rested in comfortable blankets and sheets,
nestled beneath the warm weight of my bedding,
drifting through dreams of sundry foreign worlds
and smiling softly that I'd fly the next day.
soared over valleys and swooped into canyons,
the wind my brain simulated feeling realer than life.
The sky was a bright, sensual orange, toeing hesitantly
on a sea of gold.
inhaled deeply, the frosty atmosphere through which I flew,
salty breeze grazing my cheeks as below the land disappeared,
replaced by those amber, flowing waves. And seagulls cried
at my approach, but I rose much further than they could ever aspire.
beyond the limits of aeroplanes, and eventually
even satellites, until I was enveloped in a lush cosmic darkness.
It was a comfortable darkness, one I wouldn't mind visiting again
if given the chance. And stars twinkled about me.
the black began to shift, morphing insidiously,
from the guarding hands that held up the worlds
to something much more threatening. Something unwelcome
and murderously chilling to the spine.
tossed and turned, sheets tangling 'round my legs
as the suffocating terror encroached on my dreamscape.
I was no longer free, no longer flying. Instead I fell,
limbs arrested to my sides, and I screamed.
spun, from gold to black, as I plummeted down
to the skies I'd left behind, once beautiful orange,
now threatening red. And I felt his hand for the first time.
A cold grip, a skeletal fist, wrapping sternly about my arm.
held still at first, observing from the evil silence he cast,
then he jerked. He pulled. He ripped at my skin.
I bolted upright in the tangle of sheets, glistened with frigid
sweat. And he stood at my side.
face was a skull, his eyes purple haze,
he opened his jaw with a crack and spilled out a serpentine tongue.
Then he spoke, a voice festered by time, archaic and grating.
“Will you chase the monsters away?”