The Moments Between Dreams

Photo by Daniele Colucci on Unsplash
Photo by Daniele Colucci on Unsplash

The bleary-eyed awakening offers little to billions of sleepers each night. Less than a gap and at best an inconvenience, mankind surf those moments eyes closed and desperate. The chirruping blackbird is a nuisance at such times. The ticking clock is akin to the devil. As for a dripping faucet, or rain upon the windowsill, enraging.
We tend to focus on those instants, expand them unwillingly, when all we wish is to contract. But time suffers no interventions, at least, not by us.


We desire the flavoured darkness, where ex-loves taste better than ever they did in reality. Where we as sports people score wonder goals, tackle like rhinos, run like the wind, so far from actuality that it’s a good job we can’t see ourselves; unrecognisable faces frighten the children who spy them in clouding mirrors. We act as never we would in real life, for our dreamworlds offer security, sanctuary from prying eyes. Some might term this, release. Others might term it a mass delusion.
Be it a minute or a restless hour, we struggle to depart the awakening and return to the promised land of dreams with utmost expedience. There’s almost a dread. We fear the darkness, for everyone knows it’s where monsters hide. We curl our toes and squeeze our eyes so tight they hurt. Tossing and turning are par for the course. Burying heads in pillows, the same. All that is wanted, needed, required is a return to the hoped-for pleasantness of that pause until dawn. Gold light and blue skies beckon us. Well, when I say us, I mean you.


I don’t want to go back to sleep. I don’t want those moments between dreams to end. If ever serenity offers a troubled mind a chance, it’s during these spaces in eternity. They calm a struggling mind, don’t stir them to further agitation. They soothe troubles, not pretend them not there. A divine gift to restless souls, those who exit limbo into the hushed still of their own bedroom, roofed and walled, secure, free from the ragged world beyond the window glass, these are rare treats indeed.
The moments between dreams never last long enough, for if they do, they are no longer moments but extents. No one likes an extent, they’re too, well… long. Brevity is key to the moment, as time is to life. Yes, life. But what of death?


We do not dream to sample death, we wake from it to taste what will. What good is a stomachful of forever if you’re not afforded the luxury of swilling it around your mouth beforehand. And here I pause…


As I write, I reveal. I unpick the truth with a sledgehammer. There is a liar amongst us and that liar is me. I lust for the pause and dispute every moment, afraid that to do otherwise might prove that I’m gone. I am afraid of the night more than any. I savour the waking, or I’d cry before sleep. The paradox of it all tingles behind my eyes. These moments have sold me a fable I no longer wish to read. Am I awake, or am already gone?

The End


Thank you for reading
Richard

Richard M. Ankers
Author of the brand new steampunk extravaganza Britannia Unleashed.

100 Word Stories: Big Eyes and the Boy

Photo by Becky Phan on Unsplash

Her ears were bigger than her head. She wasn’t ugly, though, far from it. Her enormous, round eyes, accentuated by whiplash lashes most women would’ve killed for, drew you to her and held your view.

There were years in those eyes, generations of wisdom. They deflected from her abnormal feet and rough skin. The latter was an eyesore, as if she’d never exfoliated or moisturised. As for her nose, well… better left unsaid.

I loved Nellie more than words. I looked forward to seeing her, even if it was an annual event. Every kid did. The circus was a treat.


Thank you for reading
Richard

Richard M. Ankers
Author of the brand new steampunk extravaganza Britannia Unleashed.

Beyond the Places We Dream

Courtesy Ameer Basheer Unsplash.com
Courtesy Ameer Basheer Unsplash.com

The lure of the darkness draws this moth to its moonlight eclipse. There is no room for silver in a shadow’s imagination. There is no need for light where I must travel.

The caverns ring with the sounds of the damned and their children: Is this the silence she promised? I think not.

Onwards, I press. Deeper, I probe.
She sits on an obsidian throne, shrouded by glimmering mists. Like a Black Widow on her web.

“You came,” she coerces.

“How could I not?”

There is a dream beyond the wild places, beyond the oceans, the dead, and their dreams. There, I sit beside an eternal, praying for endings, but living the dream. The question is as it always was: Whose?


Thank you for reading
Richard

Richard M. Ankers
Author of the brand new steampunk extravaganza Britannia Unleashed.

Available Now!
Available Now!

