It comes to you in the middle the night, the fear of not being good enough. Awakens when all else is sleeping, yawns and stretches before slithering inside through the slit under the door. The smile is sweet and loving as it enters into the sanctuary of your home, cold bare toes crawling across the living room as it meanders unseen under the light left burning. The lingering vestiges of your families laughter from the evening before do not stumble it. Rather, it feeds on the memory of that sound, making something lovely and private appear mocking and sinister in reminiscence.
The destruction has already begun here but you remain unaware, blissfully sleeping in your bed, the covers tucked as tight as the dreams are light. Not for long though. It slithers through the crack in the window, a gleaming thread of thought shining in the moonlight but with darkness at its heart. It frolics in the air and drawn by your warmth, tumbles and dances towards you. Each turn is a sensuous grace, every twist an elegant pirouette designed to make you feel less.
Less elegant, less kind, less worthy.
It’s not long before it stretches out a hand, fingers long and poised as they set free the smoky tendrils that whirl into your sleep. You hear it knocking at the door of your imagination, open the door an inch with the chain still attached. The face that meets you is familiar, friendly. Trustworthy.You undo the chain, open the door wide with a grateful smile.
It takes a moment for you to realize that the dream has shifted. The green landscape is now sterile, the trees spindly and full of thorns, demanding blood instead of giving shelter and fruit. The birds have stopped singing, the sky has lost color. There’s not even a storm or lightning in sight, and yet the destruction is imminent.
Nothing but barren land empty of all life, human and otherwise.
You wake up with gasp, a scream trapped in your throat. Your room is dark, the covers cold and for a long minute, you’re afraid of the walls of your home. They feel shallow and heavy, the roof to low, the silence too loud.
And then the clouds part to the breeze, the wind-chime by your window tinkling as a silver of the moon slips inside. The marble of the floor shines under it, the rug below our bed seems to gain color. As the dread slips away, a smile lights your face.
And Hope again elastic springs,
Unconquered, though she fell…