Magic Carpet By D.I. Jolly
Jeremy turned down a familiar alleyway on his way home, hoping to run into his favourite street dealer. It was late, and he knew the work stress wasn’t going to go away on its own. A smile and low chuckle told him he was in luck.
“George my friend, good to see you.”
They shook hands and Jeremy could feel the small lump wrapped in plastic in his palm as the 20 slipped out from between his fingers.
“Always a pleasure to see you, my friend.”
“So, what have you got to tell me today?”
“Have you heard about the Magic Carpet? They say it’s the only way to fly.”
Jeremy looked down at his palm and smiled.
“Magic Carpet hey, sounds good to me. Anyway, I must get going. See you soon.”
With that, he headed off further down the alley and continued home. Once there he slipped into his usual home routine of dropping his bag, switching on the kettle and headed to his room to roll a joint. He had it so well practised that within five minutes he was in front of his tv with a cup of tea and a smoke, fully ready to relax. The weed was not exactly as he expected in that it was mostly red with little yellow vines but it smelt great. A full joint and no effect later, he resigned himself to just having had a really bad day and decided that he was going to bed, and hoping that tomorrow would to be better. Despite the stress and the failed attempt to get high, Jeremy slipped easily into sleep, but as his eyes close it felt like they opened again. Only, when he looked around he was standing in a narrow corridor surrounded by beige walls, floor and ceiling, with no windows. He turned around a few times trying to understand where he was and jumped when he heard a small voice behind him.
“What are you doing here Jeremy?”
He turned to see a small child staring at him.
“I… I don’t know, I don’t know where here is.”
“This is the magic carpet Jeremy, it’s the only way to fly.”
The child smiled and its face began growing old, and it’s stretching off its head towards him. Jeremy turned in horror and began running, but it followed him like a grotesque snake, bending and stretching through the air behind him, all the while smiling, repeating.
“It’s the only way to fly.”
Panic began to grow in the pit of Jeremy’s stomach and he could feel his heart rate sore.
“It’s the only way to fly Jeremy.”
He turned back to look at the thing again and realised he’d run through a doorway. He lunged for it and slammed the door closed before stepped back to try and catch his breath. As he stood there he saw the things face begin to melt through the gap between the door and the wall, all the while giggling as if it was being tickled. Desperation gripped Jeremy and he lashed out toward the thing punching and kicking at it as hard as he could but all it did was laugh, louder and louder until in a single motion it wrapped itself around him and rushed up to his face.
Jeremy’s eyes suddenly burst open and he saw his bedroom in front of him. He quickly sat up to take a few long breaths to try and calm, then he got up aiming for a kitchen. As he opened his bedroom door he jumped again. His flatmate Mark seemed to be waiting for him.
“Jesus man, you scared the life out of me, what are you doing here.”
Mark smiled and held up the bag of weed and in the same voice as the child said.
“It’s the only way to fly.”
As if on queue Jeremy’s eyes opened and he realised he was still in bed. He looked up to see the child lying on the ceiling above him. He tried to move but his body wasn’t responding. He tried to speak but no sound came out, his heart rate rocketed, as he continued to try to will his body into motion, and his thoughts turned into terrified screams, and cried for help. As he watched, stuck staring at the child he saw it’s face change into the same old face as before, only this time it wasn’t smiling or laughing, it simply opened its mouth and blood so hot that it burnt began pouring out onto Jeremy’s face. It ran hot into his mouth, his nose, his ears and his eyes. Desperately he tried to struggle, to scream to protect himself in some way, but he couldn’t even blink. His already extreme panic rose when he realised that as his mouth was filling and he was struggling to breathe. In the last moment, as the blood fully blocked his throat, he sat up screaming and frantically wiped at his face. But there was nothing there. He looked around to find his room as he knew it. Sunlight coming in through the window, cold tea next to his bed and a deep sense of relief, but he still jumped as Mark burst into the room.
“What’s wrong what wrong?”
He looked at his friend and relaxed.
“Jesus man you look like shit, what happened.”
Jeremy took a few long breaths.
“Just, a really bad night, I was, I don’t even want to think about it.”
“That bad? Is it work stress or what’s going on with you?”
“I… I don’t know.”
“Man I think you just need to unwind a bit. What’s say we grab some snacks, some beers and jump on that new bullet train to the coast for the day?”
Still trying to shake off the memory of his dream Jeremy looked up at his friend.
“Haven’t you seen the ads? ‘The Magic Carpet, it’s the only way to fly!’”