Locked in the imaginary constraints that bind Kalil in his sleep, his breaths became more and more shallow. This is the third time this week that Kalil has had this same dream. The reasons for these reoccurring dreams are still a mystery to him and his wife of two and a half years. He told Eva 2 weeks back about the dreams and the frequency of them, she could only look at him with a dumbfounded look when he asked for her opinion. She marveled at the detail in which her husband had described the dreams to her and she secretly wondered if their recent miscarriage had anything to do with his dreams. The first year of their marriage was a rocky one, as she recalls. When they both decided to move from Indianapolis to Hartford Connecticut soon after marriage, it seemed like a good idea. Kalil had just got a promotion at Ford to shift manager. The company paid for all of their moving expenses, and now they could afford a five-bedroom house sitting on 1.2 acres of land in the lavish section of Hartford. At first, she had the house to keep her busy as Kalil’s hours at work seemed to get longer and longer by the week. After 3 months the house was completely furnished to her liking and she had even started on a garden in the ample back yard that was now theirs. While she took control of the matters concerning the house, Kalil seemed to be getting more and more distant. He blamed it on the stress at work and that he missed his family back home. Eva thought it might be another woman. Arguments became more and more involved as the summer long days turned to the short and malnourished days of winter. Eva wanted her husbands time back, like it use to be before this job. Just as things seemed to be getting dimmer then a moonlit night shrouded by clouds, Eva found out she was pregnant. Things instantly changed with their marriage. Kalil found ways to come home for lunch and early from work. He stood up to his bosses at work and gained their respect, thus allowing him more space. His production at work was never a question for in his first year he set new records for efficiency on the second shift at the Ford plant. Eva saw the drastic change in her husbands’ personality and all the grays in the first year of their marriage had blossomed into bright sensual and loving colors. 6 months into her pregnancy she found blood in her undergarments after moving things around the house. Kalil left work to rush his wife to their doctor. That is when they were informed that she lost the baby. Eva was crushed, as was Kalil, but he remained strong for the both of them, even though on the inside he died a thousand deaths. Knowing how Eva felt, Kalil devoted more of his time on helping his wife out of her depression, that’s when the dreams started. In Kalil’s reoccurring dreams, he started out walking down the block he grew up on in the south suburbs of Indianapolis. Down the street he hears the chimed repetition of the ice cream man coming his way. As the ice cream man just about passes him, Kalil flags him down. The ice cream man has no distinguishing features and when Kalil tries to recall how he looks, his mind comes up blank every time. Looking over the selection of ice cream bars and sandwiches, Kalil asks him for a bomb pop. The ice cream man leaves after getting his money; this time the song has undertaken a more sinister melody. An eerie chill shivers Kalil’s insides as he unravels the wrapping to the bomb pop. No matter how many times he’s gone through this, he cannot force himself to not to open the wrapper. As the bomb pop is revealed, he realizes that it resembles a white obelisk. The scene of the dream abruptly changes into a damp palace. His new surroundings feel entirely foreign. He screams, “Is anyone there?” No answer to his question is uttered, only the reverberations of his questions over and over and over again. “By the echo, this place must be huge”, he says. His instincts lead him to this long corridor with inviting blood red carpet leading the way. “This palace must be truly owned by someone incredibly wealthy”, he says. He recognizes artwork and sculptures from various artists that he’s only seen in books previously. The high vaulted ceilings were adorned with gold and silver metallic threads, woven in and out. Pockets of thick glass were sprinkled out geometrically coinciding with the intricate structures outlining each small segment of the sky. Kalil walks down this corridor and notices that the walls are laced with portraits of people that he does not recognize. These portraits contained ghastly pale individuals that looked at him with extreme malice. One portrait was that of a man sitting on a horse with white and red riding garments on. So lifelike, the man in the portrait looked as if he could jump right through the canvas that confined him. His eyes were cold as an avalanche of ice and they bore their way into his soul. Kalil quickly moved on. He saw various other portraits of individuals in different poses and backgrounds. The only constant was the eyes of the posers. If anyone could quantify how evil looks, Kalil was sure that these portraits captured this force fully. At the end of the corridor was a little table with a vase on top that contained a single rose. He noticed this table before he got to the last portrait. The table was definitely an antique with dark mahogany wood. The wood had a reddish quality to it, as if stained in blood. Kalil eyes rose from the unassuming table to the last portrait. It was blank. He thought to out loud, “why would the last portrait be blank”. The frame for this portrait was more intricate and detailed then the other frames that contained the other portraits. The frame was made out of ivory that was painstakingly carved out to show what seemed to be thousands of people merged together in what looked like to be torturous positions. One body was carved into the other over and over again. The little people seemed to be screaming out for help by the way the mouths were shaped. Kalil found himself staring at the frame for what seemed like hours at its magnificent detail. His mind wondered while examining the frame, thinking about different things such as: I wonder how long this took to make, what does this frame symbolize, why is the portrait blank? Then he wondered who made this frame; just then a beastly hand grabbed him and pulled him into the blank portrait, with Kalil screaming for his life. This is the point where he wakes up every time with a cold feeling surrounding his chest. Each night this dream visits him; he is unable to return to sleep. Fear keeps him awake until the morning sun warms the cold grasp this dream has over him.