it was morning and time to go to work so i came out of my house to find kristen’s boyfriend in the driveway with his car. his two little kids were in the back seat, aged approx 3 and 5, respectively the girl and boy. both adorable little blond ringlet-ed tykes. kristen came out of her house next door and was sobbing. i looked at her boyfriend (who looked suspiciously like jenny’s boyfriend) and he told me that his parents were missing, presumed dead. they were the ones who usually took care of the kids, but had recently gone on a cruise so the children had been left with their mother. but she had to go somewhere else and the grandparents were supposed to be back last night. but apparently their ship had sunk. they had called him during the panic, yelling about how they were about to die. the coast guard was currently searching for survivors and he, kristen, and the kids were going over there to wait. and see. he got in the car and kristen came over to me, still crying, and she said, “i can’t leave them alone. i have to be their mother now. he’s going to need me to take care of them.” and then she got in the car too and they all drove away.
now for some reason nuala and i were joined by jacob, erica, and jolie as a work car-pool. and for some other reason we couldn’t take the car but had to take the tree instead. it had an ignition in the trunk and a really loud stereo but no CD player, about which i was much aggrieved. so i had to go find the key even though i knew it was wrong to take the tree and something really bad was going to happen.
i came back with the key and everyone was up hanging onto branches and perched in the crossings, so i climbed up too and put the key in. and the tree, which is the one that is in my front yard, grew like 10 times in size and pulled out of the ground and started stepping over houses. we all waved good-bye to my mother, till after like two steps she disappeared from view along with my house.
there was a cloaking device so people wouldn’t see it and be scared but we still had to be careful what we were stepping on. not that there was much steering involved. i got us to a street in walnut creek that led to the freeway and we started going down it.
but then corey gillette (why? i don’t know) came out of his house and was running from something and we were running from it too but couldn’t see what it was. we let him into the tree (he could see us) and we passed slowly by a cop car that had no lights on that was very menacing. it turned its lights on further down the street once we passed it going in opposite directions and i thought it was going to turn around and come after us but it didn’t. but i was terrified of it for no good reason. it wasn’t doing anything. but it was like a dirty black beetle that was going to hurt me up in my invisible walking tree.
after that we got to the p-hill downtown, (don’t ask. distances and directions didn’t seem to be essential). everyone else had been dropped off at their various working locations and i was standing at this huge bank of windows staring down into a department store with lots of teenage girl’s clothing.
the tree shrunk down and became a boy who stood next to me and we talked about the clothes and about something else. something important. something about why the whole dream was filled with this sense of impending doom even though nothing ever happened. but i can’t remember what he said. i just know he was really worried about me, and his eyes were scared.
i looked up at the sky and the clouds spelled out that kristen’s boyfriend’s parents were dead, but all it really said was, “his parents are dead.”
i woke up and realized that the whole time my brain had been dreaming and yelling “charlotte’s rocker” at me, what it had really meant was “charlotte’s walker” and the tree was the walker and in the dream my name was charlotte.