© Lisa Shambrook
She swam amid my dreams, peered through the sunlit ripples, and I drowned within the ocean she glided through…
I woke to that fog of confusion, you know the one that suggests you had a great night, but you truly can’t remember…
I rubbed my eyes, hooked the grit of sleep from the edges of remembrance, and let my hooded lids close again. Deep within my drowsy head, she still swam, smiling at me and beckoning me through those rays of white. I tried to wake, blinking as that sunshine ray dowsed me in sharp light from the crack in the dingy curtains.
“Too bright…” I muttered, and held up my hand in front of my face. I tried opening my eyes again. My hand, my palm, was smudged in black and I struggled to focus on the ink. The words were gone, words in untidy script which meant something precious last night, were now smeared across my sweaty palm and lost forever.
Something kindled inside my heart. A spark lit up and travelled all the way to my head, igniting a memory. I smiled and my eyelids dropped again, and lines of blue blinked across the orange vision behind them. The memory deepened and I saw her again, this time her blue eyes shone like crystal, like topaz, and she leaned in close to kiss me. The black of her eyes grew like saucers and I lost myself within their cauldron.
The sound of traffic outside roused me and my aching body twitched. Sleep finally slipped away and I lazily opened my eyes. The mound in the bed beside me made me grin and I shifted slightly towards her. My hand slid back beneath the sheets and my fingers traced her spine down to the swell of rumpled bedding. She gave no reaction and I rolled closer, keen to envelope her within my post sleep amorous embrace. My hand moved to her shoulder with the intention of inviting her into my fog of desire, but when her arm slipped awkwardly away, I noticed her icy skin and I lost myself in horror.
I leaped from the bed, goose-bumps clothing my nakedness, and stared at the prostrate form I’d shared the night with. My hands, and ink-stained sweaty palms, shook as I stared at her cold, blue eyes. She stared back, but with an expression void of life.
The body that flowed like molten glass last night now lay frozen and stiff on the dirty mattress, and ice ran through my veins.
I grabbed my shorts and pulled them on, hurrying to yank up my jeans and pull my sweater over my head. My wallet sat on the bedside table, open upon chipped Formica, and I seized it knocking a small, honeyed, silver spoon onto the floor. It rang like a bell and its chime echoed across the early morning. I thrust my wallet into my back pocket and didn’t touch any of the other paraphernalia on the small table. I shoved memories of the night before from my mind and sneaked out of the open window. I landed in nettles, but nothing stung as much as the dawn of cold realisation.
I ran as the streetlights dimmed, as the sun rose over the dustbins at the end of the alley, and as my fear swelled into a great crescendo. I ran, and I left my love song, and all its smeared memories, behind in the chill of Amsterdam’s sunrise.
A chilling piece for Blues Buster over at The Tsuruoka Files…with Lloyd Cole and the Commotions song ‘Lost Weekend’ as prompt.