Where Bobby Was

This prompt (in brackets) is taken from Complete the Story by Piccadilly Inc., which I got from the Scribbler box.

[Perhaps it was a dream, she thought. Perhaps if she pinched herself, she would wake up. But she didn’t want to wake up. She wanted to stay in this dream world where] Bobby was. Most nights she found him, wandering through a dream city or lounging in a dream house, or walking along terrifyingly tall dream cliffs or through an expanse of dream fields. When they saw each other, he always smiled broadly, beautifully. When he held her, she felt safe, at home.

She had asked Bobby where he was from, where he lived and slept, because she knew he dreamed her as much as she dreamed him. She knew they met every night in their shared dreams, or why else would she dream him so often? But whenever she asked him, his expression changed from bliss to fear, his eyes took on a glassy unfocusing, and he changed the subject, or kissed her deeply and unrelenting.

One night, when they were alone inside of a vast mansion and lying in each other’s arms, she asked him again, and pushed him away when he kissed her.

“I want us to be together,” she said, “in our waking lives as well as our dreams.”

That fear shone in his eyes, and he asked “Are you sure you want to know?”

“Yes.” She grasped his hand and held it tightly. “Tell me. Where do you sleep?”

He gulped. His eyes unfocused again.

“Underground,” he said.

She wasn’t sure she heard him right. “Underground?”

“Yes. Deep down in the dirt.” He looked off down the hallway, which stretched on for miles. “When I wake, I hear the worms slithering through my skull. I feel them wind their way between my ribs. I sleep in a graveyard.”

She sucked in a breath, and he looked at her, his eyes sad. “Is it lonely?” she asked.

He nodded, and he looked terrified. Terrified of waking.

She still held his hand. She squeezed it. “Which graveyard?”

Three days later, she stood awake in the overgrown weeds at the rusted gates to a cemetery. She held a pick in one hand and a shovel in the other. Bobby was here.

She was ready to meet him.

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