The Dreams

The dreams are screams, echoing through her mind from the deepest pits of the shadows outside the universe, from those murky hollows where only darkness dwells. They are his pleas, as he slowly loses his mind.

A beach at sunset; white powdered sand between their toes as he wraps his arms around her thin form and whispers, voice husky (from torture) in her ear, and as the setting sun stains the ocean red (like his blood as it ran from the wound she left in his chest).

"Stay with me," she would ask of him.

"Forever. That's the whole point – I'll never leave." He promises, "Not even if you kill me."

It gets harder to focus. When he is calm, he can escape the horrors of his existence by imagining them together in a peaceful place, in love as they were what feels like an eternity ago, and content in that love.

But when the pain becomes excruciating, even his daydreams become their own form of torture.

They're alone together, all alone in the vast and echoing white spaces, and she is confused and frightened. He feels such pain at her fear, and he wishes for nothing more than to comfort her.

"Am I dreaming?" she asks, looking to him with absolute trust.

He wishes he could tell her honestly that they were awake, that it was okay, that they were together … but that would be a lie. "I'm probably the wrong person to ask," he says instead, and that might as well be the truth – it's getting harder to tell, the more he escapes his reality with the dreams.

"I'm afraid," she whispers, and there's nothing else to say.

"You should be."

And then, finally, it's all too much and his mind snaps. There is nothing better, and the dreams have now become nightmares. There's no escape.

They revolve slowly, arms wrapped around one another, her cool hands draped across his neck and his splayed on her lower back. The music is soft and slow, and they savor every note. The lights dim, but still they see and they drink in the sight of their lover.

Her hands slide down to meet his and as they do, his claddagh ring slips from her finger and falls to the ground with a clatter, silver shining and shimmering and flashing against dull gray cement.

He bends down to pick it up. He freezes, and he remembers what brought him here to the reality that keeps breaking through his dreams to hurt him – she did. She did this to him. He clenches the ring tight, wrapping his hand around it. Crimson blood, ruby red, hot and thick, seeps between his fingers. It also begins to seep into the crisp white of his shirt, in a sharp clean line over his stomach: where she killed him, stabbed him, ended him.

"Go to Hell," he snarls, backing away like a wounded animal. He feels the last of the sanity that he clung to fade, wither and die. "I did."

And then there is no more of a man, nor nothing resembling one, but for the handsome face now marred and distorted by a hideous snarl. He growls, and he howls, and the screams of a ragged, wordless voice rip through reality.