Dream sequence preluding a novel-in-progress. Highlights the surreal nature of dreams.
Third time this week, you dream the same dream in the darkness. Standing cradling a creature swathed in white muslin in your arms that you don’t recognise, yet is instinctively yours. And you’re surrounded. Peering from every angle and encircling is a gaggle of varicose ladies, all tired yellow eyes all tea stained teeth beaming down upon you. A myriad of blue rinse, lavender and lifeless floral sacks. Their hands like talons, they clutch at the fabric, faded make-up staining the white cloth a dirty beige, and they coo their sycophantic sweet talk to the child. Your child, as it seems.
“Adorable! Precious… perfect… what’s the darling’s name?“
And you don’t know. Your child, and you don’t know. Why would you? This nameless, faceless entity that’s clasped so tightly to your chest, you’ve never met before. Peering up with piercing blue eyes, you’re not even sure of whether it’s a boy or girl that’s surveying you with such intense suspicion. Your eyes lock with the tiny emerald flashes, and the child wrestles in your arms. The harpies, displeased at being ignored, reach and grasp the fabric harder, tugging and jostling for control. The child, perhaps wisest of all, sets up a low siren wail and you can do nothing but cling to the struggling bundle, putting up a spirited defence. Wrinkle mapped hands scratch at your skin, a lady’s final yank with a strength masked by the deception of age causes the fabric to buckle and unravel. Your hands loosen, arms drop. The child slips from your grasp downwards in fluid motion.
The muslin tumbles with theatrical lethargy, bundling, folding. Freezes. Plummets and smashes on the blackboard tarmac like a china plate. Plummets and shatters into pure white splinters that scatter at your feet, to the horror of the harpies surrounding you who explode into a cacophony of screeching, sunken eyes bulging, a flapping of lips and of limbs. The noise of beasts echoes across your dreamscape and deafens.
Scouring the ground you watch as the pale glass fragments of your former child begin to melt to metallic liquid, oozing in a languorous path across the dark ground leaving a translucent snail sheen on the surface. The pieces join together slowly, allowing the full attention of both you and your animal entourage. Slithering across the slate below you, the liquid builds and transforms, forming paws, short legs, a new creature born from the shattered remains of the old. Pure white. A body too long, too squat for any breed of domestic cat or dog. Too svelte for any rabbit species. A pure white weasel, snow tipped whiskers and milk laced fur coat. Spectacular as a creature in its own right, if it were not for the brilliant emerald blue eyes of the child sacrificed. Rising with ease onto its hind legs, its blade sharp claws drip blood without colour. Beaded eyes flash, and its small face distorts into the unmistakably human, knowing smile. Feeling the guilt only possible in a dreamscape world void of logic, you know you created this. A shiver up your back, ending at your shoulders with a shake.
Blue eyes flash black, flash red, flash blue. A whirlwind. As you’re dragged from your fate before you can truly face the consequence of the monster you’ve created, you hear the scratch and scream of the ladies of prey that plagued you. You watch as the bodies fall, as you’re plunged into darkness, with feral eyes still baring down.