Mysteries of the subconscious.

              For the life of him, George Pennyweather could not figure out how he had arrived in the place in which he found himself. He looked down at the heavy gun in his hand. It was so heavy its weight dragged his arm down towards the floor and its size made his hand seem small. For some reason he couldn't understand, he knew it was a forty four magnum; the kind of gun Dirty Harry liked to use. But for the life of him, Pennyweather couldn't think where he had acquired it or even how he knew it was a forty four magnum. As a taxi driver in Tonbridge, a small, out of the way dormitory town lying to the south of London, he wasn't normally the kind of person who had anything to do with guns. But here he was with an enormous Colt revolver in his hand.
              He was in a daze and his mind felt completely fogged up. Not only did he not know how he had come by such a deadly weapon, he had no idea of what he intended to do with it.
              Involuntarily he used his thumb to pull back the hammer. Again, he had no idea why he was doing this but he did know that although such an act always looked easy in the movies, the hammer was very difficult to pull back and he had to apply all the strength in his hand and wrist to gradually pull it back until it clicked into the cocked position. Also, as he dragged the hammer back, out of the corner of his eye he was able to watch the revolverís chamber slowly spin and align a fresh bullet with the barrel.
              Then, once again without knowing why, he slowly lifted the revolver until it was pointing straight into his wife's face. It was only now that he became aware of her presence and what, he asked himself, was she doing standing in front of him? She wasn't looking at him and seemed to be gazaing past his shoulder and the whole situation was completely beyond his understanding. He could see her clearly. Her pinched face, her thin lips pulled tight into an expression of disapproval and he could not fail to notice her cold, beady eyes which he knew could spot a psychological weakness at more than a hundred paces. He knew he hated her, but even as he lifted the revolver and pointed it into her face, he felt that this was going a bit far.
              Without any instructions from his brain he then began to feel his finger tighten on the trigger. He tried to stop it, but even though it was against his will, he had no control over what he was doing. The muscles of his finger continued to tighten.
              Suddenly and unexpectedly, there was a tremendous jolt to his hand and a nanosecond later he was completely deafened by the roar of an explosion. The gun had fired. But the kick of the pistol had been so extreme that he couldnít help but hope he had missed his wife. But when his nerves settled and he was at last able to look down to the floor, he could see that it was spattered with blood and his wife's body, minus most of its head, was sprawled out in front of him.
              What had he done? His mind was in turmoil and he was horrified by his actions. It seemed as if he had no control over his life any more and that he was being manipulated by some force he simply didnít understand. Then, from far, far away, he heard someone call his name. The voice called again and then kept calling and, as it called, it grew louder and louder. He was trying to focus on the sound when he felt someone tugging at his shoulder.
              He shook his head and, to his dismay he found that he was in bed and his wife was not only calling his name, she was shaking him roughly by the shoulder.
              "George, George," she said, "Wake up! You're having a nightmare."
              Opening his eyes slowly George looked over at his wife. She never liked drawing the curtains at night and in the dim light coming though the windows from the street lamps outside he could see her narrow, shrew-like face and the hard, unforgiving look in her eyes.
              "You were having a nightmare." She said again, the penetrating shrillness of her voice forcing him to wake up fully.
              "No, dear," he said after taking a moment to gather his thoughts. "I wasn't having a nightmare. It was just a dream."
              Then he turned on his side and, as he slowly drifted off back to sleep, his wife heard him mutter. "Just a lovely, lovely dream."

---October 7, 2011---

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