The Taylight Zone - Anthology Nine

13 - Dreams - Darien

James bellowed into the mist.  The sickeningly bright white light hurt his eyes, drilling into his sockets with intense force.  “Come back!” he screamed, but it was too late.  The night was surrounding him, swallowing him up again.  Taylor would have to find his own way back.  He always did.
The demons screamed, tortured souls writhing in pain.  He could only make out one face in the sea of people and that was James’.  Taylor pulled himself from the haunting dream, surrounded by the darkness of Madison Avenue hotel in London.  His shirt was soaked with perspiration and his chest heaved.
“James?” Taylor called, sounding rather meek and helpless.  It was strange that he called that name, even as it left his lips it puzzled him.  Who was this James?  He only saw him in dreams, but they felt so real.  All he could hear was his own breathing and the breathing of someone nearby.  Suddenly the room was light again.  As soon as his cerulean eyes adjusted to the searing glow of the lamp light, his brother Isaac come into focus.
“You okay?” he asked getting up from his bed and coming over to Taylor. He massaged Taylor’s shoulders and neck with his thick hands, relieving the knots and soreness.
“I had a dream about James,” Taylor whimpered and cuddled into Isaac’s chest.  He smelled like a mix of ivory soap and purple wisteria flowers, that familiar Isaac scent and it immediately calmed his nerves.
“Sssh,” Isaac soothed him, brushing back his blonde hair.  “Who’s James?”
“I don’t know, I keep seeing him, he wants me,” Taylor sniveled.
“Taylor, that’s silly, it was just a dream.”
“Yeah,” he sighed.  “I guess you’re right.  I’m gonna try to get some sleep,” he said rubbing his temples.  “Thanks.”
Isaac clicked off the lamp shade and Taylor fell back into his drifting sleep.  James was there again.  The screams were droning through his brain and ear cavities, eating away at him until there was nothing left but darkness.
A crash outside the room woke Taylor with a start.  It sounded like someone had fallen from the balcony.  He looked around frantically for Isaac, but the bed next to him was empty.  He swung open the door to the balcony, expecting the peach stucco floor and white beach chairs bathed in the moonlight, but it was just darkness.  Taylor could hear someone laughing.  The deep throated laugh came closer and closer until James came into view.  “Welcome back Taylor,” he smiled.  Taylor turned around but the door was gone, replaced by a black expanse as far as the eye could see.
“Where am I?” Taylor asked drearily.
“Taylor, it’s been ten years, I think you’d get used to it by now.”
“Get used to what?”
“Hell, my dear boy,” James replied rather smartly.  “And Taylor, I think it’s about time you stopped haunting that hotel your brother died at.  Frankly it’s a little pathetic and the tourists are starting to get scared.”
“Must I remind you ev’ry day?” James sighed.  “I was a fan just like everyone else Taylor.  I finally found you guys one night.  Isaac was angry because it was late at night and you were trying to sleep.  He was so rude to me.  I got so angry I pushed him off the balcony.  I thought you guys were supposed to be nice to your fans.  You woke up and came out and when you realized what I had done, you stabbed me.  Then, with my last ounce of strength I pushed you.  People have been visiting the spot where the Hansons were killed for years.  A bit of a legend in London, don’t you think?  It only adds to the story that the ghost of Taylor Hanson still lurks there.  Or as legends say,” James laughed.
“This is just a dream,” Taylor shouted at him.  “Any minute Isaac will turn on the light and comfort me.”
“That’s what you’ve been saying for the past ten years.  Give it up, Tay!  You’re only hurting yourself.” James chuckled.  “I guess it really must be difficult.  I mean, the transition from haunting hotel guests back into this realm makes you forget everything, that’s why I only come in dreams.  Wise up Tay.”