Dreaming of flames (Akira)

I woke last night drenched in sweat and struggling to catch my breath.

Akira rubbed my back until my breath returned to normal, and then asked me – in her musically soothing voice – what I had been dreaming about.

I almost couldn’t tell her. I couldn’t find the words to describe how it felt to be watching her. Her hair was blowing in the wind, strands covering her face as she turned towards me. In the distance, a farmhouse was on fire. The blaze was growing larger by the second as I watched in horror. I watched as the woman I love smiled as if it was the happiest she’d ever been, and then turned and darted off towards the inferno.

I shuddered beneath her gentle touch as I described to her the terror I felt when I realized I couldn’t move. I couldn’t chase after her. My feet were cemented to the ground as I watched her dance into the flames, as I watched her quickly consumed by them. The tendrils flickered around her thin form, and then she was gone.

She circled her body around me, braiding her legs with mine. She whispered love notes in my ear until I slipped into a dreamless sleep.

When my alarm went off this morning, I shuffled into the living room to find Akira sitting in front of her easel, the canvas already showing the inferno in blazing glory. In the foreground, a silhouette came into view, brush stroke by brush stroke, until it seemed as if she were painting my dream from memory.

I wrapped my arms around her and asked if she wanted breakfast. Then I left her to her canvas and wished she would erase the whole thing. The memory of her rushing into the flames has reduced me to tears several times today. I’ve had to hide out in the bathroom so she won’t see them.

I want to burn the canvas.

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12 comments on “Dreaming of flames (Akira)”

  1. kir

    I love this story.

    but for me it’s the telling from his side, not even knowing his name, but being given a front row seat to his emotions from the mundane to the heartbreaking, is what has me riveted.

    your voice in this piece, this story is hypnotic and draws me in and quarters me. It’s like the saddest love song I’ve ever heard.

  2. Jennifer

    Interesting that instead of relieving the pain by telling Akira what had happened, it is merely passed along and even extended.

    In a piece that had many things to love, I loved this one best: She whispered love notes in my ear until I slipped into a dreamless sleep.

  3. Valerie

    “She circled her body around me, braiding her legs with mine. She whispered love notes in my ear until I slipped into a dreamless sleep.”

    That. Is. Gorgeous.

  4. Renee

    “…braiding her legs with mine…” just wow. Then hiding out in the bathroom.
    So sad, and such a detailed description of the emotional ride caused by the knowledge of limited time.

  5. Sara

    There’s so much to like about this scene and the story you’re writing. The characters are compelling and make me want to know them better. You’re very good at capturing the mixed emotions and the feeling of intense love b/w these characters.

    I adored these words: “She whispered love notes in my ear…”

    This is strong writing and I appreciate the opportunity to read it:~)

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