Eric blinked, his eyes slowly focusing. He could see the grey ceiling, covered in dirt, and stretched, rubbing his forehead. Swinging his legs round he sat on the side of the bed. The room was still blurry, but he could make out the grimy brick walls and metal bars that made up his cell. He groaned, clutching his head in his hands.
“Must’ve been a real night out. God my head…” he muttered, before trying to stand. He wobbled and fell onto the wall, leaning on it for support. He waited for his vision to clear before taking in his surroundings. The cell had a small bed, not very comfortable, and also a sink. A bucket was in the far corner. He uncertainly wandered over to the sink and pressed the button. A weak stream of cold water dripped out of the tap and, sighing, he splashed some of it on his face, drying with his sleeve. After he’d refreshed himself, he checked the bars, looking outside. This wing was apparently empty, and dim lights struggled to light the corridor. Every so often the screech of a rusted door opening shattered the silence.
Eric yawned. Judging by the moonlight streaming through the window it was pretty late into the night, and knowing the guards in this prison, he figured his best plan would be to get some extra sleep. Muttering, he lay down on the bed, and let the darkness of sleep envelop him.
Colours floated around, seamlessly merging, blending, replacing each other. Eric felt a sort of serene grace, that nothing could ever go wrong here. He sat down, or at least, felt himself shift position; there was no solid ground here. Lying down on his back, he stared at the shifting colours. Reds, blues, greens, all sorts of colours, mixing and swirling. Although as he stared, he thought he could make out a separate section, a red cloud that didn’t get dragged into the maelstrom. It moved, pulsated and changed shape, and he thought he could see it approaching him over an eternity. He sat up, the figure approaching.
“Uhh…” he thought he heard a voice in his head, one he’d never heard before. A girl’s voice. “Who are you?”
Instinctively Eric made to speak, but didn’t feel his lips moving. Somehow, he still found his voice travelling, clearly. “Eric… wait who said that?”
The shape moved, as if raising a hand. “Me. But what are you doing in my dream?”
“Your dream?” he felt confused. Dreams didn’t work like this. “But this is my dream!”
“What?” he heard the girl again. “No, no… I’m pretty sure it’s mine!”
“No children” Eric was startled by the sudden voice. A deep, intimidating voice, although he could feel the sincerity and care of its owner. He felt himself turn towards the source; a purple cloud, larger than the red one, swirling and pulsating. “This is both of your dreams.”
The two stared at each other, and then at the cloud. It had not yet settled on a form, as the others had. “But I must call you here, I am in dire need of—“
His voice was cut short, a grunt echoing, seemingly forever. Eric could feel the colours darkening, merging. They swirled with a greater intensity, around the purple cloud, replacing it with a dark void. He turned at the sound of a screech, the red figure was fading. Instinctively he reached out to help her.
A clattering brought Eric back. Sunlight lit up his cell, and he could make out the details on the wall. Writings of previous inmates. The usual random prophetic statements of ‘the end is coming’ or ‘fight the power’. He sighed and looked up at the door. A guard was stood by it, his helmet fixed in Eric’s direction. He had one hand on his stunstick, the other by his side. Groaning, Eric got up and walked over to the door. He attempted a smile.
“Fine morning today officer” The guard stared, or at least Eric assumed he was staring, directly at him. He reached into his pocket and withdrew a ring of keys, and unlocked the door with a key that looked identical to the rest. He held out his hands for the guard to cuff them, and then let the guard drag him down the corridor. From here he could make out the plates on the ceiling that hid the turrets. Sighing, he reflected on the dream as he was dragged through the bland facility.
Eric felt himself shift violently, drawing himself back to reality as he was thrown into a room. He felt the lock on the door click. Looking around, the room was small, and empty apart from a single chair under a pool of light. He sat down and waited.