My good friend Victoria was having a dinner party to celebrate her nuptials to some lawyer on the Northside. He wasn’t able to attend but she put her heart into the dinner. I had arrived early and the roast was not quite ready yet.
Victoria was good friends with the next door neighbor who had a 11 year old child. I could never tell if it was a girl or boy, it kept it’s hair at a messy ear length. Victoria introduced it as Payton, which was an ambiguous name that still left me confused. Payton smiled shyly and curtsied. Ah, a girl. I hoped.
Victoria and her neighbor left for the kitchen and left me there with smiling Payton. She looked up at me and wispered something.
“What’s that dear?” I leaned in closer to her.
“Do you want to see a secret?” She smiled again.
Unsure of what she would show me, I nodded. She smiled even bigger as she took my hand and led me through the kitchen. Her mother gave her a stern look and said, “Don’t be long dear, dinner will be ready shortly.”
Payton nodded and tugged on my arm again as we went through the door to a basement.
I noticed there was another set of stairs on the opposite as if this were a connected basement between the two townhouses. We hit a landing and continued down more stairs, I felt a chill as I started noticing drawings on the wall. I wondered if this is what Payton had wanted to show me. They started off with smiles and flowers and happy stick figure people but as we reached the bottom of the stairs I realized there were more, not happy stick figures. I looked around the boxes of storage, not sure which house they belonged to. “What is it you wanted to show me Payton, some of mommy’s old toys or something?”
“No.” She said as she kept walking. I followed although I was becoming a bit uneasy. This was definitely an unused basement meant only for storage. The lighting was poor and there was a terrible draft coming from the door we were headed to. As Payton reached out her arm for the door she whispered, “this is what I wanted to show you.”
Behind the door was what should have been a wine cellar but had more boxes of storage. As I stood there in the doorway I began to notice more things drawn on the wall. These were more detailed and very grotesque. Images of crimes one could only imagine for TV shows. “Payton, what are these?”
“My dreams.” She stood smiling at me.
“What do you mean?” I looked at the drawing closest to me, it was a woman and a little boy. Looked vaguely like a headline out of a newspaper I had seen a few years back.
I looked next to that one and there was another drawing of another crime I had seen in the papers years ago.
“These are what I see. I draw them, and then they happen.” She kept looking at me with the same smile on her face.
I began to walk around the room, awestruck, until I came upon a beautifully detailed sculpture out of red clay. “Can you tell me what this one is Payton, I hadn’t heard of this one.”
“Oh! That’s a dream I have that hasn’t come true yet. You see, this man here, is frantic. He thinks he’s figured out a way to cure his son. Cerebal Palsy they called it, its really bad. Well the dad here has decided to take bits of his own brain and put it into his son’s so that his son can have a normal life. But he has gone so mad that he doesn’t realize he has killed his son and is now about to kill himself.”
I stood there quietly trying to process the information. Her sculpture was very detailed, you could see the son was lifeless with his head sawed open with an electric hand saw used for construction. The man’s face was in panic mode, not realizing what he had done yet. “Payton, when did you have this dream? How fast do these dreams of yours come true?”
“It was about a year ago, sometimes they happen right after but sometimes not.” She looked at the sculpture.
“I wonder when this will happen.”
“I don’t know, I was hoping you could help me. Mommy says you’re a retired police man.”
I just stared at her and nodded.