Nightmares and Dreamscapes: The 2nd Part of My Dream of a Crooked Insurance Agency

If the following makes no sense to you, then you probably have not read part one.

In the fashion of a good sequel or a well-produced television series, I was staring at the back of the same row of buildings. The haunted mansion with the prehistoric, mechanical beasts loomed behind me. The night was every bit as dark with the same sort of dew or other wetness on the grass and pavement though no rain had fallen to my knowledge. The row of buildings were actually the backs of businesses and offices which faced the more developed street on the next block. Sirens howled in the distance, a church bell rang and I strained to make out the faces of the businessmen huddled outside the back door of one of the buildings. There were about three men and a woman. There stood four people in all that I could make out but the group seemed larger than that from a distance. No doubt this was the typical kind of mirage that the dreamworld can pull over on you.

As I watched them the whole place grew more and more familiar. Then like a bolt of lightening I remembered having been inside that very business only a few days before (not in real life, mind you, but in this dreamy alternate reality). It was an insurance agency. I had applied for a position with the firm and actually received a call and set up an interview. The inside was small. The front door was glass and upon etering I was in a small waiting room with only 4 chairs along the wall, a magazine rack and a small desk behind which sat a secretary (this may or may not be the same woman I now saw in back of the agency). There was a doorway opposite the entrace that lead into a hall way that went straight back to the metal back door. One could look into the entrance and see clear through the building to the back door. Along the hall were a about six rooms. About four of the rooms were offices, one was a break room, and another was a fax/copy room. At the far end of the hallway was a another hallway that ran perpendicular to the main one. Turn left on this second shorter hall and you will find the office of the boss of the firm.

The interview was carried on with me in the small break room since this was the only available room. The interview process had basically no substance. I was offered coffee, asked how I was doing, but never questioned directly about my work experience or told about the job. Some casual jokes were made and I was told a little about the place but nothing more. The interview ended and I left with no idea of if or when I would be contacted about the position. During the course of my time there I laid eyes are several of the employees. Given the small size of the office there is a good chance I laid eyes on all of the employees. I definitely saw the boss. His appearance startled me and his manner made me uncomfortable.

Now standing there looking at them in the dark of night, I recognized each of them from the day of my interview. The one who seemed to be talking the most is also the one I saw pass by the break room several times. He was mid 30’s with blond, surfer-like hair down almost to his shoulders. He was casually dressed with jeans and a long-sleeve hooded t-shirt. I somehow knew his name was Adam. The lady in the group we will call Ms. Scarlet because I remember that her dress was red. Again, she may have been the secretary or just another employee; I can not recall. The next person I recognized for sure. How could I forget? He was a sly, older man around fifty years of age and I recognized him as the boss. We will call him Mr. Mustache. He had a thin dark mustache that kind which seems to be typical of shysters. He wore a dark blue pin-striped, double-breasted suit. His hair was slicked back and greasy. And this was the disturbing aspect about him: he seemed to smile about everything, whether he was giving a compliment on your fine character or describing how he would do harm to you. Lastly, poor soul, there was a wet-behind-the-ears fellow. He looked to be my age and very nervous. He seemed worried about the thing that was being said or done. His name will be Mr. Young. It was obvious Adam, Mr. Mustache and the others did not respect him. They seemed as though they could spit on him as soon as look at him. He seemed like a person who did not want to be there but could not help what he had fallen into.

From there hushed tones and seriousness I could tell they were discussing topics they did not care for others to hear–they were planning something illegal. Mr. Young looked around as though he were growing more agitated by the minute. They all began to speak in low, harsh tones at once. Just then there was movement among the group and the strong tones of their voices grew to near yelling. There were a couple of sounds that reminded me of something or someone being struck either with an object or a fist. But from what I could tell they were all standing. If only they were not all standing so close and if I just had more light, I could manage to make it all out. For about two or three minutes verbal reprimand went on with intermittent moments of struggle or that hitting sound.

