This conversation could have happened anytime. And it probably has. And will do so again. In front of a log fire in a pre-electric age cottage, by the side of a campfire. They could be on a spaceship hurtling from boiling sun to boiling sun. Anywhere they gather after dark for council, with light and fire. I held my breath listening to them, a deep vein of equamnity and contentment rippled from one to the other as they spoke. I was the fly on the wall. The tone lightened.
“He recognised who the woman was he saw in the dream?”
“Yes – you weren’t paying any attention when we asked him about that.
“You’d had too much of it yourself.”
I couldn’t remember saying anything to them. But then again I couldn’t remember getting to bed either. I knew what they were talking about: – its not every night you see people without eyeballs in your dreams, and held open with safety-pins. They must have had me out cold and pumped me on it. The fairies are nothing to do with it, I can see that. And is probably an invention of theirs. Some padding, so it’ll be foolish and forgotten about. That’d make sense. And this is putting two and two together, collecting my thoughts and racing with them. That’s something they’d be capable of. And building a cardboard castle of paper and straw to keep me in.
So if I carried on bursting through I’d get into the open air. The front door went like nothing. Colours and knobs fell to white powder on touch. Thrashed through twisting at the trailing strands, blinking, ready to flinch if it turned heavy and solid.
Stumbled out immediately into a bright blinding light, so I squinted to see round the edges, covering my eyes.
A woman walked out of the light towards me. Fumbling inside her handbag, she got out a pair of glasses and fiddled with both hands to get them on. Kept touching and straightening them the closer she got. But they were still askew when she got to me. A hat lifted off her head and that went into the handbag.
Said she couldn’t see a damn thing anyway. I noticed the safety-pins sticking out from behind the glasses. So I knew who it was, or at least I’d seen her before. And held my breath to see what she would say next.
Her dark hair blew about the shoulders and over the face but she didn’t bother to touch that. “These glasses are no good. Dark, yes, but its so bright here. They don’t do anything.” Got the impression this was an opening, hello-what-do-you-think-of-the-weather, for an ice breaker before getting onto it. She sounded like she didn’t know she had safety-pins on.