In my dream I was running. Running for the absolute joy of it. Running because I could run. Running because of the sheer excitement building up inside of me. I had never run this fast before and it made me manic. My speed was immense. I increased it further until I was flying, my feet barely touching the ground. And still it wasn’t fast enough. Faster I wanted to go. Faster than anyone had ever been before. The scenery around me became a blur. Streaks of black zoomed past me. The cold wind blasted against my face. And still it wasn’t fast enough. The excitement inside of me was growing, rising, mounting, as it thirsted for more pace. It rose further, swelling out my chest. It was going to burst! Rip! Explode! And I would let it.
I felt a surge of pain on my back. I winced and blearily opened my eyes. A tiny lady bug was trundling across a withered yellow leaf near my cheek. The bug was directly opposite my eye, and I could, if I wanted to, count the black spots on its tiny red body. The gentle whisper of running water filled my ears. It was the only sound. I could hear nothing else. The sound was slightly lulling and I could feel myself drifting. Drifting. Drifting on a log in the ocean…
This wasn’t my bed!
I whirled around confused, my hand slapping the ground, intruding the heavy blanket of silence. I swore as a sharp flint dug into my palm and looked up, searching for someone to blame. Tall trees towered over me, and beams of light blasted their way through the gaps in the branches and onto my hurting eyes.
What the hell was I doing in the forest?
Puzzled, I stood up and as I did, I caught a glare of white hot light. It lingered on my eyelids as I massaged my aching head. I couldn’t remember anything of last night. I racked my brains, trying to force a memory to float into my mind. What had gone on? Maybe I’d had a few drinks?
I’d certainly felt something similar to this before – although not as extreme as this. Every single bone in my body was aching. The insides of my mouth felt like a wasteland. What I wouldn’t do for a drink of water…
I started fantasising about the clear plastic jug on our kitchen table at home. I could picture the white ice cubes floating in the cool water, the patterns in them looking like white feathers. I could feel the water pouring into my mouth… The smell of hot baking bread wafted to my nostrils and I could see our oven, with thick blue oven mitts hanging off the handle…
I was being watched. A bony man was staring at me. His cloudy eyes narrowed when he caught me staring. My heart sunk when I saw who he was. Great. What did he want? I wasn’t in the mood for his crazy ramblings. He walked towards me, his reddish cotton shirt fluttering in the light breeze. His walk was very cattish, like a prowl, his legs carrying his skinny self lightly and quickly. I gazed at him tiredly, wishing more than anything, that I was at home. His mop of silver hair caught the sunlight making me wince and look away. I scowled.
’Kane?” he said softly, ‘what are you doing here?’
‘Digging for gold,’ I didn’t look at him.
‘You don’t want to dig for gold today lad, didn’t you hear, there was a disturbance here last night. That’s why I’m here, course the others don’t really care, they think I‘m paranoid, but me and Red knew straight away…’
I massaged my head.
‘But you can never be too sure can you? I remember when I was a young lad…’
Oh man! His voice was so hard to block out! It burrowed deep inside your brain. If he didn’t want me to be here, why was he rambling on? I kicked the dead leaves on the ground angrily. I just wanted to go home and have a shower. Why the hell was he talking to me? They called him Mad Murray in the village- I could think of better names.
‘..And we used to have big feasts and we used to sing songs…oh those were the days. And my favourite song used to be “lost in moonlight” I could sing it for you if you like?’
That’s it! I wasn’t going to stand here listening to him sing! I’ve had it!
‘I’m going now,’ I told him loudly.
‘B-but don’t you want to hear my song?’ Mad Murray said and the smile on his face disappeared.
I immediately felt bad, ‘no, I do, I’m just really tired, I’ve got a massive headache and you know I wanna go home’
‘Yes I suppose it’s not really safe to hang around these parts after last night, so we shouldn’t hang around ey?”
I rolled my eyes.
’And Kane,’ he said.
I faced him dully.
“Try to stay awake next time,” and with that he briskly turned and walked deeper into the forest, until it swallowed him and he disappeared from my sight, leaving me staring after him confused and irritated
image from http://nature.desktopnexus.com
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