It was Thanksgiving in Nashville. Chris and I were hanging out with everyone after dinner, and we noticed that Ted had not been seen in a significant amount of time, so we decided to go hunting for him. We discovered Ted sprawled out on a bed, turning white and somewhat cold. There were a few other people in the room, all fucked up. Chris and I approached the bed and discovered that Ted wasn't breathing and there was no pulse. I shouted to Chris to run out and get Scott while I started CPR. Within seconds an ambulance was called, and Chris started chest compressions as I continued breathing. It was clear to us that this was some sort of drug overdose, but we were unsure of what type, and the other people in the room where too loaded to be of any help.

The ambulance arrived, and Ted was escorted to the nearest hospital. Only Chris and I followed in Ted's car. In the emergency room, the doctors informed us that Ted may not make it, so I called information and got the number to his parents' house where they were having their own turkey day celebration. Ted's mom answered the phone. When I told her what was happening, she instantly started screaming at me, "This is all your fault! If it weren't for you, Ted would be home with us! He'd be safe!" I started crying, and Chris snatched the phone and started defending me. He said, "Nikki is the reason your son is still alive. If it weren't for her, he'd be lying dead right now." She seemed to calm down, and the family hopped into the car for the trip to Nashville.

As we waited, Chris and I kept all of the noders at the house informed of Ted's progress. It didn't improve. After about an hour, Ted was declared dead.

The room was very bright. Clean white squares of ceramic tile, the big one foot square tiles, made up the walls and the ceiling. Frankie put those up himself when he and his wife bought the house in the late 1940s. Now he was sitting on a stool with my sister's four year old daughter in his lap. "Frankie" was what my sister called him. She was making tea. She took a mug out of the cupboard. The doors were painted, pale green. They were the only thing with any color. The mug was my coffee mug. I told her not to put tea in my coffee mug.

She said, "What's the difference?"

I gave her some explanation about how tea and coffee have different tastes and that the tea flavor would taint the coffee mug. I asked Frankie if he agreed.

"I don't see where it makes any difference." he said in his soft gentle voice.
I was disappointed but not surprised. He and his wife spoiled the hell out of my sister, the baby of our family. They lived across the street from us when we were growing up. Frankie had been dead for years but here he was sitting on a simple wooden stoll in his clean white kitchen. Imaculate.

I asked my sister if she would mind not using my coffee mug for tea. She stopped and just stood there. Frankie sat there serene and smiling. A true gentleman. He and his wife never had children. When my youngest sister was born she was named after Frank's wife. They were so pleased that they practically adopted her. She was their surrogate daughter and could do no wrong.

I left the room which was long and narrow. There was nothing on the rest of the walls. The only way out was a narrow path on the edge of a cliff. It was impossible to pass but if I went back I was giving in to defeat. The farther along I went the narrower the path got. I couldn't understand why I didn't remember this path and the 300 foot drop. I was in great danger of falling and looking for something to hang on to. Just as I was about to succumb to the pull of gravity, everyting got fuzzy as I was gripped with intense fear and then woke up. Safe. All quiet. The image of Frankie still vivid before me.

I was at my old school's auditorium. I was watching a movie about the Vietnam War, then suddenly I was one of the soldiers, and the movie screen was a wide wooden door instead.

The squad was trying to escape a killer baboon from Hell which wouldn't die no matter how much we shot it, so we were trying to lock the door. But there was a side window through which the baboon jumped.

The baboon landed on the school's driveway and looked like it would turn right and go to my old house. Now, instead of my parents, I was aware that my wife and kids (they're real) were there. Before I could worry about my family, it turned around as if going to the other side of town. I was relieved. But then it changed its mind again and went straight at us!!! Then I woke up, screaming.

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