XVI.2

It took me five minutes to change into the pair of woollen pyjamas that had been left on the bed for me (strangely the exact size I needed), and another five I gave to brushing my hair and removing my makeup, slipping into the down-filled bed just as there was a knock on my door.

“Yup?”

“Here, Agnetha…” Marina carefully pushed open the door, her own hands wrapped around a beaker of clear water.

“Thank you, Marina,” I said as I collected the glass from her, instantly taking a sip, surprised at how quickly the drink was removing the pin of my forehead.

“Goodnight. I’ll see you in the morning.”

As if to reply, Marina yawned, placing herself at the end of my bed. It was all I could do to stifle a laugh; she had lost all professionalism she kept close to before, despite her previous prescience.

“Are you tired, Marina?”

“The yawning is a reflex,” Marina replied “of seeing you all tucked up ready for the sleep. Recently, I haven't been able to reach this point without help. Yes, I will be tired soon.”

She slipped a hand into her pocket, lifting it out clutched onto a packet of thin foil. It took me a moment, in my bleary weakness, to realise that they were sleeping tablets. Here eyes locked onto my own, Marina unpopped and slipped it on to her swiftly-retracting tongue with glee. She swallowed, her eyes gleaming in that maliciously good state, and, finally, she removed herself from the end of my bed. It was only at the open door that she remarked:

“Goodnight, Miss King,” and closed it with snap.

Having switched off my bed-side light, barely able to keep my head away from the beckoning pillow, my mind full of clouds, broken dreams, my eyes full of the fantasies that decided to play, I began to make patterns out of that unmarked ceiling. Soon, it was the unmarked blackness behind my eyelids. In an instant, the patterns danced, playing with themselves to some unknown music. When colours seeped in where no colours existed, I knew, in that last strength of lucidity, that I had fallen into dreams.

***

The End

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