That’s all I’ve been doing these days. My body is a floating mass in space, languid and without a sense of direction. The colors swirl around me in a psychedelic haze. Lines and squiggles for walls display half-finished concertos in repetitive strain.
My dreams flicker in and out of my semi-consciousness, like a black and white TV pretending to be high-definition, bleeding out colors that were never meant to be, bleating out a cacophony of white noise and mixing scenes where they shouldn’t; fighter planes in the land of Oz, floating continents in space, a spider in one’s hair.
There are moments, where I feel myself being jarred half-awake. A bolt of lightning visible in my vacuum – tearing out a piece of my dream world where I can see, half-clearly a monster staring at me.
Huge green eyes, a snarling face with drool running down the side. Long tapered hands wrapped around my neck and the weight of the world on my body. Sometimes I feel the pain, prickly and stabbing at me from me within. Then hisses and grunts of a foreign language permeating my brain, adding to the wall of words that’s used to block my escape.
My body cries, I think. Rather, I think it should.
Then it is over and the world closes in again. I am back to my dream world. My real world.
Pinocchio sings me a song aided by a group of travelling Viking on the way to Avalon. I dance and toss my hair in the air, curtsying to the rotting carcass of the jungle king being feasted on by sphinxes and rescuing a woodland creature from a trap set by poachers in the forest-ocean of Atlantis. When half-night falls and the burning moon turns to dust, I head back to my radio room, barefoot and bleeding. But at peace, always at peace.
Then reality pierces through the veil. This time – bright lights, shining too brightly at me. Too many voices speaking at once and over my head. They speak to me, through me and around me. I can never understand them. Prodding me and jabbing my body with things I cannot see, instruments so cold to the touch and decidedly foreign. I will them to stop, begging with muted screams and they do – after a while, after the bruises, after they’ve taken what they wished to take from me.
Sobbing and defeated, they let me slide back into the dream world and the creatures come to comfort me. They keen and wail, pulling out the hair that they own and bathe me in the blood of their tears. Chunks of their own flesh are used to cover up my naked skin and the lullaby of the Vikings are discordant and low, as they wrap me in their arms and hide me from the light. The sirens envelope me in their arms, their breasts warm to touch as they rock me back and forth.
I don’t want to go back out there anymore. Let me stay in the cocoon of my making, in this forest of colors, in this labyrinth of tears.
Please don’t make me?
A/N: Some revisions to the original short story. Things one might not notice but I somehow feel adds weight to this addition to the Widdershins Tales. Can you guess which princess this is?
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