To Dream

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by Andrea Lena DiMaggio

San Francisco….almost noon…

Exhausted after a very long day followed by a longer night, Rick manages to wake up well into a morning dimmed by drawn curtains and sleepy eyes. Focus brings a bit of clarity as he notices things haven’t changed much at all, but the kitchen seems picked up and put away. Did she clean it?

A walk down the short hall way leads to a bleary-eyed stare in the mirror over the bathroom sink and a quick splash does a modicum of good in reviving him. Opening the bedroom door, he notices the window blinds barely holding back the glare of the near-noon sun. Too much sensory nudging by the world outside his window; he hears a baby crying nearby. And the clock on his nightstand proclaims the march of time with loud ticks; almost as a counter melody to the baby’s continued squall. He blinks twice and notices someone on the bed.

Rachael….

Walking to the bedside, he leans over and listens through the distracting grey noise. Breathing? Not breathing? A moment drags on. He sighs as the nervous worry flows out of him. She’s alive. He turns toward the dresser even as the blaster seems to flow from the holster into his hand. Opening a drawer, he pulls out a box of ammo and opens it. The loud clack echoes around him as the cartridge fills the chamber.

Kachuk! And another and another.

Rachael turns over and her eyes open; almost staring at first sight. A shadow….His shadow; back turned toward her as he slams the last cartridge into the gun.

“Do you love me?” He stares at her in the dim light peering through the window blinds; her mirror image barely lit. She looks at his back.

“I love you….” Disheveled; makeup almost gone from the night before, but she looks… more herself? Authentic? Rick holsters the gun without turning; his hand already on the knob of another drawer. He looks at her again.

“Do you trust me?” He says it slowly, but continues to move as he pulls clothes out of the drawer; stuffing them into a duffel bag.

“I trust you.” She says softly; barely indicating any emotion. He turns; hands full of clothes and bag. A small nod and silence follow.

They walk into the hallway outside his flat, luggage in hand. She starts toward the elevator as he locks the door; turning to follow her. He spots something small on the corridor floor; small and shiny. He reaches down and picks it up. A tinfoil unicorn; careful origami standing alert in the hallway. A message?

Only a woman of purity can capture a unicorn. Is she really pure? Or is she just frail and incomplete; the tiny figure sent to mock her as a mean sentinel. Are they going to follow? Rick stares at the unicorn before he walks down the hallway as the elevator bell dings in arrival.

* * *

The car whips past birch trees and hedgerows swiftly. Urgency and ability push the car well into breakneck speed. Rick turns to Rachael and smiles. She smiles back nervously as a blip shows up on the Vid screen. He squints in thought before reaching into his pocket. He pulls out the tiny unicorn and places it on the dashboard as another smile barely crosses his face.

They drive down the country lane; not oblivious, but rather uncaring over what they cannot control. It is as it is and they are who they are. And somewhere off behind them; moments or hour and meters or miles, their future pursues….


based on Blade Runner
Screenplay by Hampton Fancher and
David Peoples
based on Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep
By Philip K. Dick



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This story is 629 words long.