A strange dream I had, half nightmare, half...beautiful. I woke up feeling happier than I remembered feeling in days...
I had a dream last night
of a thorn bush, its roots deeply buried,
and grasping the earth like the fist of a man in agony or rage.
Its branches were a deep, lovely black
it's fruit the kind of silver
that I cannot quite grasp in my waking
brilliant and pure and yet cold as a last breath.
I picked the fruit, and though the thorns cut my fingers
I did not notice.
The fruit, it was beautiful. The most beautiful berries
I've ever seen. It was tiny and almost weightless in my hand
silver and frozen and soft
I lifted my hand to my mouth and touched it to my tongue
lightly; at first I tasted nothing, but then a sweetness filled my mouth
with a flavor so lovely I almost cried.
I tasted again, still wary of putting the whole thing in my mouth
but though the second taste was different from the first,
it was still sweet.
I put the berry in m mouth at last
and chewed slowly. The flavor did not strike me all at once.
The sweetness crept on gradually, and with it, other flavors
flavors that I could not describe, but which I can still taste now
flavors that dimmed all else in comparison.
I would search the world for that combination of tastes
and never find it again.
It tasted like music. There was the sweetness that lead all
but also there was a rhythm beneath it all, and strands that wove throughout.
I chewed the berry for many moments before swallowing.
That was the strangest feeling of all; it slipped down the throat
with an odd chilling, sick sensation
as though I had swallowed cold mercury. I felt it all the way down my throat
freezing me, even though it wasn't cold.
The flavor's lingered, and then began to recede,
slowly as they had come.
I stood motionless,
rooted to the ground,
not wishing to do anything but only feeling.
Something strange was happening inside of me.
I could feel the berry working in me, a frozen chip of ice, buried inside of me.
It was hard to move.
I took a step towards the thorn bush
and the branches rippled towards me
I watched it, and the silver fruit on its branches gleamed
like tiny eyes winking at me
its roots writhed in the ground like fingers
readjusting their grip on something
I began to shiver convulsively
and my body felt clumsy; I do not know if I could have run at that point
but I could walk. I walked away from the thorn bush
my steps heavy, dragging
as though I was being dragged down
as though my insides were made of metal and ice.
I do not know how far I walked before I came to a well.
I knew it was a well instantly, though how I knew, I don't know
because it was only the great, hollow, cut off trunk of a tree.
It must have been enormous when it was alive. I crept up to its edge,
leaned heavily upon the dried bark and peered inside.
It looked like it went down for miles. Someone had dug through the tree
and boring through the ancient dried roots
and yet the water rose high, all the way to the surface
so that I could have leaned down to drink, had I wanted to.
My throat felt thick
I could not swallow
My breaths were coming in great heaves
I think that I was dying.
I think I was poisoned and dying.
I considered drowning myself in the well coldly,
wondered how terrible the pain would get before I died
thinking that drowning was better,
but something stopped me from letting myself fall forward into the water.
Instead, I leaned my face forward
until my chin and lips were submerged
I do not know how long I drank
but swallowing the water was as strange a feeling as swallowing the berry had been
it was cool, and yet not cold.
It was softer, and heavy, and soothing.
I only paused for breath, to pant for a moment before drinking desperately once more
I drank more than was possible
but it was possible in my dream
I when I finally lifted my head
the weight had fallen from my limbs
and my gut was no longer frozen.
I stood up, moving unsteadily at first, and then finding my balance.
My legs felt weak, and I was tired.
I looked around myself for the first time, and I realized that I was at the edge of a forest
surrounded by many trees, some almost as big as the well-tree had once been.
It seemed to stretch on forever, lovely
and endlessly dark.
I slid to the ground beside the well that had saved me
leaned my head back against the wood
listened to the sounds of things living around me.
There were birds above me, flapping their gray wings.
A strange fox-like animal with tiny stag's horns crept by
without taking any notice of me other than a brief glance
I felt my eyes closing
I felt like I could sleep for hours
with my back against the well.
My head slumped against the wood...
I felt my body become weightless...
And when I opened my eyes
I was staring at the ceiling of my room.
But still, the feeling of peace lingered, and when I sat up
I imagined I could feel,
very faintly, like a tiny needle in the gut
a tiny, final chip of the berry's ice
breaking and melting away.