Saturday, November 2, 2013

Dreamer - Short Story


    Sarlun woke up to the sound of her screaming. Before his half-awake mind could register what was happening, he flung himself out of bed, fists raised. Her high, terrified screams easily pierced through the thin walls that separated their rooms. An eerie pause of silence filled air for a few seconds, then the sound of sobs came from the other room.

     Moonlight shown dimly in from his small window, enough for him to take in everything at a glance. Sarlun's shoulders slumped as he came fully awake. He sat down hard on the edge of the bed as she screamed again. 

    It'd been two weeks since last time... he had hoped – No. He had known... Perhaps it was selfish that he had tried to make himself believe she had been fine this past week since she hadn't woken him...but when you can't do anything, sometimes your mind tries to tell you things are getting better.

     Another sob came, then faded into low whimpers that could barely be heard. Sarlun sighed. He should try to go back to sleep; tomorrow was going to long enough without him staying up half the night.

      He cared too much to do that.

      He stood and crossed the room. Quietly opening his door, he walked into the dark hallway. Her door was cracked, just barely, and he pushed it open.

     His chest clenched at the sight of her.

     Oh Kalla.

     The small girl lay on her bed, curled in a fetal position. The patchwork blanket was twisted around her body and her pale hair was wet with sweat. She whimpered again and the sound rose into a wail before abruptly cutting off. Tears tracked down her face and her hands grasped fistfuls of the blanket.

      Sarlun crept silently into the room and took the three legged stool from the far corner. Placing it in the center of the room, he sat on it and took a shaky breath. She cried out again, this time quieter, and he clenched the tip of his tongue between his teeth. A familiar ache welled up in his stomach as he watched her... He was helpless....

     "My dear little sister..." The whispered words hung in the air, and he took in another shuddering breath.  It hurt to watch her.

   She had been eight years old when he found her almost a year and a half ago - a thin, dirty, wide eyed orphan who had tried to steal his allowance from his pocket. He had been thirteen – a sidetracked boy in the market, trying to find his mother the perfect gift for her birthday. That day he brought his mother home a daughter, and gained himself a little sister.

     At first his parents had tried to convince Kalla to sleep in one of the nicer rooms in the large new addition, but when Kalla found out Sarlun's room was in the attic she wanted to sleep there. They set her up in the little room next to his, though they made it clear that if she wanted to be downstairs in the room next to theirs they would be glad to have her.

     That first night had been much like this one. Sarlun had woke up to the sound of her screaming, only that time he had run straight into her room and tried to shake her awake.

      She had sat up and looked at him with clear, tear filled eyes and smacked him hard across the face. As he gaped at her in stunned silence, she had hissed in a trembling voice, “Never wake me from my dreams.” Then she had started crying again, clinging to him and whispering, “I hate to sleep, but I must dream. I must! I must! I must!” He had awkwardly wrapped his arms around her as she sobbed into his shoulder. “They need me. I have to dream!”

       A Dreamer... not many would trust another with that kind of secret. Maybe it was because she was young, maybe it was because she was a girl, but for whatever reason Sarlun was not afraid.

    “I'll never tell,” he had whispered into her hair.

    Then, because he hadn't known what else to do, he sang to her the song his mother used to when he was small.

“Rest, little one,
Quiet your cries.
Listen to the sound
Of gentle lullabies.
Tomorrow is coming
So lay down your fears.
May the light of the dawning,
Dry all of your tears.”

    They never talked about that first night, and he never woke her again... Yet on the nights she woke him, he came into her room and sang until her cries softened.

     Even one as powerful and distrusted as a Dreamer deserved someone to comfort them.

~Ophelia - Marie

 (If you'd like to read the rest of the song, you can see it here: Lullaby Rest)

Copyright © 2013 Ophelia M. Flowers


*Smiles* Comments, anyone? :) I don't like, bite or anything. . .