28

The night is blacker than ever before.  It envelops the sleeping in soporific blankets of bliss, pain and fear.
        Dreamers twitch at inexplicable imaginings of exploding flowers, talking goats and hot soup tasted from open knee caps.  They gasp at the numb agony of losing a whole set of teeth.  They flinch at a blow to the stomach and lurch in bed as they fall twenty storeys.  They stir in ecstasy with soon-to-be-forgotten thoughts of love and pain.
        Sweet-dreamers luxuriate in pleasant slumber, scraping their subconscious for a morning memory.  Sufferers of nightmares search for doors without handles, windows that won’t open, and try to force wakefulness.
        Tears seep from sleeping eyes.
        Children coo and giggle at toys brought to life but soak their sheets when interrupted by loathsome strangers.

In a grey house shrouded in black, a man dreams of sleep.  Cold feet on stone tiles keep the chilly current that feeds his insomnia flowing.
        In a foreign land, his days were black, but at night he dreamt of hot, soapy baths and fine suits.  Amongst gunshots and bloodshed, western champagne flowed when he closed his eyes.  Sleep brought liberty, asylum, paradise.
        In a grey house shrouded in black, a man takes two sleeping pills and sentences himself to eight hours of rippling gunfire, dying children and hunger.
        And three knocks on the door.
        A dream he will never stop dreaming.

Lucy West

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