A Nightmare, A Gift

I woke up repeating the name. "Addison. Add-i-son. Add a son." Strange, I thought. A moment before I had been terrified at what had unfolded, not as a normal nightmare—the kind you hurry to shake off—but as a memory. As something I was not dreaming but remembering.

My fear and wonder turned to amazement when I realized, still staring at the ceiling contemplating the twins I had seen—Lester and Addison, Les and Add—that I could recount the entire story, as though it had been transmitted to me somehow. It sent a chill down my spine when I recalled from my childhood the story—perhaps apocryphal, but real to me—that when my mom was pregnant with me, she was so big the doctor told her she had twins. But I emerged alone.

That set me to thinking... did this nightmare emerge from a prenatal trauma transmuted over 50 years into a longing for my missing twin? I couldn't know that, but it impelled me to jump out of bed and pen every detail of the nightmare which, curiously, unfolded from my memory in reverse. Like Les McCubbin, I awoke unable to remember the details of how the story began... until I started to backtrack.

I wrote every day for two weeks and published Losing Addison as a novella just 15 days after waking on that fateful morning. It was a single draft, unedited except for typos. How could I consider this story anything but a gift? But from whom...

Marty Beaudet