The Pre-Dawn Battle Axe Blues.

by Serge Bielanko

I am laying there sleeping when I hear a battle axe being pounded into the side of the house over and over and over. I wake up. I open one eye and then the other, mortified. This is how it ends, huh? This is how I go. In my bed in a sleepy Mormon hamlet at the foot of a giant mountain, some meth demon with a weapon from a Dungeons and Dragons Fan Convention is going to fillet me, fillet us for a jelly jar of dimes or some shit.

Gack-gack-gack-gack-gackgackgackgackgackgackgackagckgack. God, he must be tweaking out of his mind, I think; he's slamming the axe home so hard and so fast. I figure within three minutes he'll have the support walls down and we'll all just spill out into the front yard, out onto the dog craps. Then he'll up and go to work on us.

F that, I say. I have to save the lady of my dreams. I have to protect the one I took vows to protect for life. I will not let anyone...especially some local zitty redneck punk with Superhuman Dope Powers...touch a hair on the head of the love of my life!

And besides that: Monica is here too, and she'll probably need saving as well.


The entire house is vibrating and I am almost paralyzed with a total and complete horror. PLEASE JESUS!, I scream, but nothing comes out of my strained open mouth. The fear has me hoarse. I manage to feel embarrassed no matter what the situation.

I manage to spin over to my bride.

GACKGACKGACKGACKGACKGACKGACKGACK! pelts my face-skin with hot mist. What the fuck.

Then more. And more. Battle axe hits peeling off the night air with the ferocity only a determined Ogre of Death could possibly muster.

I prepare. To die. In moonless battle.

It hits me then. Wait a second. That sound. That's not a damn axe! That's Monica! Coughing her face off! Splitting the heart of the oak of night open with a never-ending volley of tubercular hacks!

Here comes the ending.

After about fifteen minutes of this non-stop/no rest/no stopping for fucking breath cough-a-thon I finally conjure up the nerve to address the battle axe itself.

"Jesus Christ, go take some of your medicine." I offer this kind of quietly, so that I said what I needed to say, but won't catch a raft of hell for my icy tone. In other words: I am certain she doesn't here me.

I am wrong.

GACKGACKGACKGACKGACKGACKGACKGACK! is suddenly halted with miraculous precision. One second the forever fit is plowing up the peace, trenching the bewitching hour. And the next it stops in its tracks to reveal Monica's gagging voice.

"It's not that, I'm not sick anymore, that's over now."


"I had dream. Someone was choking me with a rope and their hands and....oh its too hard to explain."

Am I fucking hearing this shit right? You are coughing up a lung because you were dreaming?

"Get some damn water," I mumble.

"Water won't help," she cackles, many frogs partying in her throat. " I was dreaming it."

I don't know what to say. I'm stunned. I'm woken up/I'm awake now/I'm stunned.

She says some more things, bobcat growls. She drops some more details in her gravely voice but I can't recall hearing any of it. There is only one thing for me to do.

I get up. I slip my Jagermeister shirt on over my head and stumble into the bathroom at 4ish in the morning for the second damn day in a row.

I hit the light, the fan. Blinded.

Choked in a freaking dream. How am I even suppose to pretend to know how to protect somebody from that type of thing.