Crawling into bed, I snuggle into my husbands side. Yawning and closing my eyes, my mind drifting to nothingness as my breathing starts to slow and my muscles relax. Thoughts of the day easing away and doubts of tomorrow lost for another time.

The blackness behind my eyelids is quietly penetrated by a swirl of white smoke-like wisps, softly lit from within, but casting no light around them. Their edges turning and licking towards my soul like a flame. The movement is deceptively calming, making my mind wander closer, allowing for the tendrils to wrap through me, dragging me over the invisible edge.

I’m dropped onto a blacktop street, in the middle of darkened alley, surrounded by tall buildings that block the sky. Fear and dread causing me to turn all around, franticly searching for nothing and everything. The fears source nowhere to be found but all the same it’s coming for me. A shiver runs along my skin multiplying my unease. I try to run, an invisible sludge created by my self doubt and every wrong decision is making it near impossible to move. Each foot filled with lead, nonexistent tethers attached to each muscle slowing my movements and building the tension that threatens to snap back at any moment.

Ahead of me is every love, being threatened with destruction. My hands reach for them, my breathing is frantic matching my wildly erratic heartbeat. Each muddled step is allowing the fear to catch up and the evil to take away someone dear to me. Each moment the face of love is changing, vague and always morphing but somehow this makes it more real.

I can’t escape. There’s no veering from the course and no reaching the destination. Shadow and flame surround the edges of my path, laced with the outlines of serpents and winged beasts. Defeat engulfs me and I try to scream but all that is allowed past my lips is a soft whisper of breath that is quickly drawn into the blackness. Tears stream down my face and I know that the end is near. Just as the skeletal hand of fear threatens to touch my back and the evil rises to make the destructive blow my mind is thrust through the dreams surface.

Thrashing wildly, my scream is allowed to be heard. My arm connects with something hard and I raise it to strike again, my heart pounding in my chest. Before I can lash out the fog leaves my brain and I’m confronted with the fact that I’m now the evil one. My husband the victim of spousal abuse.  He’ll have to hide his shame with a tale of clumsily walking into a door. Thankfully this time I didn’t wake him, so he might not even realize that I did it.

I turn to lay on my side and snuggle against him once more. This time I’m facing a different direction, which normally works like turning the channel on my dreams. Hopefully this time my mind will conjure up something peaceful and save his poor shoulder from further punishment.


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