I used to have this recurring dream about a place called Rat-Trap. Sometimes I would dream about a city, but the city would turn out to be next to Rat-Trap. Or I would dream about a store or a restaurant and then the dream would pull back and I would see those places were part of … You’re way ahead of me.
So I thought I would take Rat-Trap as my prompt today, and it’s turning into a longer story. Here’s the first beat.
The Reason for Rat-Trap
by Marian Allen
All us guys were so bored the summer after 10th grade, it sounded like a good idea when Brent said, “Hey! Let’s go out to Rat-Trap!”
I mean, that wasn’t something you did. Oh, sometimes tough guys went out there to drink or fish with guys they knew from school, and sometimes somebody who came from there would go back to visit. Nobody just went there.
But, like I said, none of us had summer jobs yet, and the grass grows slow, so there wasn’t any to cut, and we were antsy. So the seven of us crammed into Brent’s rattletrap and took off.
Brent took the by-pass around the city. Through would have been shorter, but traffic and traffic lights would have made it longer. And stinkier, and louder. And we might have seen something that took somebody’s attention, and then we would have had a big debate, and nobody wanted that. That always got into power plays and egos, and it was better when we all wanted to do the same thing at the same time.
So the city was in front of us, then on the left. The bypass went off to the right to go pass by some other city and we had to turn left into the old business district, where the tallest buildings were twelve stories and had brass plaques with their names on them, and the dates they were built went way back. Mom came down there a lot, so I felt right at home, and I kinda wanted to stay and poke around. –See what I mean about getting distracted from the plan?
I didn’t say anything, though, and Brent turned right and drove past the last row of office buildings. I’ve seen maps and pictures of other towns, so I know how crazy it is. We just go: suburbs, new town, old town, boom — scrub flats, ocean. Like there’s a line the buildings don’t have the guts to cross.
And then, so close to the sea it’s like it was washed up in a storm, there’s Rat-Trap.
The asphalt ended with the last of the buildings and turned into cement that turned into gravely sand. Up ahead was Rat-Trap’s hind end: scraggly yards, some of them fenced and some of them not. The “road” eased to our right, between the south fishing pier and a two-story wooden building with an outdoor extension marked off by a bunch of eight-foot poles with a fishing net draped over them.
“Mulligan’s,” Brent said, like somebody might say, New Orleans.
“What about it?” Leon was always the one who asked the questions.
Brent said the magic words: “They don’t card.”
After a breathless hush while we all ran that by our brains a couple of times to make sure we heard right, we cheered.
~ * ~
MY PROMPT TODAY: Recurring dream