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At peace now. Her head falling gently onto her shoulders. Although no longer jet black, it had stood the
test of time and to some might be considered quite beautiful. As were her high cheek bones and full
mouth. She was covered up to her neck with a single arm resting peacefully outside the white sheets
and thin, light-blue blanket. Underneath was the once tall, lithe body of a powerful an intimidating
woman. The small room at Saint Vincent's Hospital seemed to glow in the fading daylight of summer and
hummed with the quiet, resonant sounds of her life-preserving respirator.

Behind her ebony eyes was a scene of youthful exuberance and love. Sunlight danced through the
swaying Crape Myrtle trees on her front lawn and his voice came to her soft as a summer breeze. He
was such a beautiful man with almost feminine features in his face and thin waist, but the thick chest
and powerful arms and legs of a well-tuned athlete. "I'll see you in my dreams, hold you in my dreams,"
he had been humming.

They had been friends since the eighth grade, dated steadily through high school and become lovers in
college. She had sat upon the concrete seats in the football stadium where he had thrown his touchdown
passes and he had sat in the wooden bleachers where she had made her free-throws and field goals.
Their campuses only a few miles apart.

Their only separation had come during his time in Vietnam, but even then their letters had bound them
forever together. Each vowing eternal love to the other. Which could not last, for he had kept going back
again and again only to return a broken and bitter warrior overwhelmed by her betrayal. She had taken
up with a stranger.

The years had left both barren. Childless and homeless with little to be thankful for other than a sad
memory or two and an occasional encounter with others of the night like themselves. He had lost both
legs to a trip mine in Vietnam and spent years in rehabilitation, ending in a iron wheelchair. She had
stayed with a man who fed her drugs and beat her into submitting to his will. Her current condition a
trailer of his vicious attacks.

Fifty years later he had seen her picture in their hometown newspaper with a caption that identified
her and others who needed monetary help to sustain their care at Saint Vincent's Hospital. The story
was short and made a sad plea for help for those who would not need help that much longer. So give
whatever you can now because you will not be required to give for an extended period of time. He
did not understand what had compelled him to return home at the time. He had no one there. Yet, he
had some desperate need to see the Crape Myrtles that had once graced her front lawn.

That had been a month ago and he was now by her side once again. Every day and every night since
then. There was so much he needed to know. Had she been truly happy? How many children did she
mother? Grandchildren? She had never left their hometown? Why? Did she ever think of him? Why
had she stopped writing? Had they polluted her mind like so many others? Did she hate him too? Had
her loneliness destroyed her as his had destroyed him? Was there still a chance? Or must he always
be crying over her? Her comatose state forbade him even a single answer.

The Doctor on call, as a member of the Hospitalists Group that evening, told him with a certain air of
arrogance that her morphine solution would be maxed out that very night. Stopping her heart. "Why?"
"Why, because she had run out of
Carbon Credits, of course!" And so, over a period of fifty years little
had changed in Washington, DC. Fifty years ago, the federal government had rationalized a worthless
war that had crippled him; fifty years later they were rationalizing her death with some idiotic EPA
program. "Well, it's over. Finally," he sighed, rolling his wheelchair to the side of her bed.

At the end he took her withered hand, brought to his lips for a final kiss, and laid his head upon her
breasts. He could hear the music again. A soft, uplifting tune. And the poignant refrain was perfectly
clear-- coming from somewhere inside her heart:

                                                 "Here we are;
                                                  I know I love you again;
                                                  I can see you in my dreams."


                                         ©
2011 Sonya Cast-Sun [All Rights Reserved]
NEW REVIEWS: WOW, Sonnnya! What an incredible story. Bright and happy, terribly sad. We must
ask: "How can one so young and beautiful as you write so revealingly about such a sad time in American
history? Mix so gracefully youth with age? Challenge so insightfully the frequent missteps of the federal
government? Yours is a sharp eye, defining a clever art that shall surely be recognized by many soon.
Welcome and please, give us more! *****__Anthony M. Gullatta.

A beautifully crafted story of youth and age and what might have been. I was deeply touched by how
you handled the early love between the two versus the tragedy of their final time together. Love does
endure, but not all. Yes, please give us more, Sonya, and welcome to LMI.*****__Su Chang-Wu.

I was deeply moved by this story. I believe it is true that one does not forget one's first love. The level
of forgiveness on part of both participants is well worth reading again and again during these anxious
and highly polarized days of our country. Welcome, Sonya, and send us more. ****__Jean Ann Morgan.

A magnificent piece of story-telling that opens the door into a vivacious landscape of life, love and
sadness. So many people enter our lives, changing who we are, and when they depart, we can never
forget them. Their essence echoes in stories such as yours.****__Melissa Mendelson
"In My Dreams"
By Sonya Cast-Sun
Monday, May 2, 2016
Rated
"G" by the Author.
Remember me, recuerdame, mi amor.