As he slept, his mind made its way back to the distant days long before the dragons had come

He walked through a muddy field, his wellingtons picking up suction with every step into the heavily ploughed surface. The small village in which he and his family had lived was, by modern standards, relatively tranquil, and a safe haven for his family.
    His wife Marianne and their two daughters, Elizabeth and Karen, lived on a cul de sac in a cosy little 3 bedroom house. David worked in the city as an insurance underwriter, and Marianne worked part time as a dental nurse in the local practice.
   Elizabeth, aged about eight at the time, and their younger daughter Jaqueline, were carefree and inspiring children. Or at least with the benefit of hindsight and comparison they were. From his standpoint in the future, his past seemed like an unfettered heaven.
    He had lost Marianne after Jaqueline had died. His beautiful wife faded away from him so quickly. Their littlest girl had been asphixiated by a plume of ash, only a few days after the first of the attacks had occured. She hadn't stood a chance.
   So many of the youngest died that first year. An entire generation of young families were forever tainted by loss and tragedy.
   All so distant. All so painful. The dream was liquid in his mind, beautiful and fluid and buoyant, but also thick, and hard to navigate. David had little time for dreams anymore.
   This night, he let himself fall into the flood of emotion, knowing that the process of hardening up will take even longer than before. Every time, having to harden up. Unable to surrender to the present, and fighting to reclaim a past that may well have never existed. The dream soothed him like a drug, and the consequences would be unbearable. He thought of Jaqueline, and in the light of the midday sun, his sleeping form wept.

The End

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