Friday, August 9, 2013

Prompt: Mermaid dreams

Valyenka pushed up through the water and pulled down with her arms, fighting to reach the surface. The blood roared in her ears, and her vision narrowed to the stream of light piercing down from above. Her lungs were empty of oxygen, and her chest was caving in from the pressure of the water all around her. She desperately wanted to take a breath, to open her mouth and let the water pour in. Surely she could do it now? Now? She thrashed out with her arms one more time…

…and woke tangled in the fleece blanket she had begged her mother to buy earlier that week. It was much too hot for August in South Dakota, but she wanted to prove she was right to fuss over it as much as she had. The green and blue stripes had drawn her in, and the super soft fleece was heavenly to burrow into. For about five minutes. Then she was too hot and threw it off. She pulled it off her arms and out from under her and shoved it aside on the bed, still breathing hard from her dream.

She heard her mother’s steps, then the door opened, the pale light from the hall blinding as it burst into her pitch-dark room. Her mother sat on the edge of her bed and laid a gentle hand on her forehead. “Are you all right, darling? What’s wrong?”

Valyenka leaned back on her pillows, turning her head so her mother would stroke her hair and she snuggled back down again. “Nothing, Mama. Just a bad dream.”

In a smooth motion, her mother reached over to the bedside table and tapped her fingers in the open jar there. She flicked the sea salt from her fingers as she reached back and continued stroking Valyenka’s hair. “In the ocean again?”

Valyenka nodded, sleep drawing her back under. She closed her eyes. “Mama, will you lie with me a little while?”

Without a word, her mother lay down and curled up with her, tucking her arm around Valyenka’s waist. Usually she discouraged her mother, dismissing this as treating her like a child. But sometimes, like after a dream, she wanted nothing more than to be held safe in her mother’s arms and believe everything was all right.

Valyenka drifted to sleep. Her mother kept watch. She knew the power of dreams, and the power of those who sent them. She couldn’t be inside Valyenka’s mind, but she sure as hell could guard her in the real world. Even if there was nowhere far enough away from the ocean….
Dogs in house
Time writing:
20 minutes
August word count:

No comments:

Post a Comment