Ten O’clock Scholar – running

This snippet is written for Tuesday Tales, where a group of authors write to a word or picture prompt each week. This week we’re writing to the prompt ‘running.’

Enjoy the snippet here, then go check out the other delightful tales you’ll find at Tuesday Tales.

When Peggy dropped her tote bag in the passenger seat and settled herself behind the wheel, she breathed a huge sigh. She felt her shoulders relax and felt the tension leave her body. She didn’t realize that she’d been feeling so tense through the last class period. Even chatting with her friend in the hall and on the way to the car hadn’t relieved the stress. Until she sat alone in the quiet car. One lone car in the middle of hundreds in the east lot. Here, she felt anonymous and unseen. Here she could be herself – merely a mom struggling under her current load. Not the wonder-woman, super-student, having it all under control persona she tried to reflect to the rest of the world.

As much as she enjoyed this new pursuit, chasing a dream that had only recently revealed itself to her, she felt fatigued to her core. From sunup – actually before sunup – to way past sundown, she was running, running, running. Any spare moment she carved out of the day now went to reading textbooks, sketching out floor plans, searching through sample books for paint chips, carpets, and wallpapers that coordinated, and trying to figure out how she’d ever learn enough to pass the Computer Aided Drafting class when she’d never drawn a line on vellum before.

She debated for a moment – a very brief moment – about whether to spend the next little bit reading about the history of architecture from thousands of years ago or closing her eyes and catching a short cat nap. It wasn’t much of a debate. The cat nap won without any hesitation.

Setting an alarm for thirty-five minutes, she laid her phone on her lap, tipped the seat back and indulged in the quietness, letting it settle to her bones.

The sunshine streamed through the side window, toasting her arm in a gentle warmth. She smiled as she drifted off, feeling content and peaceful.

The shoreline wavered in front of Peggy, seagulls drifting through the air, their squawks  echoing around her like a scratchy, irritating blanket. Sunlight shimmered on the lake. Peggy strolled along the edge, dancing with the gentle lapping waves. She longed to wade out and immerse herself in the coolness. A jet ski raced by, spraying her as it passed. A cold iced tea appeared in her hand, and she was instantly seated at a picnic bench overlooking a desert cavern, vultures replacing the seagulls. Confusion overtook her as she tried to figure out how she’d gotten there without any awareness of travel. But then, it didn’t matter. She was driving a little brown Mustang down the 10-freeway, sweat pouring off her brow, trying to merge into three lanes of congested traffic-

The jarring piano riff jolted her awake. Groggy and disoriented, Peggy fumbled for the phone to turn off the obnoxious alarm.

Thank goodness! As much as I’d love to sleep more, that was the oddest dream.

Check out the other delightful tales you’ll find at Tuesday Tales.

Trisha’s Website

10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Susanne Matthews
    Feb 01, 2022 @ 12:02:39

    Great scene. The dream really emphasizes her stress. Well done.

    Reply

  2. Jean Joachim
    Feb 01, 2022 @ 13:30:06

    Love the peek into her head via the dream. Was it Freud who said dreams were wish fulfillment? If so, I get her dream of being on the water. Great peek into her real self.

    Reply

    • trishafaye
      Feb 06, 2022 @ 21:04:23

      Thanks Jean! Years back, when I was a young mother and very unhappy in her marriage, I went to a counselor who used dreams in the therapy. VERY effective! I don’t pay as much attention to my dreams as I used to, but I think we can learn so much about ourselves through our dreams.

      Reply

  3. Flossie Benton Rogers
    Feb 01, 2022 @ 18:15:50

    She is such an intrepid soul. I love her ambitious forays, waking or dreaming. Also, that could be me sitting in the warm sunshine of the car, basking in the solitude. Love this line– “chasing a dream that had only recently revealed itself to her”– such a delicious way of phrasing it.

    Reply

  4. V. L. Locey
    Feb 03, 2022 @ 10:45:41

    Wonderful snippet!

    Reply

  5. Author
    Feb 04, 2022 @ 20:09:01

    A very interesting look into her mind. Poor thing is so exhausted. That cat nap was well-deserved. Jillian

    Reply

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