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O Brien...

That name I had always kept hearing in my dreams in childhood... A name that would soon mean nothing. For in the dreams I never remembered anything else... besides that name.

...O Brien.



I had been at work when I had seen this woman. The moment I met her and saw her clear blue eyes... I had a vision.

A real vision.

I saw our life together, our first kiss, me holding her hand. Our first fight, moving in together. The first time we made love. The day she was mine forever as we said our wedding vows. The hundredth kiss... the children. Two sons and a girl.

Their names, Toby, Ryan and Eliza.

Her holding my hand as we aged. Her holding my hand in that second when I saw her.

She was finding it hard to breathe and I was frozen in the vision as I looked into her teary eyes.

She had been struck by a car, and I was the paramedic.

We helped her into the ambulance, but I never let go of her hand, and our eyes never parted from each other.

I saw it all.

Our old age, our grandchildren... the day when she kissed me on the forehead as I drifted off to my eternal sleep. I saw her finally close her eyes in the present second, dying as the other paramedic called out.


And used the defibrillator on her chest.

The ambulance was still moving and I noticed to the side of her, a man that was not meant to be there. My co-worker continued giving the electric shocks but the man had ashy smoke coming off him and scaly wings.

He looked at me, grinning darkly and as a ball of light came out of her opened mouth, her very cries being held in them, he grabbed it in his ashy scaly hand. Whispering to me, my eyes agape with tears in them.

“I’ll take that...”

I watched as he began to fade away, but the very words he said before he was gone for good were.

“You should’ve gone on that date they arranged.”

“GIVE HER BACK!” I yelled and he only ‘tut tut’, grinning as he spoke.

“Give what back..? For it was only an alternation to a time that had never happened.”

He smiled at me and blew away in the air as the ambulance arrived at the hospital and I followed them with the trolley as they brought her into surgery.

“Name of patient?”

“Kaley O Brien.”

My co-worker said this to the surgeon who passed it on to the doctors and they got to work to bring back the dead. But as I looked at her lifeless body... I knew it was too late.

“O Brien...” I said slowly to myself... suddenly realizing something.

The d-dreams...

And I saw it... the dreams I had forgotten in my youth, yet the name, the thing always remembered. Dreams of total destruction... of the world coming to an end. And of her... sitting on a throne of bones.

“Kaley O Brien...”

I couldn’t catch my breath, for in that vision I had seen my life with this woman... her kindness. But in her death... I had remembered what I had been blinded to in the black of the night.

For a vision is different to a dream... and sometimes the two can be swapped.

And sometimes... the two can be changed.



Short Bio: Aishling Wray is an artist and writer from Ireland. She began writing at age 11 and has published a few e books, but in recent years has been focusing on flash fiction.


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