’s homemade biscuits. The shrimp was small but it was swimming in butter and they would put real cherries in your coke with a little pirate sword for some reason or another. 

These pleasant thoughts of good times and good food helped him drift off to the kitchen for late night snack. Then off to sleep he went, thinking of the sound of the wind over the ocean. Once he fell asleep, he woke up inside and his spirit got up from his sleeping body just to wander around. He flew around the Red Lobster sign a few times and went down to look in the window as the employees cleaned up after closing. He craved a biscuit dipped in clam chowder even in his sleep. He just hovered there and watched as they closed up and left the place empty, curious at the process. Then when it was all empty he flew up to the sky, high enough to see the ocean again. The weather looked calm down there and he wished for the pleasantness of the beach wind to blow against his face. The tune of ‘Boat Drinks’, a song his parrot head uncle liked to play, floated around in his head even though he didn’t really understand its meaning.

Then back home he flew to sleep in his body for the rest of the night. He began to dream and saw an old cinder block dorm. He watched as a teenaged boy smashed backwards through the window and fell down the grassy hill outside. What a strange sight it was, and Nolan just stood in the road wondering what had happened. Then he flashed to another dorm with the identical look and he stood in the road in front of that building as well. Soon a suitcase was dragged out and a crowd gathered. The large diamond back rattle snake was pulled out on a stick and tossed into the woods as many young people looked on. The tighty whities were dragged all over the road in the process and the girls giggled. Everyone was making fun and pointing at the underwear.

His dream switched again to an old west battle. Nolan was drawing his 6 gun as his opponent drew down against him. The other man missed and Nolan struck him with deadly accuracy. He watched the man flinch as the bullet pierced his belly. And again the dream went to a new place, a field with a parachute. Children surrounded the parachute and took hold of it, using it to toss one child in the air and catch them again. These strange sights continued all that night and Nolan enjoyed them. He wasn’t fighting anything or afraid or being tortured, or murdered or eaten alive as in so many other dreams. There was no powerful, colorful presence to send him into shear terror either. Just sights of strange things in a strange place but it all seemed fun and playful, even the shooting.

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