He sauntered under the marri trees, feeling her absence. Ashley usually accompanied him on these mindless sojourns, but she couldn’t come out today. Her dad said she needed to help out at the bakery. He told his mum about this and she baulked. She said a child shouldn’t be expected to work. It was a form of slavery.
‘The Sleep Walkers are coming,’ he whispered once in the dark, ‘and we have to be prepared.’ This has gone on for months now, him talking in his sleep, usually babbling incomprehensibly. It’s only on occasion, like that night, where he will say complete sentences. Sentences containing words I didn’t even realise he knew.
‘Even the rain is drowning,’ he mutters. If Thomas could only recover, or genuinely imagine, what it was to be. Instead his feet move damply and his mind glitches. Over and over, the same thoughts, the same corrections, the same aimless abstractions.
I go to a store to try on coats. Slipping on one after another, I look at my reflection. What does this coat transform me into? Am I flashy, realistic, prosaic, magic or speculative? Is it a perfect fit or slightly too big? Are the sleeves a little too long? Are the seams showing just a bit too much? I am confused, and leave the store.
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