The night before last I had a scary dream. It had the feel of a Ray Bradbury story, the ones I loved and devoured as quickly as I could, as a teenager.
The dream had the same creepy menace and foreboding that I found so deliciously scary then, but it didn't feel so delicious showing up in my dream now. In the dream I was in bed, in a room whose walls held windows that were open to the dark outside, like a sun porch, only the windows were all around and a breeze rustled through them, an invader from outside.
I wasn't alone in the room. To my right there was another bed, a little further forward than mine. A young girl, with dark, bobbed hair, sat up in it, with her back to me. Because it was further ahead than mine I couldn't see her face.
I did what anyone would do--I called out, "Mum!"
And I heard her sweet, unmistakable voice say, "I'm here darling," and she put up her hand from the mattress on the floor where she was sleeping beside my bed. I held onto it and was immediately comforted and safe.
She had slept like that for the year we were homeless between when I was 8 and 9, all four of us living in one room in the house of my bizarre English grandmother (my other one was Dutch.)
My brother and I were so insecure and scared living there. He is three years younger than I, and we slept in camp beds set up head to head, from one corner of the room in a V formation. Mum and Dad slept on the floor between our beds on a mattress. On the wall above my bed, was a portrait of a fair haired, somber woman in Victorian clothing. Her eyes followed me no matter where I went in the room, always staring. Across the room from our beds was our wardrobe and upon its polished wood the firelight cast shadows that I dreamed into people with ill intent.
Mum slept every night (I don't know how she did it) with me holding one of her hands, and Rob, my brother, holding onto a lock of her beautiful dark hair.
Hearing her voice was such a sweet comfort the night before last. The memory has stayed with me since, almost banishing the menace of my Ray Bradbury dream! :)