The blustery wind blew against her face that cold and dreary autumn day as she tried to move towards the barely visible structure ahead of her. A strong gust picked up the dry brittle leaves cast down to the ground and swept them in circles around her. She coughed and choked on their fine dust. The ominous black clouds stirring above her head gave an eerie and desolate feeling.
Then, it was quiet for a fleeting moment before the rain began to fall. First in plops and then hard like sheets blinding her as it pelted against her worried face. The slanted rain didn't stop the leaves from scattering and then gathering around her, whirling in a circle faster and faster. More and more of the dead brown leaves gathered around her as she struggled to see and break out of their hold.
The barren trees spoke in a whispering voice, monotone and void of feeling, their brown naked branches clapping in the wind. From where I watched in the shadows I could feel her angst. She was scared and confused. She spotted me and as I moved back slowly she strained to see.
As she leaned forward the limbs seemed to reach out and grab her, holding her in the swirling whirlwind of leaves, rain, and debris. Through the debris, she could see dark sopping wet hair hanging over eyes that felt cold and dead. As she opened her mouth to scream, there was a voice. We both heard it. It was calm, sweet, safe.
"Bette? Bette? Wake up! You're having that nightmare again. It's alright. It's just a bad dream. It's alright." It was her sister Clara. She'd woken Bette up again from the dreams. They'd become nightly visitors, the sort that were akin to unwanted guests.
Bette clung to Clara's arms; the fear still in her round cocoa eyes as she sat up against the pillow. Clara pulled Bette's head into her shoulder as tears streamed down her face like the sheets of rain she'd just left. It wasn't just a nightmare. To Bette, it had been so real, so vivid, so terrifying. And the eyes, the eyes haunted her.
It happened every night, the same dream, continuing like a story. She would dream it but it never felt like her own dream. I understood why she felt that way, but as of now I must simply observe and allow. This isn't my assignment.
Bette was in it, the one caught in the storm, but she never felt like it was really her.
Whose dream or what it was Bette had not been able to figure out. She was in the dream in every single scene and moment but she still didn't know. She could never get far enough without waking up crying or screaming or both. But every night it crept in when she was sound asleep to haunt her again, telling her something in a way too foreign for her to comprehend. There was always water, a storm, those eyes.
When she wasn't asleep it was still there, lingering just under the subconscious where she couldn't reach it and pull it out. Rather it waited until the light left and night came in to crawl back in and greet her. It wasn't the way I would have done it.
Hours passed, the clock moving its hands from 11 to 12 to 1 as I watched Bette fight sleep madly, sitting up against the firm wooden headboard trying not to drift off too soundly. But despite her attempts to avoid the deep sleep that brought the dream, it always managed to engulf her, afraid and alone in its clutches. She fell asleep into the nightmare.
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