Saturday, 11 October 2014

Gifts From Sleep


                                                  A dream has power to poison sleep

                                                              Mutability, Percy Bysshe Shelley

                             There's always an impossible puzzle.

And each night I have from the time I arrive until the balloon pops to solve it. Every night they are getting more difficult. I think in a few week's time I will probably have to re-enact world war one using hand gestures or design a new form of communication for the humble house fly.

And what is it with the wooden fences? I am beginning to think that my dreams are sponsored by  Ronseal. I smell them all the time now. When I'm awake that is. I smell them when I'm eating my Corn Flakes. I smell them when I'm driving to work. One hand on the steering wheel and the other trying to wipe away the smell of wood. I sneeze and bits of wood come out.

And I can never quite remember any of them. Stupid, ridiculous, over the top dreams. But there's always my reward waiting for me when I wake up. Sometimes it's curled up in my fist or it's on the floor and sometimes I find it in the bathroom cabinet.

My prize. My reward for solving another impossible, annoying puzzle, from dreams that disappear down a plug hole in the centre of the universe. Dreams where I'm running around, blood pumping, heart thumping, nights of frustration and terror. Long nights where every second I am crawling through tunnels, banging on impossible to open doors and running. Running from somebody or something until finally the balloon pops. It's usually a red balloon but sometimes it's inexplicably a novelty balloon. A poodle, a swan, a pair of tits.

It's been going on for weeks. I'm exhausted. Sometimes I try to stay awake, hoping the curse will be broken but sleep always catches up with me and grabs me by the ankles and drags me under. I will have to pack in work soon, it's getting too much. I spend all day worrying about them. The balloons, the fences, the doors, but most of all I worry about my little rewards waiting at home in the cellar. I have put them in shoe boxes because that is my line of work. Lots of shoe boxes.

Boxes meant for shoes, not body parts.


                                                                                   (C) Ally Atherton 2014


This is written for the Light And Shade Challenge

An exciting new challenge where prompts are posted weekly. Go and take a look and join in if you like. It looks like a great opportunity to have fun writing and also an opportunity to meet some new creative friends.

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