Shadow Shapers – Story

The corridor was dark but had the warmth of home. Ashley knew she was dreaming but it didn’t feel like regular dream. She never remembered feeling warmth before in a dream. She’d never dreamt in colour either.

The corridor lighted to a dark blue and the smell of cooking bacon wafted towards her. Walking quicker, she expected the corridor to lengthen and for her to have to start running. Most of her dreams were spent running or screaming.

The doctors said she was repressing memory and her dreams were her minds way of dealing with those memories. It didn’t matter to her; she didn’t want to remember what happened to her brother.

The corridor ended in a large room with a long table. There were candles and a fireplace bathing the room in an orange glow and keeping it warm. Around the table were two other girls.

Ashley recognized Drew from her full arm tattoo. It was the only thing that looked the same. Her hospital clothes were replaced by a blood-red corset and long black skirt. Her face wasn’t deathly grey but healthy golden tan. Most surprisingly she wasn’t deathly thin. This must be what Drew could look like if she wasn’t puking every meal.

The other girl wasn’t familiar. She had short blond hair and large green eyes. She looked and dressed like Tinkerbelle.

Smiling and sitting down with the other girls, Ashley said, “Hi, I’m Ash. What’s your name?”

The new girl radiated happiness, she actually glowed, as she replied, “I’m Tara. Nice to meet you. Isn’t this a wonderful dream?” All three of them nodded together.

Tara was wearing a pair of earrings that looked black but when they were hit by candlelight, turned a beautiful purple. Ashley didn’t notice details like that in her dreams.

Each of the girls looked down at the table and saw food. There was a different plate in front of each of them. Ashley had a breakfast with eggs, bacon, sausage, and pancakes, just like she used to order after church with her family. Her brother used to tease her that she must have a hollow leg.

The other two had completely different meals. Drew had a huge burger with fries and Tara had some form of curried chicken. They ate in silence, each girl savoring the intense flavour.

When they were done, the plates disappeared and a small box appeared in front of each of them. Each box was wrapped in a brightly coloured bow. Inside, was a necklace, each girl received a golden necklace with a gold sun pendant. In the centre of each sun was a heart shaped gem. Ashley’s was an emerald of dark forest green, Drew’s was a pink diamond, and Tara’s was a purple amethyst.

Without know why, Ashley put on the necklace and the other two followed her lead. The same calming warmth radiated from the gem, washing over her.

Someone shook Ashley awake and she returned to the clinical white light of her hospital room. Nurse Fishburn was waking her for her morning pills.

“That must have been quite the dream,” he said his baritone voice barely above a whisper. “You haven’t slept like that since you went off the sedatives.”

She could only nod as the cold of the hospital flooded over her. There was an ache of longing in her chest, for the dream.

Taking her pills and showing her mouth to the Nurse, she wished she could return. When he left she went to her dresser and pulled out a pair of exercise pants and a loose sweater. As she striped, she forced herself to look into the mirror and find the parts of her body that she liked. It was one of Dr Leslie’s assignments. She hated it, it felt odd appraising yourself.

As her eyes travelled down from her face they caught the glint of green around her neck. It was the sun necklace from her dream. Where did it come from? Could she have brought it back with her?

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