Last night, I had the most vivid dream, and lucky you, you get to read all about it. 

Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0

I was sitting on the floor of the Capitol Building late one evening surrounded by hundreds of senators and congressmen and women listening to President Obama give a speech.  One row behind me and a few chairs down on my right, sat two members of the President's cabinet.  Their slight fidgeting had caught my attention a few minutes earlier and with only a slight turn of my head, I could see the two of them clearly in my peripheral vision.  Their faces were twisted into a grimace of disgust, presumably at something the President had just said.  Then one man turned to the other and said, "That's enough.  We have to bump him off."

I couldn't believe my ears.  It seemed like they were discussing assassinating the president of the United States!  The rustling of the people around me and the ongoing speech of the President faded into oblivion as I strained to hear the conversation.  Bits and pieces that I caught only confirmed my guess that someone's life was in danger, but I couldn't determine whose.

After some cryptic sentences back and forth, the second man asked, "Okay, how?"

The first man responded, "Call O'Sullivan's.  They'll take care of it."

Man Two nodded once and left the meeting.

I sat, thinking over everything I had just heard and feeling like Mordecai.  What should I do with this information?  Somebody certainly was going to die if I said nothing, but what could I say?  I didn't know who was going to be killed, or how or when or where.  I knew nothing.  I didn't even know the names of the two men who had been plotting. 

I couldn't sit there any longer.  I had to do something.  I stood as casually as possible and climbed from the center of the row over legs and laps to the aisle.  I willed myself not to turn my head or make eye contact with Man One still sitting in the row behind me even though I wanted desperately to know if he was taking note of my departure.  I tried to look like I was simply heading to the restroom.  Question:  how does a sophisticated person look when they need to leave an important presidential speech to go to the bathroom?  Answer: they try to look like they do NOT need to pee terribly badly.  So, I tried to look like a person who had to pee but who was trying to hide it, but I didn't want to hide it so well and give the impression that I might be leaving for any other purpose besides relieving myself.  Tell me that's not a tricky act to put on.

The huge wooden doors closed soundlessly behind me shutting out the President's words and the general movement of the crowd.  I looked up and down the corridor and found Man Two about thirty paces ahead on my right.  I turned and followed him, trying to keep my high-heeled shoes from clicking on the richly tiled floor, and thinking frantically all the way.  I needed to get to where ever he was going before he got there, but I didn't know where he was going.  I needed to stop a murder, but I didn't know whose.  "God!" I began praying, "Help me!  Show me what to do!"


The name echoed in my brain as I hurried to keep up with Man Two.

Who is O'Sullivan?  Correction: O'Sullivan's.  That makes it sound like a business of some sort.  Maybe a restaurant?  My brain quickly conjured an image of O'Reilly's from Return to Me, and Dean Martin music began playing in my head. 

At this point, the corridor took a sharp turn and office doorways opened up on either side.  Is O'Sullivan in one of these offices?  Is he or she someone employed in the Capitol Building?  Glimpses of rich mahogany desks, black telephones, and the backs of computer screens greeted my eyes as I glanced in every open door that I passed.  That's when a thick phone book resting on top of a desk caught my attention.  My steps stumbled, and I checked Man Two ahead.  He continued at his fast/casual pace, not noticing that anyone followed.  I turned into the office, grabbed the book from the desk, and returned to pursue.

The wall on my right changed to clear glass, and I saw that several flights of stairs reached down to the bottom floor.  Maybe I could get ahead of Man Two somehow by using the stairs.  I still didn't have any idea where he was heading, but taking the stairs seemed like a good thing to do for some reason.  I rushed to the glass door and entered the stairwell, running down the first flight.  That's when I realized that the glass walls surrounding the stairs did nothing to protect me from Man Two's sight if he noticed movement and looked my way.  What could I do?

Well, the only logical thing of course, would be to run in slow motion down those eight flights of stairs.  That way if Man Two did happen to look over, he would see someone who appeared to be moving very slowly, not in a hurry at all as someone intent on stopping a murder would be.  Yes, that made sense.  So I began running down the stairs in slow motion, wearing high-heels, while flipping quickly through the phone book looking for O'Sullivan's.  Talent, my friends, sheer talent.

At about the third floor mark, I found a listing for O'Sullivan's in the yellow pages.  It was a furniture store.  The address across town was too far to risk taking a cab and showing up in person.  Man Two might easily beat me there with DC traffic the way it would be at this hour.  I decided to call them.

But what would I say?  What if there is some secret code that not repeating would alert the person on the other end of the line?  What if I accidentally got the wrong person killed?

"God!  Guide my words!  Show me what to say!"

At the bottom of the stairs, a pay phone stood.  I rummaged in my skirt pocket for spare change, plunged it into the slot, and dialed the number listed in the book.

"Hello, O'Sullivan's.  How may I help you?" a pleasant-voiced young woman answered.

I cleared my throat and tried to sound confident.  "I'd like to place an order for the White House."

"Certainly," she replied.  "Lenny handles all of our White House orders.  I will connect you."

Lenny also sounded pleasant when he answered.  "Hello, this is Lenny.  How may I help you?"

"I need to place an order for the White House," I repeated, having no idea what I would say next.

"Okay.  Who do you want me to kill and with what furniture?" he asked brusquely.

I blinked.  I hadn't expected it to be this easy.  This meant that Lenny was one of the bad guys.  I finally had some solid information.  I knew that a man named Lenny who worked at O'Sullivan's could be turned in to the police. 

Then newspaper headlines from recent years began flashing in my memory.  Headlines describing accidental deaths of political figures like:  "John McCain was killed early this morning when his recently purchased grandfather clock fell on him."  So this furniture hit-man operation had been going on for some time now, I realized.  Well, there wasn't time to investigate all that.  I needed to stop this next murder from happening, but I still didn't know who the target was.

"Lenny, someone is on to us," I told him.  "We're not sure who, yet, but when we find out, they will be dealt with."  I tried to make my voice sound menacing and mad.  "All I can tell you is that you are about to receive a furniture delivery request, but don't believe it.  It is a trap!  However, I need you to play along and get all the information so we can track them down.  Once you have all the information, call me back so I can do more work from my end."

He obviously bought my whole story.  "Okay," he agreed, "what number do you want me to call you back on?"

Oops.  I hadn't thought of that.  I couldn't give him my cell number.  Up until now I had remained completely anonymous and that's the way I wanted to remain.  If I gave my cell number, I would easily be traced.  I also could not give him my email or facebook info for the same reasons.  I thought about giving him this pay phone number, but I wasn't sure I wanted to stand around waiting for a phone call since I didn't know when the hit request would come through to him.  I searched my mind frantically for a good idea.

And that's when Jeremy's alarm clock went off.
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3 Responses
  1. Suanna Says:

    Talk about you need to either dream more or finish the story for us.

  2. Angie Hales Says:

    Wow! I thought I had vivid dreams. That was really good; can I place an order for Jeremy's alarm clock?

  3. Missy Says:

    Suanna, I wish I could!

    Angie, you can HAVE Jeremy's alarm clock!

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