microfiction (episode 3-vines, parts 1, 2 and 3):

  1. Ky has a recurring dream. She’s standing in Aunt Katherine’s house. It was the house she was raised in, after her parents died. She’s in the front room. There’s a display case containing glass figurines and tchotchkes. And there’s a white sofa set, no one was ever allowed to sit on. As she walks through the hallway, a tall well-dressed man coming from the opposite direction, acknowledges her as he glides by. It’s the same man she sees every weekday morning at a local cafe on her coffee run. Ky then checks all of the bedrooms. They are immaculate. Beds made, and the carpets have just the right amount of vacuum marks. A quick look in the bathroom reveals spotless surfaces, and the toilet is a spectacular shade of pink (Aunt Katherine’s favorite color). Ky can hear two voices coming from somewhere in the house. The sound leads her to the kitchen, where she finds her boss, Judith, rummaging through the refrigerator.  Also in the kitchen is Neil, Judith’s assistant and the office snitch. Ky does not like Neil. It is quickly ascertained that neither Judith nor Neil can see Ky. It’s strange to be invisible in one’s own dream. After an exhaustive search, Judith finds what she is looking for in the freezer. A frozen dinner. She removes the packaging, and places the meal in Aunt Katherine’s prehistoric microwave. She sets the timer for 5 minutes and presses the start button. Ky feels that Judith has greatly overestimated the capabilities of this particular microwave. As they wait for the dinner bell, Judith and Neil resume the conversation they were having before Ky entered the kitchen. Judith looks spent. She’s complaining about the staff, in general. And Ky, specifically. Judith criticizes Ky’s lack of ambition. Her tendency to be so easily distracted. And of course, her tardiness. Neil nods aggressively, affirming Judith’s assessment. Ky really does not like Neil. From the kitchen, the sound of the television in the living room can be heard. Ky decides to let Judith and Neil have at it. She’d prefer to check out what show is on. 
  1. Sure enough, it’s The Price Is Right. All blazing colors and reckless enthusiasm. Ky smiles and looks at the cushy sofa chair positioned up against the center of the east-facing wall, allowing for a perfect view of the tv. This is where Aunt Katherine would sit. It was her chair. But now it’s empty. Ky spots a framed photo of her son on the side table next to the chair. He’s younger in this picture. Sun-kissed skin, and a mass of curls atop his head. His smiling eyes glisten. Ky misses that age. She then sits in the chair. A bookshelf on one side of the living room holds more potted plants than it does books. And one plant stands out from the rest. Its draping green vines fall loosely from the wooden shelf, like the hair of a forest nymph. But there’s something strange about this plant. It appears to move. On the tv, a bespectacled woman has just won a new car. Ky wonders if this contestant knows she will have to pay taxes on her winnings. Ky’s attention is drawn back to the plant. It has grown even more. However, one tendril outpaces the rest. It doesn’t take long for Ky to realize that it is headed straight for her. She tries to leave, but she can’t get out of the chair. Her body is paralyzed. The tv is blasting a commercial for probiotics formulated for women with “menopause tummy.” The vine makes its way to the chair, curving up the side and onto the armrest. It reaches for Ky’s right wrist, encircling it with green leafy fingers. The vine squeezes tightly. Ky tries to break free, but this only serves to spur on the brother and sister vines closing in on her. Ky’s screams are accompanied by the opening music to a daytime soap opera. Menacing green tendrils come towards her from every direction. But before they can make contact, Ky awakes.
  1. Later, after she has relayed this story to her therapist, Ky states that she believes the dreams are a sign to donate more to environmental causes.


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