Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Pretty: Hangover

Jack walked in a cold, dark place. Broad flagstones made a path that stretched before him. He looked back and saw more of the same. He knew, somehow, that there were walls not too far on either side of him, but he could not see them. His vision faded into inky blackness after a mere three meters.

"Okay, it's cold. That's normal. Dark, not so strange either."

Jack wasn't normally much of a mutterer, but sometimes you had to get some ideas out in the air. Operational security in his line of work meant that you never said anything you didn't need to say. But still, he had said her name, hadn't he? Right before he...


Wait, where was he? Jack looked around. He remembered going to sleep on the couch. Well, to be honest, he had passed out. But that was the last thing he remembered. Here he was, wearing the same clothes he'd passed out in, standing on some kind of path in the dark. He couldn't even see where the light was coming from. He just knew that he could see what was near him, but there didn't seem to be any kind of torch or glowbe. Strange.

"I could be dreaming, I suppose. But, usually when I dream, there are more pretty ladies around, right? And I don't smell so ... funky."

This was a lie. When Jack dreamed, or at least when he remembered his dreams, they were terrible, filled with staring and accusing faces. He drank so he wouldn't dream, and he drank so he could forget his dreams, forget the reason why he drank. A lie, but he can be allowed a lie every now and again. Jack had been through a lot, and he didn't entirely deserve his nightmares. Not entirely. His hands had been tied through most of that unpleasantness.

"So, what? Am I awake or asleep? HALLOOOOO!"

The darkness around him had a way of eating sound. There were no echoes whatsoever. Maybe the walls weren't as close as he thought. He looked up.

The sky was starlit and filled with beauty.


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