Sierra lifted the page of her calendar. November – a picture of desert roses growing in an arid plain. She stroked the picture, and then checked the date. Tonight was exactly one month after Francine’s funeral. Sierra still had a constant throat-ache, she had been virtually voiceless since Francine’s death. Not strep throat the doctor said, not even running a fever. First sleepless nights in Sierra’s life, even after Jacques had spent the night massaging her tense neck. The dreams about Francine were intense: at first they were gentle fragments of childhood play, friendly goodbyes, loving return hellos. They would be playing jumprope with Mary and Posy in the yard; snowball fights in the winter. Always a white light she was, Francine was excarnating from her human body in Sierra’s dreams; evaporating into the cirrus clouds, observing her own body playing with her sisters below from her high perch above. It was horrifying for Sierra when Francine no longer came to play in her dreams, but instead Sierra became a witness. When she woke up in the morning soaked with sweat she hoped it had all been her imagination. Francine was thrown against a wall by an unseen force, bleeding, torn, thrown again and again. Sierra felt ripples of cold crawl up her arms and down her spine, her throat seized up; head pounding. When Francine’s broken body fell it was nothing but veins, strewn out in an anatomical pattern on the floor. She called Jacques who soothed her, insisted she was in trauma, asked her to consider counseling. Recently in Sierra’s dreams, Francine came as an angel blessing Sierra, Posy, and mother. She would raise her hand of light, and drops of light trickled down over the family melting bitterness and grudges.
“Am I going crazy?” Sierra wondered, as she gently awakened and sipped her water. The light dreams persisted. Sierra had been off work for a month now due to her constricted throat.
A few nights later Sierra had trouble sleeping. She read for awhile until she was sleepy. Later, Sierra dreamed about Posy and herself walking along a shiny golden path. Above them were steps to a bright golden castle which felt warm with light. Posy looked at Sierra in the dream and laughed. Posy darted ahead and leapt through the thick, wooden castle door to unknown treasures inside. As Sierra approached the wooden door, she felt a resistance coming from the door. When she reached the door, she rapped on it until her knuckles were sore. The warm golden light dimmed to jet black and Sierra awoke with a start, sweating.
Surprised at how real the dream felt, Sierra carefully got out of bed and poured herself a glass of water in the kitchen. Finding the remote, Sierra flicked on the TV and watched her favorite sitcom, sipping her water gently.
Short prose – copyrighted