Re: The Second Task: Entries Only - members who did NOT enter the first task
Soon after my eleventh birthday, my dad lost his job and was continually out looking for a new one. Mom had a miserable job at the mill, and dad’s job had been at the bank. One evening long after I had come home from school, my dad didn’t come home. Mom didn’t want me to know, but she was worried. We ate dinner, I did homework, and mom let me stay up late with her and watch a movie, but by the time mom tucked me into bed, dad was still gone. As I began to fall asleep, I could hear her calling someone.
That night I had a different sort of dream. The fog stirred around only a moment before it broke. Peering in, I saw a tattered old building. Two men came around the corner into the streetlight. One of them had a big black hat, the other was my dad. As they passed the streetlamp, a man snuck behind them. He said something, and when my dad turned around, the man with the hat turned to dad and pulled out a knife. I yelled at dad to turn around, and I woke up screaming.
Mom ran into my room and held me in her arms. She’d been crying. Frantically I related my dream to her. Mom asked me to describe the place and two men again. I remembered what the building was like, and the man with the hat, but I didn’t really see the other guy. She kissed me, saying that was okay, and asked if I’d like something to eat before I tried to go back to sleep. As I pulled some cereal out, I heard her making another call.
Several days later, dad came home from the hospital. That evening the police came to visit and talked to dad and mom. I was in my room, but I could still hear. They told dad they’d want to speak with him soon and left. Nobody talked all evening, but once I was in bed, mom and dad started arguing. Dad yelled about mom calling the police, making things worse; mom started talking about her job and grandma; dad yelled that he was doing all he could. Then they started talking about me. It got quieter and quieter.
I dreamt that I was walking through the fog, and I followed it. I saw that it was in the daytime; it was dad checking the mail. A strange envelope fell out of the mailbox. Dad picked it up and opened it. Dad yelled something, and mom came out. Suddenly, my dream changed. Now I was in dad’s old office at the bank. At his desk dad was flipping through papers, when he found three more of the strange letters. He tossed them in the trash and closed his office window. The dream switched to where dad and mom were sitting at the table, arguing again. Not yelling, but obviously disagreeing about something. Dad got frustrated and threw five or six of the strange letters on the table in front of mom and walked out of the room. I woke up to hear mom screaming. I heard the front door slam and a car leave the driveway.
I didn’t want to go downstairs. I knew mom would be crying. I knew dad wasn’t home. I knew it would be terrible. I tried to go back to sleep and dream about something else.
Immediately the fog took me someplace new. It was a room with stone walls four or five people were there; one of them was my grandma. She was talking to this guy in strange clothes with a long beard. Suddenly grandma was looking right at me and smiled. She closed her eyes, and I saw a huge lake next to a beautiful castle. It was nighttime, but as I watched, I saw things moving under the water and an old beech tree right on the edge. The picture zoomed closer to the beech tree; right next to it I saw my grandma’s purse. Changing, the picture then showed me my grandma’s purse again, only this time it was on a park bench next to my school. Then I saw grandma again. She smiled and blew me a kiss before I woke up.
Forgetting about dad, I ran out of my room and found mom on the floor. I sat down next to her, and she didn’t move, though I could still hear her breathing. I got real close to her and told her about my dream. She looked up at me and kissed my forehead. In just a few minutes we had left the house, and had begun walking to my school. It was very dark, and mom let me borrow her jacket. When we reached the fence outside my school, mom helped me climb over it, and we walked right up to the bench in my dream. Mom said that we had to touch grandma’s purse at exactly the same time. We counted to three and grabbed it.
I landed in the lake. Mom fished me out. I didn’t know what to do next, but mom said she knew, and that we’d go see grandma in just a few minutes. So we sat by the beech tree and mom told me everything. She said that there really was such a thing as magic, and that there really were magical creatures and witches and wizards. She even told me that grandma was a witch-- a good witch. Together, we read one of the letters dad had kept throwing away. Then mom kissed me again and told me that I was a witch just like grandma and that I would go to a special school to learn about magic. We had stood up and walked a little further, when mom pointed to the beautiful castle I’d only seen in my dreams and said that it was Hogwarts, school of witchcraft and wizardry.