Dream a Little Dream
By Emma Kathryn
She’s there when I open my eyes. All 7 foot 2 of her, perched on the edge of my bed.
“Hey,” she says to me, cool and casual, with a smile hiding in the corner of her mouth. Slowly, I push myself up onto my pillow; sitting, staring at her.
“Hey,” I reply with a strangely safe feeling ebbing over me. The blinds are open and some kind of glow from outside illuminates her face. Skin of the palest white I’ve ever seen is slipped over her bones, like spilt milk. Everything else is in darkness.
“You don’t mind, do you?” she asks, gesturing to something in her hand. I hadn’t even realised she was smoking. It isn’t a cigarette, more like a stick of ivory light. And it’s not smoke that glides over her violet lips; it’s that mist that you see, hovering over the grass in the dead of night. The air that brings the morning dew.
For a little while, I watch her as she smokes. And, for a little while, she lets me.
Her hair is deep purple, almost black yet definitely not black at the same time. While the irises of her eyes are the slightest shade of lavender, caught between stark white orbs and dense black pupils. They look like contact lenses. The kind you see on angsty teens on Halloween.
“I don’t mean to be rude,” she eventually says, inhaling from her moonbeam. It doesn’t seem to be burning down at all. Like a never-ending cigarette. “But I had to come see you.”
“Who are you?” I ask, feeling a chill in the room. God, she’s tall.
“Oh darling, you wouldn’t be able to comprehend it, never mind pronounce it,” she replies, with a frostbitten smile. “But I’ve had many names. The kind humans make up and convince themselves are true.”
“What do I call you?” I can’t see her dress very well. Not in this light. At least, I think it’s a dress.
“For tonight?” the pale woman asks, as I watch her silhouette against the backdrop of my window. I nod. “Diana’s good.” Her grin rips her face into something terrifying yet alluring. She looks like something out of a ‘50s science-fiction movie. Feels she should be in black and white, here to warn me of impending doom.
“Now I need to talk to you,” she continues, not moving an inch, well, except to smoke. “I’d like a favour.” No ash falls from her cigarette. It sparks and glints every now and then, but no ash.
“What is it?” My head imagines at least 20 favours she could want. I instantly feel guilty for thinking of some of them.
“I want you to dream of me.”
I certainly did not imagine that one.
“Excuse me?” I inquire, noticing that whatever she was smoking has disappeared.
“People used to dream about me all the time,” she sighs. “Some even used to pray to me. I’m not asking for a prayer…just a dream.” The Diana-woman says, kneeling in front of me. I didn’t even see her move. She just appeared here.
“You want me to dream about you?” I ask, uncomfortable with her closeness, yet aroused at the same time.
“No, I need you to dream about me.” Leaning even closer to me, I can smell her. She smells like the early hours of the morning – the moments before the Sun opens her eyes. “I don’t want to die. I want to live, and in dreams I can live.”
“Aren’t I dreaming right now? How can I see you?”
“This took a lot of effort on my part. And you’re just one on a long list of visits I need to make tonight.” She shrugs and looks sorry for me. “Sorry if that doesn’t make you feel special; knowing that you’re not the only one.”
“Can’t you just keep doing that? Turning up in people’s dreams.”
“Oh darling,” she sighs and I feel her cold breath against my face. It smells sweet yet cool. It reminds me of peppermint candies I had as a child. “That would kill me faster. Think of this as just planting the idea. I’ve dropped a seed in your brain and when you wake up it will already be a sapling. The rest is up to you. Tend to it and help it grow.”
“But I can’t…” A finger seals my lips.
“You can. I need you to. Don’t let me slip away. You won’t let me go.” Again, I don’t see her move, but now her mouth is on mine, kissing me gently. I close my eyes to enjoy her. Her lips are so cold.
She’s gone when I open my eyes.
About the Author:
Emma Kathryn is a horror and fantasy fanatic from Glasgow, Scotland. When she’s not scaring herself to death, she is either podcasting as one half of The Yearbook Committee Podcast or she’s streaming indie games on Twitch as variety streamer, girlofgotham.