Sleep was more of a place back then; a gaping cave mouth with a heaving breeze leading in. The things I found there weren't so much nightmares but wild imaginings dressed in formal clothing. Nothing is so paralysing than the sight of the usual going terribly wrong. On waking though, there was always a sense of relief as my eyes adjusted to not just the immediate surroundings but to the comforting knowledge that what was now happening was actually happening. Here the horrors were much larger but could always be hidden from, from behind a warm duvet and five extra minutes lie-in.
But then, as I was drawn in one gentle night, I suddenly found myself...elsewhere. 'Elsewhere' looked nothing like the other dreams. It was the finest living room I'd ever seen. So many facets and ornaments of 1920s elegance. How I admired that period; its art, its colour. Such a fresh-faced era. But the room was a blurry nothing, a background fading in and out of focus. My focus was busily set on the sight sitting so primly before me.
She was a raven-haired flapper, or at least dressed in that fashion. Her dress was sometimes green but often blue, but always curling with the ebb and flow of her slightest movements. This woman had silver eyes, a feature which more soothed than shocked me at the time. Her smile was a fragile line that dithered and parted with occasional flashes of white. Then again, my attention was far more concerned with other things: namely the light brown circles that were crumbling apart in her hands. Hobnobs. This was the object of my youthful passion. Suffice to say I was a boy who loved his snacking. And the woman must have known this too, or else why would she have been gleefully feeding them to me? I tried my best to keep from snapping at her long delicate fingers as they graced my mouth. After all, she was a thing of beauty, even to a ravenous twelve-year-old boy.
At the close of that moment, I felt that warmth that they always talk about lightly writhing within. And as the blurry gates closed across the dying image, and as I returned to brief, weary squints at reality; I could still feel it. But it wasn't alone now; it had acquired a strange companion. Emptiness. I had lost my pretty thing down a well and knew that it would be a long time coming back.
But it did. She did.