In trying to hear more and see more I had wandered closer to the small fray. I looked at my surroundings, at the trees in the nearby park that separated the southbound one-way street I was on from it’s northbound counterpart. How long had I been gone? Was Lyndsay worried? Why had she not tried to come and find me? Suddenly there was a shout from Adam and everyone in the group started. “Get him,” he cried, “he knows everything we’re going to do. He’s heard all of our plans!” I then saw the entire group running towards me. I was found out. I bolted to my left across the park that separated the two one-way avenues. I ran as hard as I could trying to escape the sound of the footsteps that followed me. I made my way through the trees of the small park, leaped over a bench and into the northbound street. I ran north on the street. The yelling and sound of feet pounding pavement drove me on. I heard their voices and knew that they yelled profanities and threats but I did not distinctively hear their words where I might quote them.

After running about 20 feet on the northbound street I crossed the two-lane street, onto the sidewalk into the alleyway that separated two large buildings there. I knew I was heading toward city hall and the courthouse because from the dinosaur house I could see the belfry of the old courthouse rising up. There was no traffic no matter where I went. No one to help me. I could hear from the rapid footsteps that one member of that dreaded party was gaining on me. I could now hear the person’s panting. Out of the alleyway, through a department store parking lot I continued my flight. How could I have ended up in a situation such as this? I approached another traffic-less street I saw that I approached the courthouse. I was coming up on the rear of the courthouse and though some parking existed in front it was the rear where the vast parking lot lay. Surely there would be a police station near the courthouse. Surely there would be on-duty officers though I had seen no one else during this entire episode.

I had crossed the street and was making my way across the large rear parking lot of the city courthouse being sure to keep from falling over the six inch cement barriers that lay at the head of each parking space. The many light poles illuminated the area, but still cast an eerie glow over everything. The voices and the group of running footsteps had not faltered or slowed. The one that had gained on me had not gotten closer but had held steady. Then I saw something new in my field of vision. Indeed I could have cried for it was the very person I had longed to see again. At the far side of the parking lot stood Lyndsay calling to me and waving her arms. What’s more she was standing beside a dark SUV and her mother stood on the driver’s side. The back of the vehicle faced me. They both recognized my predicament and called and waved to me all the more, “hurry! hurry!” My mother-in-law started the vehicle. The gap between me and the pursuer who was closest behind me had widened, apparently due to his exhaustion and fatigue. So I grew bold and dared to look back for the first time. I was now merely 15 feet or so from the SUV that awaited me. I paused from shear surprise. I saw, still a good way behind me the majority of the group still running for all they were worth, even Mr. Mustache. But then a little closer though still running was the one who had been so close behind me through the entire ordeal…Mr Young! His sweating terrified visage said it all. It was he that the others were chasing. Whether they were interested in me at all became a complete mystery at that moment. But it was apparent that Mr. Young was their primary prey that night. I am not sure why he had run the same route behind me. Perhaps it allowed him not to think about where he would go. Perhaps he was just following the leader. Or maybe I was being used to help him.

I made it to Lyndsay and the vehicle. My two rescuers quickly jumped into the front seats but I stopped.  Thinking quickly I stepped into Mr. Young’s path and grabbed him by the coat. By this time he was too tired to fight me. I pulled him over to the vehicle and forced him into the backseat and I barely got myself in before the gas pedal was punched and we were off, leaving our pursuers behind.

Without my asking, Mr. Young began to rattle off all of their plans. He told how they had set up the “insurance agency” in order to run an insurance fraud racket. They hired him (and were going to hire me) to merely add to the appearance of legitimacy. However as he began to catch on they let him in on the whole deal hoping that he would throw his chips in with them. But he was too honest. He only pretended to go along for fear of his life, for he now knew their plans. But when it came to murder, he had to draw the line. That was the topic of their discussion tonight. One of their partners, who was not present, had to be dealt with and Mr. Young would not be an accessory to murder. At this, they realized that he was a traitor to them thus spawning this nearly three block foot chase.  And though I seemed to know nothing about this strange alternate Perry, my mother-in-law, on the other hand, had no trouble finding the police station where Mr. Young would tell his story to the authorities.

Sinister mechanical dinosaurs, insurance fraud, high speed chases on foot–all in a night’s work for the sandman.

Josh H.


1 Response to “Nightmares and Dreamscapes: The 2nd Part of My Dream of a Crooked Insurance Agency”

  1. 1 Lyndsay
    January 30, 2008 at 8:01 pm

    That was awesome! I did not expect that twist at the end. I wish I could have a cool dream like that 🙂

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