Banished From Sleep

Banished from sleep for decades now, I’m still plagued by a dream. It used to come every full moon.

In the dream, I stood atop a great mountain, a battlefield, carpeted with broken bodies. I went from soldier to soldier, pressing a golden elixir to their lips. Even those who looked broken and dead raised their heads, drank. The moon was always full, shining a pitiless silver light on my shoulders.

First the elixir turned their lips gold, then their faces turned silver in the moonlight, full of hope. But then the dream turns on me. I draw back in horror. The thing that was once my soldier rises, pushing himself up with stiff limbs, and, on legs like wooden scissors, arms outs, fingers bent into claws, he comes for me.

From all around, I hear low animal growls of other men rising, until I am surrounded by them, close enough to smell their rotting flesh.

When the dream rises in my thoughts, when those dead soldiers, rotten and snarling creep into my thoughts, I go down and visit my boys. I walk among them, watch them sleep, see them safe, untouched by the horrors of this world.

h. Raven

Raven’s Bookshelf

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~ by hravenstories on October 26, 2010.

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