Friday, 13 June 2014

Dreams amid the Storm

The storm raged, the wind howled; it swept around the curves of the slopes to smash against the house, under the hill. The house that it had long sought to level. The gusts strived to find entry into its adversary of stone, brick and slate, causing the gaps under the doors to whistle and the roof beams to moan and creak. Yet still, through the chaos, the boy dreamed.
Thunder boomed up above the high heathland, the rain lashed the heather and bracken. The water dripped from the waxy fronds to overwhelm the thin soil below. The water gathered and flowed, carving rivulets through the dirt until it began to pool around the bog alders and birches at the foot of the steep incline. Their roots clasped the treacherous earth like fingers, desperately treading water. To root risked drowning in the quagmires of the high woods. All around the remains of their fathers and mothers lay moss covered, sinking and rotting.  Yet still the boy dreamer dreamed.
Unable to retain its desperate hold in the wet earth, its upper branches caught in the wind that swirled amid the tree tops, the alder fell, to splash into the boggy ground. Its roots pulled at the sodden earth, the dam that held the water back broke and the water flowed onward once more, gathering speed, as more streams joined it to flow down the hill, urgently seeking the valley floor. The dreamer still dreamed, but something else awoke.
The alder roots had caught in its matted hair and they yanked it violently from its muddy slumbers. It emerged, worms and foul things falling from its beetle brows, as it sought revenge for its rude awakening. Its eyes blazed, its claws were fen-filthy, cracked and ragged. It roared its defiance as the thunder crashed. The lightning, exploding across the storm wracked sky, illuminating its fur that was green with moss and lichen. It showed its yellowed teeth, its breath heavy and strong as the things that decay deep in the watery morass. It hauled its slime covered bulk from the mire with a squelch. Yet still the boy dreamer dreamed.

It bounded down the hillside with the rain-fed torrents, following the curve of the slopes, leaving the woods and crossing the fields. Ahead it saw the house that had stood for so long, as the fingers of lightning  spread across the sky.  Inside the dreamer still dreamed and the thing perceived the boy and it roared anew in a jealous rage as the thunder boomed above.
Climbing up the walls, its claws finding holds between the rain lashed bricks and stones, it hung from the eaves. Its ragged nails scratched and tapped first one window and then another, from one end of the house to the other, seeking entry as the thunder rattled the roof tiles. Disturbed at last, the boy dreamer awoke.
Listening intently and fearfully, amid the howl of wind and crash of thunder, the boy first heard one window rattle in the far room, then another in the room that adjoined his. He swallowed as inevitably he heard his own room's windows rattle, as the wind and rain was hurled against them. Hardly daring, he looked over the blankets' edge as the lightning lit the dark of outside. What was that shaggy form, who's silhouette was dark and monstrous, against the curtains? He fearfully hid himself under the blanket and dreamt no more.

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