She listened to the clock dripping the tick-tock-tick of reality. She sat up and swung her legs over the side of her bed.
“I am thirteen,” she thought, holding her head in her hands. “I turn thirteen today.”
Is this what being a teen is about? Wasn’t her dream life supposed to be beautiful fantasies? There was nothing beautiful about the battle she’d witnessed: A star-liner battered to ruin by an attack ship, against the background of intergalactic endlessness.
“It. Was. Only. A. Dream.” Sonja didn’t care if anyone else in the house heard. So vivid. She could feel the explosions, smell the burning instruments. There had been no background whisper telling her it was a nightmare, and that she’d soon awake. No, she had really lived it and only the terror of that last moment had shocked her back into her world.
“This is real, isn’t it?” Sonja thought, wanting to get out of bed, out of the room, but frozen by the fear that if she tried she’d float away. Suddenly, she sobbed and the emotion caught her off--guard as if it belonged to someone else.
“The answer’s in the dream,” she thought.
She remembered that she had tried to scream. That’s what woke her, for she realized that no one heard, no one would rescue her. She was on her own. Why couldn’t she cry out?
Then Sonja thought of last week’s science lesson: There is no sound in space.
Frank Diamond's poem, “Labor Day,” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize Award. His short stories have appeared in the RavensPerch, Innisfree, Kola: A Black Literary Magazine, Dialogual, the Madras Mag, Reverential Magazine, Empty Sink Publishing, the Zodiac Review, Into the Void, Mystery Tribune, and the Fredericksburg Literary & Art Review, among many other publications. He has had poetry published in Philadelphia Stories, Fox Chase Review, Deltona Howl, Artifact Nouveau, Black Bottom Review, and Feile-Festa. Frank resides in Langhorne, Pa.