Only a Dream

She gets into bed accompanied by a whisper of rain like a tentative apology, lulling her into a fitful sleep. It drips through her dreams, punctuating them with watery full stops. So many dreams, like the flicker books she loved as a child, only the pictures change too quickly, from the first day of lockdown, through all the minor irritations, to a full-scale row, while the steady drips crescendo into an ocean-like roar. A flash of lightning illuminates the room as his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream, and she sits up, marooned in the expanse of the double bed.

“So sorry I woke you,” her husband says in a loud whisper against the clatter of rain against the window.

He slips under the covers and raindrops from his hair soak the pillow. She moves closer to the edge.  Is it only a dream?

Kim M. Russell, 11th May 2020

laptop computer left turned-on on bed inside room during rainy night
Image by Gian Cescon found on Unsplash

My response to dVerse Poets Pub Prosery: Maya Angelou

Björn is back again to host Prosery with a line from Maya Angelou’s poem ‘Caged Bird’: “his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream”. I love that poem!

34 thoughts on “Only a Dream

    1. Thank you! This story just deals with the breakdown of a marriage, but I’ve been reading and hearing a lot about abuse during the lockdown, and I feel sorry for anyone stuck in that kind of relationship anyway, let alone under the current conditions. It’s particularly dreadful for children, without the security of school and social service.


  1. Oh, that husband has been up to no good, running naked in the rain, like a great dane who gets out and runs out of sight. Midst his frustration and rage he probably felt safe in the rain.


  2. “a whisper of rain like a tentative apology”

    “like the flicker books she loved as a child”

    “steady drips crescendo into an ocean-like roar”

    I really like these descriptions.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You should be happy, Kim! Hope you’re OK.. We had a light frost last night – I just went out to check and got very cold feet – but the sky is blue and the sun is shining. Not sure about the lockdown changes – I don’t think I’ll be rushing out to any beauty spots any time soon!

        Liked by 1 person

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