Dreams of Home by Elaine Thomas

Houses whispered as she walked past.

“Choose me.” “Choose me.” “Choose me,” they enticed.

The origins and depth of her longings for strange homes confused Lois, but she wanted to be inside each and every one of them. We all have our lusts.

Lois dreamed about interiors. In one dream a modern house had concrete in front rather than lawn. Its entry opened to a hallway that wound around and down to an area reminiscent of a 1950s-style diner, with a long counter and metal stools topped with red leather cushions. Lois sat at the counter, spun around, and looked out through a wall of glass over water. Whether ocean or lake she could not be sure.

Freudian, maybe, but Lois always felt there was more to it.

She spent hours compulsively poring over design magazines. Fine furniture and works of art pictured in their pages cajoled, “Buy me.” “Buy me.” “Buy me.”

Consumerism, yes, but that alone could not explain her farmhouse dream. A simple ground-floor interior and well-worn furnishings felt comfortable and multigenerational. Each door she opened revealed far more house than Lois had initially detected. Up and up, through doors and floors that sprang from nowhere, wallpapers and antiques graced hidden rooms. Far away from her, somewhere in the house, she sensed a warm, loving presence. No matter how many doors she opened, Lois could not locate or reach the source of that warmth.

She dreamed of book-filled rooms, vast personal libraries shelved in stunning, carved oak. “Read me.” “Read me.” “Read me,” the books pleaded, but the knowledge they contained was not the knowledge Lois deeply desired.

The house she most often dreamed about was far simpler, small and dark and sparsely furnished, but with a warm glowing hearth. That loving presence she sensed in other houses in other dreams was there, present and immediate, all around her. She had no idea who these people were, nor did she ever remember being in this house, as she had lost them long before she had a memory, while only a few months old.

Elaine Thomas lives and writes in Wilmington, NC. Her work has appeared in numerous literary journals and magazines, including The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, moonShine Review, Blue Mountain Review, and Pembroke Magazine.