In My Dreams by Spencer Brewer
Featured in The Coup: Lucid, Vol. 32 (2014)
In my dreams, I stand on a black beach staring across the water where the sky kisses the sea. As I walk, sand tickles my feet down to the water’s edge. I wade ankle deep into the water. The sky is painted gray with bold strokes of cloud, the sea replying with its own hues of deep green. Slowly I submerge and let the sea swallow me. My skin melds and folds, contracts and peels, finally coming off. It then bends upon itself until it disappears. I watch with calm eyes; there is no need for it here. Looking down, I see where I want to go. I start swimming, and as my hands come in front of me I can see the crimson of raw tissue, but it does not hurt. The water is lukewarm, like a bath left to sit too long. I swim and swim, down where it should have gotten darker but instead grew more brilliant. Finally, I arrived at the light beneath the sea.
There is red. Everywhere I see is red. Red rocks with dull red crabs lounging on them, blood-red groupers prowling. The plant life is opaque, dancing and swirling to the different moods of the current. I eat it, absorb it, and it passes through me. Just over the crest of a rock appears a white head: the mermaids. Suddenly they appear, as abruptly as a fish breaking through the still waters of a lake. They swim to me in their graceful way, the frills and curls of their white hair dancing in an aquatic ballet. I was smiling, the tendons of my bare face pulling my lips into a wide a wide grin — something that would be gruesome in reality but was calming here.
The mermaids tug on my arms, and then lead me over the rocks. We swim over a sea of red, finally coming to a drop off. The water is lucidly clear, and I can see all the way to the bottom where crimson and color meets. It is beautiful, a peacefully violent crescendo of all the colors: vivid, strong yet soft, and above all, calming. I swim with my mermaids, their white no longer a contrast. We reach the bottom and soft rock envelope me, hugging me in warmth. But it can never be forever.
I know my time is over. I look across the rainbow beds and there is an oak door, the path to reality. I want to fight, to never leave this place of comfort, but I know it is futile. Sadly, I start to make my way to the door. On my way, a mermaid stops me and says, “Don’t be sad, it’s only for the moment. After all, you are merely going in between dreams.”
I smile, turning the doorknob, assured of where I am going.
Only in between dreams.