"My bag!" I gasped as I watched the taxi race away. I whistled, like in a movie, waiting for another cab to screech to a stop. And sticking my head in the window I'd yell, "Follow that cab!" and then the cab would race off in pursuit without me. Right? But the cobblestone road was empty. I turned longingly back to the gate, but of course I had already found out quite painfully that you can never really ever go back home.

I sat down by the side of the road on the stump of a tree and watched as the stones began to melt, and my feet were dipping into icy water instead of rocks, and the log I sat upon was floating on the water.

I pulled a pair of glasses out of my pocket, wiped them carefully, and put them on. (I didn't know that I wore glasses, but there they were.) I scratched my sun-parched head and wondered when I was going to wake up from this dream I was in.

I put the glasses back in my pocket, assured that I was seeing right -- the road had definitely turned to water.

The water flowed into an ocean, and ships were sailing by. I listened to the chiming bells far off in some chapel where the blind went to see, and I wondered what it would be like to have something to believe in, or at least some place to go.

I pulled my feet up out of the water and saw that a bottle had gotten tangled in my shoelaces. Of course, there was a note sticking half out like a cork.

I pulled it out and suddenly the water all around me swirled and gurgled into the bottle, and I found I was standing back on the cobblestone road, holding the half-empty bottle of water in one hand, and the crumpled dripping paper in the other.

I put the bottle down and opened the page carefully. I knew it had to be another note from my True Love.

But all the ink had smeared and I couldn't read what it said. I took the glasses out of my pocket and wrapped them around my ears, hoping this time they would shed some light on the situation.

Something burned inside me. I mean, part of me knew I wouldn't be able to see anything more with the glasses on. The ink was smeared, for Heaven's sake. But somehow I felt I would be able to read it because SHE wrote it.

The sunlight must have been very bright because it shot through my glasses like a magnifying glass, and set the page on fire. I stuffed it in the bottle and watched the burned shards settle to the bottom like silt in a pond.

A cab pulled up and the door swung open. A woman with dark glasses was panting.

"Sorry I took so long," she smiled. "Quick, get in. We'll follow that cab!"

"But it must be gone by now," I mumbled, not sure if I could ever trust a taxi again.

"You want your bag back, don't you?"

I had to think about that one a moment. I mean Ma had given it to me. But I was sure it wasn't mine. And still...

"The meter's running," she snapped as I stood there in indecision.

Now that was another story. I jumped inside.

"Excuse me," I stammered as the door closed behind me, and she sped off down the road. "You're going the wrong way."

"That's all right," she laughed. "All roads lead the same way, eventually."

I figured she probably was right, and besides, I didn't really need the bag, as far as I could tell.

"Hey," she said after a while. "You been on the road long?"

"I don't know," I sighed. "I kind of woke up on it one day, and I've been walking ever since."

"Yeah. I know what you mean!"

"I'm sure it's all a dream, you know," I continued, and I stared out the open window. But there wasn't anything out there.

I rolled the window up because the breeze was starting to make me cold, and through the closed window the view was spectacular. We were screeching through space, and I saw billions of blazing stars. And then I saw myself floating by. The other-me was trying to tell me something, but I couldn't hear what he, I mean I, was saying.

I squinted, trying to read my lips. "Flowers...field..."

I snapped my fingers. "Hey," I laughed, leaning forward. "Forget about the bag. I know where you can take me. I want to go to this park. Or maybe it was someplace in the country. There were fields and flowers..."

"Flowers. You want flowers? Have I got flowers!" she smiled from behind her glasses.

She pulled a switch, and suddenly the back seat was filled with flowers. I pushed up a couple of daisies out of my face so I could breathe.

"This wasn't exactly what I had in mind," I choked, and I rolled the window down again.

The flowers blew out.

I couldn't see them until I rolled the window back up; looking back, they were like fireworks lighting up the heavens with color.

"We'll be there soon," the driver was saying, and I smiled and noticed a flower had fallen under her seat.

I reached forward and was going to give it to her, but there wasn't any floor in the bottom of the cab, and I fell through as the taxi continued on without me.

Cars were whizzing by like flies. Luckily, however, I had fallen down a manhole, and I waited patiently until the light changed and the traffic stopped, before I stuck my head out to see where I had landed.

I climbed up, and then something came charging at me and tackled me toward the sidewalk. "Don't do it, I'll save you," the voice yelled as we flew through the air.

I looked up and saw a helmeted football player. He brushed off his shirt, and I noticed it said "ANGELS."

"I'm your left-guardian angel," he beamed. "I saved you. It's an OK life, you know."

"Isn't that supposed to be 'wonderful'?" I grumbled, brushing off my own clothes.

"That's a different story. Isn't it?" he whimpered.

The football player looked confused, and pulled out a book from under the padding. He carefully thumbed through the pages.

"Okay, here we are...Oops," he gasped, and dashed over to the phone booth at the corner.

I watched as he tore off his football uniform and emerged with a jacket and tie, and a white collar.

"The Lord hath saved you, and you must repent," he boomed.

Just then a chorus bellowed, "Hallelujah," above me. As I looked up I saw a dozen cheerleaders with their pom-poms waving out of the windows above. "Hallelujah, Hallelujah..." they sang again. Then turning somewhere past me, they all started waving, "HI MOM!"

They popped back inside, and I turned to the Reverend who was busy thumbing through his book.

"I thought you saved me," I sighed finally.

"Yeah. I did, didn't I...Hmm. They must have given me the wrong lines," he sniffled, and he started to cry.

As he cried he began to melt, until there was a mouse standing in a suit and tie, squeaking that they must have given him the wrong book.

"CUT! CUT! CUT!" the Director yelled, and his cart lowered down onto the sidewalk on a crane. The cameras pulled in for a close-up of the mouse.

"Billy, Billy," the Director sighed, and he scooped up the mouse. He turned and sneered at me. "You again!" He slapped his head, rolled his eyes, and realized Billy was now stuck to his forehead.

He peeled the mouse off, and called for makeup. "Billy, you've got to stop thinking so small," the Director urged, and some pretty stagehands wheeled out a tire inflator and started inflating his ego.

The whole group headed down the block, trying to help Billy to get back to his old self, and I turned to the cameraman, trying to find out what was going on.

"LUNCH BREAK!" a voice boomed, and faces flashed all around me as the street and cars and buildings were carted away, and I was left all alone sitting in a spider web in the corner of an empty set.

I pulled the glasses out of my pocket to get a better view of where my dream had now taken me. But the lenses were broken and they fell out towards the ground. I put the lensless glasses on anyway, and looking down I noticed that not only had the set disappeared, but the floor was gone as well. I watched the lenses fall and fall and fall until they had picked up so much acceleration that they just burst into flames.

The fire was pretty far down, but it wouldn't go out, and although it was far enough down that I knew the flames couldn't reach me, I started to feel pretty hot. The sweat was dripping off my forehead, and the saltiness stung my eyes.

I tried to climb up the web a little, and then I noticed a spider.

The hairy thing was crawling toward me, and it licked its lips and smiled as it nimbly crept forward. I held my breath as it opened its fanged mouth, about to gobble me up, and looking down at the fire below, I let go of the thread and fell into the abyss.


Follow That Car
( Chapter 19- MP3 song demo by Lyndon DeRobertis)

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