October 9, 2018 – Prompt – “I like this place and could willingly waste my time in it.” Wm. Shakespeare

This was a take home prompt and limited to 1000 words.

One More Glass of Scotch

The first time I entered this place was in a dream. My life at the time was very ordinary, boring actually. I came home from my office job each night more and more worn down with the utter uselessness of what I was doing.

It was a Wednesday night the mid-week day when we can look forward to the weekend. I hadn’t been enjoying my weekends either. Golf had become more work than fun, none of the football teams I watched were doing well, and my girlfriend had moved out saying, “You know you are not fun anymore, Josh. What happened?”

I drank a quart of Famous Grouse scotch and staggered to my bedroom. I was out before I hit the bed. I know you don’t know when your dreams begin but this one seemed to start as I closed my eyes. I was standing in front of an ornately decorated door, I reached out and grasped the doorknob that was a golden color and shaped like a rose. I stepped into a light-filled room the walls weren’t painted but changed colors every few minutes. The hues were so rich they seemed to seep into my brain through my eyeballs. They filled me with all-encompassing peace. It was so tranquil I wanted to stay forever, but before I could take more than one step. I woke up. I didn’t want to my desire was to return and escape not just my boring life, but the throbbing headache I had.

I couldn’t because my alarm went off and I had to get up and go to work. Thursday was as dissatisfying a day as Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday had been. My headache never left even after Advil every four hours. I thought perhaps what I would need was the “hair of the dog” so I stopped at my usual liquor store for some Famous Grouse. I picked up a bottle then reconsidered and bought a case. Maybe it was the scotch that got me to that awesome room.

When I got home I went right to my bar grabbed a glass and some cold water, Scotch is better with a little water I have been told, grabbed a bottle from the case and headed for my bedroom. I wasn’t going to waste time on other activity or even the time it would take me to walk from my recliner to my bed. It was straight to bed, and after four full glasses, I had emptied the bottle. I was asleep almost before I sat my empty glass on my bedside table. Hallelujah, there was the ornate door. I quickly opened it and walked in. The beautiful colors were there,, and tonight there was a soothing melody playing. It reminded me of a burbling spring and the sound seemed to flow into my subconscious mind and calmed me. I took two steps and woke up.
Friday was much the same as Thursday. Except I skipped the Advil because it didn’t help my headache, and gave me indigestion.

I didn’t have to stop at the liquor store tonight. I drove straight home taking risks at yellow lights and even going through a red light which was accompanied by the honking of horns and the one-fingered wave. They sounded angry to me. I didn’t bother with ice or a glass. I had put my scotch in the freezer before I went to work. I grabbed the frost covered bottle and went right to my bedroom. I unscrewed the cap and drank from the bottle. I emptied it in thirty minutes. It was there again the ornate door, and I burst through it and took three steps then I halted to take a deep breath because the fragrance in the room was so heavenly I thought I would swoon but as I began to take another breath, I woke up.

I was filled with rage. It was Saturday. I didn’t have anything to do. I wanted to stay in my dream and “I like this place and could willingly waste my time in it,” I thought. I hustled to my kitchen and pulled another bottle of Famous Grouse from the freezer. This time I decided to drink slower but had to stop myself from guzzling. In less than an hour, I was again asleep and standing in front of the doorway. When I took four steps, a light breeze caressed my cheek the sensation went right to my brain. As before I then woke up. I had been asleep for less than two hours. I tried to get up but the effects of the scotch were still apparent, and when I tried to stand up I fell down. I must have hit my head on something as hours later I roused with a lump on my temple and lying on the floor. My vision was so blurry it took me a while to focus on my watch and see what time it was. I had spent the whole day on the floor, and it was now evening.

I repeated the ritual of the last two days but added another bottle of scotch. Perhaps I thought two bottles would keep me asleep longer. When I entered the room taking just five steps, there was a table laden with all my favorite sweets I picked up a chocolate truffle and let it melt in my mouth but before I could swallow I woke up. I wept. I didn’t want to leave the room everything in it was magnificent.

I drank again even more and soon entered that wonderous place. This time there was a door across the room, and as I strode six steps it opened, and a tall, thin man in a black hooded cape beckoned to me.

“Come in,” he said, ”you can waste your time here.”

Christine Howard

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