|The bedroom fell dark as the storm set in, and the rain lashed the window as though it wished to come inside and escape itself. Lana lay restless in her bed asleep, tossing and turning as a nightmare began to unfold in her dreams. Lightening flashed above the rooftops cheering the demons of her sleep on. She whimpered and curled up into a ball. Her breath was panting, and beads of perspiration formed across her brow. Another light show and thunder boomed through the building causing nearby car alarms to spring to life. A dog barked suddenly, and people out late hurried home as the heavens opened up.
A piercing scream echoed around her poorly furnished room, and she bolted upright, panting frantically as she tried to make sense of where she was and what had just happened. Another blinding flash of light illuminated the room. Lana raised her hand to shield her eyes from its intensity, and the thunder boomed once again. She felt apprehensive after her nightmare. The storm aptly suited the scene, but also left her feeling wary and slightly confused.
She found her way to the bathroom and reached slowly for the light switch. An uneasy feeling crept across her as she took stock of herself in the broken mirror. The hairs upon the back of her neck were all stood to attention, and she shivered slightly in the coldness of the room. Lana looked at her face. Bags hung beneath her deep brown eyes and her complexion looked pale. All those interrupted nights were beginning to tell. She ran the faucet and let the water run through her hands for a moment, before washing the sleep from her face. She found her reflection again and despaired.
‘Twenty-four but look fifty-four.’ she accused, and quickly added... ‘But I've slept enough!’
The bathroom light flickered on and off as the storm continued to make its presence known. She reached for her toothbrush and reflected upon the events of her dreams. It was always the same nightmare. The same sequence of events. The same startled and desperate feelings upon awakening. She pondered whether she should perhaps see someone... and tell them what? She dismissed such thoughts; they were just nightmares. A small hairbrush brought some sort of order to her otherwise dishevelled appearance, as she tied her hair up in a messy bun.
She departed the bathroom and made her way across a darkened bedsit in search of another light switch. The lamp begrudgingly illuminated a corner of the bedsit, as though embarrassed by the poor condition of the room. It was all she could afford and it came cheap, as it backed onto a bustling train station. Most evenings she fell asleep listening to the trains rolling in and out, but tonight their efforts would be diluted as the storm continued to dominate the night.