The Closest We Came

Photo by Amanda Mocci on Unsplash

The closest we came to forever was the moment in which we gave up. Our breaths held and never really returned. The moment drew out to seconds, to hours, to more. Your eyes dimmed like exhausted candles. Mine were already black.

The closest we came to forgiveness was that moment we met at the wake. Dressed in black from head to toe, I barely recognised you. I said Hello and you almost said it back.

The closest we came to something was that moment when we both said, I do. I remember how it felt, not how it sounded, as those three tiny letters sunk beneath my skin and slipped off your well-oiled own.

The closest we came was closer than most but never close enough for me.


Thank you for reading
Richard

Richard M. Ankers
Author of the brand new steampunk extravaganza Britannia Unleashed.

Celeste

Photo by Tati y Adri on Unsplash

Eyes like the heavens
full of wonder, sheer bliss,
alive in this darkness,
her gift, softest kiss.

She dreams of lost comets
and obsidian deaths,
for in all of my multiverse,
there’s only Celeste.


Thank you for reading
Richard

Richard M. Ankers
Author of the brand new steampunk extravaganza Britannia Unleashed.

Bittersweet Departures

Photo by Cherry Laithang on Unsplash
Photo by Cherry Laithang on Unsplash

I dream of a darkness I’ll never escape. I dream of a life where there’s light. This nothingness clings like an obsidian straightjacket. It stifles me. I can barely breathe.

She appears as a comet, all flashing, dashing silver. The night peels apart before her, whereas I stand my ground. I am no hero. There’s no other choice. It’s what I always do.

She strikes like a velvet glove. The softest sparks fly. Traces of her flutter before my eyes, instants in time, forgotten memories. I taste her like blood licked from a wound. Hear her heartbeat pounding in the void. We are together again, albeit briefly.

I die each evening when sleep comes a calling, such bittersweet departures as to drown arid hearts. And I wonder: Are we both dead, or just me?


Thank you for reading
Richard

Richard M. Ankers
Author of the brand new steampunk extravaganza Britannia Unleashed.

The Hesitant Breath

Photo by Chelsea Gates on Unsplash

Sometimes the need to breathe overwhelms. Our throats constrict, tongues swell, eyes bulge like bullfrogs. A blue sky darkens to ocean, the world reversed, our bodies upside down. Not even the earth offers a steadying reassurance, volatile like an undulating sea. We drown, eyes open. We gasp for air. The worst of it? There’s no rational explanation. Just another day or night in a life of many. Just another second on this road called life. 

These moments are fleeting, though occasionally, they linger. But the body always remembers what to do, after all, without a predisposition for breathing, why even have lungs? 

Breathing is what we do when we close our eyes. We leave the body to do its thing as we dream of better. Unlike the accordion that requires a good squeeze, or the bike pump that demands manipulation, our bodies do not. So, why do we need so many teachers to help us? The answer is simple: We don’t. 

Yet we have apps to follow and sites to see, gurus to advise, and leotarded superstars to offer salvation. If only we could breathe like them. If only we could do it right.

And we try. We try so very hard to understand. To appreciate. To live the dream. If we do it right, who knows, perhaps Death will never take us. 

Death, the dark force behind it all. The one who wants us to fail, to gasp, flounder, capitulate. He cares not that we breathe or that we might only sometimes breathe, just that one day we won’t. Even thinking about it makes our chests constrict, breaths shorten, noses block. As dogs before a desert without master or chain, free to explore, but scared to stray far from the puddle at their feet, we hesitate. Death smiles. 

Hesitation is his dark foot in the door. It is doubt. It is a taster. That instant of will our breaths return, even when knowing they should. So, we regather like they’ve taught us. We control ourselves with the skill a baby would admire. We breathe, deep and long, our cheeks puffed out and brows sweating. 

They teach us to listen to our breaths and from there ourselves. The body will know. The body will calm itself. But in this calmness, this cosmic realignment, we hear what our breaths have immersed. An app shuts down. A website fails. A guru collapses to the ground quite dead. The leotard splits to howls of universal derision. 

We breathe because we want to. We breathe because we must. But one day in the not-so-distant future, we won’t. On that day, Death can take us. On that day, our accordions shall not require being played. I, for one, shall welcome it, as I hope will you. 

The End — Almost.


Thank you for reading
Richard

Richard M. Ankers
Author of the brand new steampunk extravaganza Britannia Unleashed..