He awoke with a start, shuddering slightly as he came to full wakefulness. Hs cheeks felt damp, and his hand reached up and wiped away the wetness with a slight hiccup. Crying? In his sleep? Or was it reality? A strange dream, or a painful memory? It wasn’t. It couldn’t be. But it had felt so real.
Glancing down, Talen began breathing a little easier as he spotted his wife sleeping soundly beside him. He looked around, looking for any signs that may signal that his dream was real as he quietly lifted the sheets and slipped out of bed. No weakness or breathing issues as he moved, silently padding to the bathroom and shutting the door. The elf flicked on the light switch, gazing at himself in the mirror, he smoothed a hand across his chest, fingers trailing across his sternum where the surgery had happened. But there was nothing, no scar or any indication that there had been any trauma. It had only been a dream. Hadn’t it?
He paused for a moment and stared at the reflection in front of him. No scars marred his flesh, no bags under his eyes, which were bright, if not sleepy. A perfectly healthy, young adult male elf. As expected.
Talen raised a hand and ran it down his face to remove the rest of the wetness. Flicking a stray hair out of his eyes, he decided there wasn’t any point in sleeping now. The dream had been far to real to allow for any more rest that night. Might as well go down to the kitchen and read or work.
With a quiet sigh, he padded back to the bedroom, quiet not to disturb Maggie as he grabbed a shirt before making his way downstairs. He started the coffee pot, sinking into a chair as the percolator began and musing over the dream once more. It had been so lifelike. An entirely different type of experience. Unicorns with special powers and a strong connection to their handlers. Communicating with them through thoughts pictures. Surreal and amazing. And completely a figment of his imagination. There was no such breed as that. He had no supernatural connection to any horses he was training or owned. He had no health problems. He had no young daughter; both of his children were grown and had their own lives now. But the emotions he had experienced in his dream had been so vivid and strong that he could still feel them clearly, as if he was still experiencing it.
Shaking off the memories, he rose and slowly made his coffee, grabbing a homemade muffin to munch on as he did so. He had some trainings to plan and assign to some of the staff ASAP.
“You’re up early.” Maggie said sleepily a few hours later. “You sleep ok?” She yawned as she came into the kitchen. She padded over to her husband and gave him a hug, smiling slightly as he kissed her forehead.
Talen smiled and stood, hugging her in return before heading to the counter to start making her up a cup of coffee. “Yes, I slept fine. Just had a dream that woke me, that is all.” He smiled gently at the look on her face and placed the cup in front of her at the table. “Nothing serious darling. I just didn’t feel like sleeping afterwards.”
“Hm.” He could tell she wanted to probe, but it was still early enough that the coffee had a stronger pull on her than her curiosity. Thankfully, the coffee won out and she turned her attention to enjoying the mug, leaving her husband in peace. Seizing the opportunity, Talen kissed the top of her head quickly and left the room, intent on getting ready for the day and heading out before his wife was awake enough to probe him. He wasn’t ready to talk about it, whatever it was.
The Trees: Nightmare Poem Re-edited Version