Inspired by a prompt from a reader, whose partner messaged to say he awoke during the night after dreaming of Kevin.
From the day she took her son home, Jenny had struggled to get him to sleep at night. Kevin was born a bad sleeper and this continued until he was old enough to understand instructions given to him by his father. Daniel diagnosed him as having an over active consciousness, so when Kevin was old enough Daniel tried to teach him various methods of inducing sleep. They finally started to have success when Daniel managed to convince his son that he should block out all other thoughts and concentrate on imaging he was going on a short journey to his favourite place. Kevin imagined he was travelling on a candy-coated train to a peaceful place populated by cuddly animals running free dessert shops.
The method was so successful that it is still Kevin’s way of getting to sleep, although the means of transport and ultimate destination have changed over the years. The candy-coated train running on chocolate rails had morphed into a dodgem car, then a formula one racer, a Lear jet and now was a giant penis racing into a tunnel. Tonight was no exception. Kevin was headed into the tunnel but as soon as he came out, his brain switched from consciousness to dream mode and he was the engineer of a rusty old train travelling on dangerously twisted rails. The train was powered by red bubbles of oily lipid molecules with spikes protruding from them. Kevin was warned not to come into contact with the fuel as he shovelled it into the engine as contact meant death. The train trundled along till it reached a wharf and Kevin just managed to break the trains travel as the line ended right on the edge of the wharf. Kevin stepped off the train onto the flimsy boards and as he did so, his clothes changed from tattered jeans and shirt to a smart naval uniform complete with cap. Kevin looked down at his name tag ‘Captain Covid’.
Moored alongside the wharf was a gleaming white ship called the ‘Rubella Princess’*. Kevin just instinctively knew this was his ship to command, so he stepped gingerly across the damaged wharf and onto the gangplank. As he entered the ship he was handed a ship’s manifest and harbourmaster’s dispatch papers which indicated that the ship was fully provisioned, staffed and had permission to depart.
Kevin immediately headed off to the bridge to take command of his ship. As he strode through the ship he was saluted by crew members who briefly paused from attending to their duties. The ship was magnificent with glistening chandeliers, curving gold staircases, sumptuously decorated staterooms, dining rooms and bars. When Kevin reached the bridge he took his seat and waited for his first officer to check on passenger embarkation. He was soon advised that the last passenger had boarded and that was the signal to set sail.
As was tradition on the first night at sea, the captain would have his evening meal in the main dining room with special passengers invited to his table. When he entered the dining room, instead of being ushered to the banquet table, Kevin was directed to a table set for only two. This seemed unusual but the captain trusted his crew and waited for his guest to arrive. It was not long before Kevin spotted the purser ushering a young man towards the captain’s table. He was the most beautiful man Kevin had ever seen. He was tall, lean waisted, with a deep chest that filled his dinner jacket more than adequately. As the guest took his seat a waiter poured champagne, they toasted to a successful trip and started to chat. They dined on many sumptuous courses while the band played soft romantic music. When they finished their crème brule, Kevin signalled to the band master and he had the band up the tempo. Kevin rose from his chair, took the young man’s hand and led him onto the dance floor. They danced in each other’s arms until the band stopped at the stroke of midnight. He gave Kevin a kiss on the cheek, turned and strode across the dance floor towards the exit. Kevin called out “Don’t leave now.”
“I must go.”
“Don’t go, please don’t leave me now. Come back, you haven’t even told me your name.”
“I’m your mother.” Jenny said, as she shook Kevin awake.
*A cruise ship named ‘The Ruby Princess’ docked in Sydney in March and passengers were allowed to disembark without appropriate health checks. This resulted in many cases of Corona virus being let into the community.