“Typical human impatience,” he tutted, then continued. “The dream isn’t even the worst part, I’ve found. Did you ever wake from a nightmare too frightened to fall back to sleep? Instead you simply laid awake, the dream world still pressing against the thin reality of your bedroom, and as the shadows danced on your walls you became sure that, even if you crept down the hall to your parents’ room, you would still be alone. Sure that outside the streets were empty and the lamps dark. Sure the sun was never going to rise.” He sighed softly. “And then it did. Tiny, hazy beams of light through drawn curtains, then the glorious burn of daylight. Dawn comes, the nightmare fades, and the world returns. The sun brings it all back.” He paused, the silence almost reverent. “That’s what she is to me.”
“Who?” she asked, the word escaping her lips before she could think to hold it in.
“If I sleep, the sun might set.” His voice began to shake. “I know it will one day — will set and never rise again, that’s the way of stars — and when the time comes darkness will fall and I’ll rely on nightlights and torches to guide my way, stumbling along as I always have, but she’s here, right here, burning me and I still can’t let go. I don’t want to.” He inhaled sharply and cried out, “Rose, are you there? I can’t see you, please, I can’t–”
She was on her feet, her hands reaching for his. “I’m here, see? I’ve got you.” His hands were freezing, far colder than she’d ever felt them before. She ripped the torn remnants of her coat from her wounds and laced their fingers together, pressing her skin against his, hoping to give a little of her warmth. “I’m here. I’m right here.”
His teeth chattered, his face eerily pale. “It hurts.”
“I know. I’m sorry.” She wished he would open his eyes and look at her, but he kept them closed and his face turned away even as he clung to her hands.
“Don’t let go,” he begged.
“I won’t. I promise I won’t.” She tried to smile. “Not ever.”
Excerpt From: But Broken Lights by rosa acicularis
Requested By: claravoyant & tkross