It's often said that when we dream, we become boundless and our spirits soar to other worlds, other dimensions, other times. Our embodied energy can indeed, go anywhere. Often times sleeplessness can be incurable to a traveler of this sort. Where seeming peaceful sleep is anything but. The subject is always tired, drained, a relative walking zombie amongst the bustle of social or work environments. Their consciousness confused with reality and fiction (although, is it truly fiction?).
Isobel was burdened with such an affliction, carried forward into late twenties from childhood. The dreams from her life were more vibrant in memory then her actual. Memories of her family, of her friends, all back seat to the various dreams that she'd had; mostly violent. Blood, death, tribulations beyond typical mortal comprehension.
Nothing had ever worked, sleep-aides doing little to aid aside from the intensity and weirdness of it all. It was a part of life; something she'd long since surrendered to.
So it was no surprise the morning found her with half-lidded emerald eyes vacantly staring at the screen in front of her. Dark circles shadowed in stark contrast to pale skin. Even her lips seemed white and lifeless. Rivers of ginger hair cascaded down her back and along her shoulders although disheviled.
Her finger hovered over the mouse, mind lost.. lost ... lost in the dream before. Adversely, she could hardly remember most of her morning. Everything was some dull fog she was having a difficult time shaking from. There was a face, a face painted in the smoky recollection which refused to leave. Beautiful, although he was. Fit for a dreamscape, desperate in his beauty and plight.
The dream was soft and colorless. Oddly grayscale which was atypical of her usual vivid hues. Her role in this one was invisible, doomed to spectator much like watching a movie. The era was aged falling more into the roaring twenties. The subject of the dream, was a man. A beautiful man. As most of the participants, she'd never seen him before. Nor this place. The moon was a pale gray crescent obscured by various cloud coverings, and Mr. Swoon (as she was referring to him in her head now) was quite alone, walking along an empty city street in the early morning. Various flappers and dancers spilled out on occasion from different jazz clubs, quickly disappearing in their early generation vehicles. He, however, was just walking. It was like some dusty old black and white film, the viewer sensing that impending violence quickly approaching.
And it did, Mr. Swoon jerked in an alley and mugged for what little he'd had in his wallet. It was the Great Depression after all, everyone was desperate. She'd even rationalized this to herself upon awakening, sweat dampening her brow and heart racing.
His face was one that haunted her all day, what with the realism. The simplistic beauty of it. He'd have had blue eyes, she reasoned. Dark hair. She was in a mental debate upon this when a fellow employee approached, forcing a refocus on reality. Along. Single. Desk job. The only warmth she had that dull, neon glow of a computer screen as she pushed things around with a cursor.
The morning disappeared, and on her lunch break she snoozed in her car. She was startled awake by a large pigeon landing on her windshield, pecking at the glass. Again she'd dreamt of him even in that short amount of time. His scream. She imagined him calling to her this time.
The drive home almost resulted in a few accidents from her lack of attention. She didn't bother to cast even one apologetic glance or awkward wave. No, just home. Home where some food was consumed. Something in the microwave, the taste and contents unmentionable.
Isobel fell asleep to the droning sound of the television. Somehow it soothed her, lulled her into unconsciousness with fewer dreams. Mr. Swoon wouldn't be denied another visit. Not even by the background noise of a infomercial on the latest kitchen gadget by some overzealous host. He replayed his death, hands faux reaching for her before he died, blood gushing profusely from the knife wound between his ribs. A large black puddle in grayscale.
The next morning, the shower shook off most of her horror and she opted a walk to work instead. Five blocks away seemed manageable as the sun was rising. Her body protested but her mind utterly enjoyed the crisp fresh oxygen of twilight.
Through the maze of buildings, she caught something painfully familiar. Updated, but near identical to her dream. The edge of a building, a window, a street lamp all in the same location. Her breath caught and that humming bird heart slid to her throat.
Was this still the dream? Some new progression of it? The alley was coming into focus now, the dark depths interrupted by trash and dumpsters and....... a man. A man. A man was laying face down on the asphalt ahead of her, moaning in agony.
Her feet moved before her and somehow she knew what she'd find as she turned him over. It was him, of course it was him.
Police were called. Ambulance. He was rushed to St. Mary's Hospital and saved, of course. Saved. And not once did she leave, rotating between holding his hand to pacing in a waiting room. It was the next day in fact that his eyes fluttered open, the most amazing of cerulean. Blinking away the medical veil, he swallowed thick and turned to face her. His was a look of confusion, as much shock as he could display on morphine. "I've been dreaming about you.."