He woke up and didn't want to move. The warm bed was just too comfortable. Not since he lived in his parent's house as a child did a bed feel this good to him. The soft feather mattress hugged his back and the pillows cushioned his head like a mother's breast.
As he lay there in the mist of the early morning he somehow felt it was all so right and yet...something was terribly wrong. He felt displaced in time and his body had seemed to have lost all it's normal early morning aches and pains. At 38 he had seen his share of broken bones and injuries from years of riding with a patch on his back and from time to time too much Jack Daniels in his blood. But this morning, he felt almost rejuvenated. Healed.
As his eyes adjusted to the dim light he was aware that he was in his old room in his parent's house. He wondered how this was possible.His parents had both been killed in a car accident when he was 16 and the old farm house and all it's land had been sold at auction shortly thereafter. He had grown up with his Aunt in Cincinnati and had never even bothered to return here.
He forced his body to stand up from the safety and warmth of the old feather bed. He pulled his boots on and fumbled with his shirt in the dim light. As he looked for his leather jacket he gazed out the window and was surprised to see his mother walking across the back yard in the low lying mist...the basket she always used to collect vegetables from the garden in her hand. She was exactly as he remembered her; Young, beautiful and so full of life. Her long dark hair lightly waved in the pre-dawn light as she moved across the grass. Floating as if on air.
Pulling on his jacket he ran from the room, not even caring anymore where he was or how he had come to be here. All he wanted to do was run up to his mother and hug her. To tell her how badly he had missed her all these years. How painful his life had been without her in it.
He ran down the stairs taking them two and three at a time as he rushed to meet her before she was swept away into the mist of his dream again. Yes, it was a dream he thought as he ran through the living room and into the kitchen. That was the only rational explanation, he was having a dream. He was dreaming he was home again!
He bounded through the back door and flew off the porch landing fully 15 feet from the steps as he hurried to catch her. The air was cool and crisp but felt so good on his face as he ran. So clean and pure. Nothing at all like the bars and back streets of the cities he had haunted these past twenty years.
Ahead of him he could see her in the mist. Her back was to him as she knelt in the garden. He ran faster feeling the emotions of a lifetime welling up in him. As he neared her he slowed his pace to a walk not wanting to frighten her because after all, it had been over twenty years since she had seen him. She may not remember him. His long hair and beard may cause her to not remember her son. The clothing and the emblems of his tribe might also scare her he thought to himself. He knew the effect they had on most people and if she didn't recognize him she may run away, terrified to have a biker walking around her house and yard so early in the morning.
As he approached her he had a flash of a memory go off in his head like a gunshot. He was riding his Panhead at breakneck speed down a back country road...where was he going? The thought inside his thought suggested he had been going home, to his childhood home. Something had gone very wrong in his life and he had headed for home. That place we all want to return to when life gets crazy. Where Mom waits in the kitchen to make it all better...in his thought he had the image of an intersection...the caution lights blinking in the fog...another image, directly in his path...a car. His body spasmed as it remembered the impact, the pain. And then the calm. The darkness followed by his awakening in his old room.
He stopped dead in his tracks, confused, wanting to wake up from this dream that was fast becoming a nightmare. His mother had turned and started towards him. Her arms outstretched to him. Her eyes soft and caring as she smiled at him but, a deepness in them that made his skin crawl. Her fingers were like claws. Long and thin with a hint of grave mold on them.
He dropped to his knees in the cold, wet grass and began to cry as his long dead mother knelt next to him and wrapped her arms around him...hugging his trembling head close to her own in the cold grave of fog...
"Welcome home, Son,"she whispered in his ear, "Welcome home."