I dreamt last night.

I dreamt of the Mariner. I saw him at the helm of his ship, golden hair flying behind him, blue eyes sparkling, and stars about him. Light was upon his brow, radiant and pure. He was bright, the Mariner, bright, bright, bright, so bright that he disappeared, or became brightness itself. And all that remained was light.

I dreamt of the Sea-Lady, and she was turned into a bird, never to become an elf again. Then she flew high through the thin air, high and far, and never came back. Only feathers came flying down.

I dreamt of the Left-Handed, but he no longer had hands, and his eyes were charred and black and the timeless void was behind them. White fire burnt within him, behind snowy skin, and he was consumed. Then the flame was extinguished, and only ashes were left behind, grey and wistful ashes slowly whirling on the wind.

I dreamt of the Singer, as he walked on the shores in mourning and pain, with blackened hands and blood-stained harp. He trod the sand and sang, ragged, grey songs rising and dying about him, waves and wailing endlessly coming up and crashing down. In the end, the wind that blew upon the sand scattered him, and nothing was left of him but a long thin cry that would not die and pierced the air.

I dreamt of Nearly-Myself. He sat on a throne, fair and kingly, and a crown was upon his dark hair. But he became old, his locks whitened and wrinkles crept up his face. Then the rock where he sat crumbled, and he fell into the sea, slowly sinking within her dark, silent, bottomless bosom. She gave me back his golden crown, but he came not to me, not in this world.

I dreamt of the Elven-King. He stood on a rocky plain, burned and barren, but his spear was in his hand, and its blade shone brightly, as a radiant star amidst the foul darkness. Suddenly, the earth shook, and black fumes rose about him. He fell to the ground, and his helm was cloven. His armour clattered, and was empty.

I dreamt of the Silver Queen, and of gleaming silver was her hair, as she stood, fairest of all and radiant, clad in grey and light. But a great cloud came over her, blood was spilled over her skin, and she wept, silver tears falling down her face, gleaming pool about her feet. And she wept and wept, until only silvery water remained.

I dreamt of the Reflections. They stood before each other, tall and proud in shining mail, long, dark hair flowing behind them. They were so alike that I couldn't tell which one was the other's reflection. And then there was a crack ! and a gap ! fissures creeping up the glass. Clatter ! sharp shards of mirrors upon the ground.

And in the end, I dreamt of the King and the Queen, youngest and beloved. They were so fair, so kingly, dazzling figures in a white city, clothed in rich garments, silk and velvet, and there were stars upon their brow. And yet what adornments, however lovely, could have outshone the beauty of their faces and the light of their eyes ? They stood side by side under the white boughs of a tree, and all could see the love that bound them. Only one last thing missed.

I stepped forth, and joined their hands, slender jewels of warm ivory.

Slender jewels turned to cold marble. Statues of a king and of a queen in a courtyard of a stone, forever stunned and unmoving.

All colours mingled then and whirled about me, and then went grey.

I dreamt last night. Perhaps I did not dream a dream but a nightmare.

Perhaps I didn't dream at all.

Perhaps I dreamt and didn't wake.

Just another nightmare.