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A short story – hope you enjoy it.

 

Sunlight blistered through the twisted floating faces. Shadows danced across the taut steel and glass, and, at a window , Charlotte’s reflection scanned her .

Charlotte’s home was the countryside. She was free in the hills, absorbed by the hues of greens, reds and browns. It was welcome release from her days. The car would take her there like a sympathetic friend, and wait, patient and observant as she played.

Charlotte’s closed eyes were opened with the first breath of air , clean and cool. She spread herself, allowed her body to become embraced, and sank, trance like into the heather. Now she was floating, levitating above the moor. She soared higher, until the
purples merged with browns and greys. Now there were mountains, high peaked pyramids, topped with ice. Charlotte closed her wide glazed eyes.

She was running, racing naked with the deer. Trees flashed by like matchsticks, characters in a painting. The ground was soft beneath her feet ; she ran on sponge, her footsteps light, leaving no trace. Her parting breath expelled warmth into the air, her flesh was clammy with perspiration , but , oh , how it felt good . She crouched; the water tasted sharp, invigorating, breathing life into her.
Now she was still. Clear warmth bathed her body. Her skin glowed – Yellow, gold, bronze. She fused, was one with invisible rays; she was the Sun. She was still. She was alone. She was life.

Daylight was cold; it drew a crisp sheet across Charlotte’s waking eyes. She left the closeting walls of the building she dubbed home, and slipped with silent acceptance
into her shiny metal box.
Her working day enveloped her with almost predictable ease, swallowing her like an over-bearing relative. She closed herself to her surroundings. Conversation became functional, actions driven by autopilot. Her well rehearsed routine served her well – She was not here, her physical form stayed, her brain clicked through pages and screens, but her soul, her essence lived in dreamtime.

In slow motion, half life time, the door closed. Charlotte sank back into the comfort of her chair. Cushions swept around her. She felt as if she were falling, sliding.
Down, down, down she fell. Her descent was supported by a thousand hands, as soft as velvet, as firm as girder. Through myriad passageways she travelled each one more complex to navigate than the last. Faces, names and places blurred; flash of
colours, shades and hues. Her past, present and future became one – An unrecognisable blend of colour and sound. She burnt through doorway after doorway , feeling no pain, no lasting pleasure , simply an exhilarating rush of emotion and peace . Her pace slowed , and she began to absorb the warmth and light of her passage . For the briefest of moments she was held, as if her journey was caught on video tape, trapped on pause . Her mind became aware of her surroundings, the edge of her paradise , the confine of her pleasure, the doorway to her dreamtime. Dramatically now, like an explosive climax , she was forced through the final doorway , one she perceived as golden and ornate, yet temptingly translucent. She was clear. She was free. She was in her dreamtime.

Charlotte was floating. She felt clouds both above and below her. Nothing could touch her now; she was totally alone, and yet felt complete . She wanted no more, and could live with no less. In her real world she abandoned relationships; people fell away like discarded Autumn leaves , falling used and lifeless to the ground to be trampled under foot.Charlotte felt no attachment , no recourse to her actions, nor those of others. She was beyond the material , one with the ether, obsessed with her self-importance and yet also with the minuteness of her being within the cosmos . Charlotte floated on a sea of air; breath entering her body, flushing through it, cleansing it. She was whole.

The forest was dark. Shafts of brilliance sliced through the canopy like arrows, shooting to the ground and exploding in flashes of elaborate colour . Clouds scudded
by , hurrying to whispered destinations , shifting shapes across the carpeted floor . Silent creatures scurried , their presence noted only by changing hues as leaves and bracken wavered in their wake . The forest was dark , but Charlotte walked unafraid , confident in her step . She neither had , nor needed any written map to illuminate or illustrate her pathway . Somewhere , buried deep within her subconscious , lay a map, a dream map which took her , sightless through utopia. Her footfalls led her through beauty she could hardly begin to comprehend . This was not purely a physical beauty: No, what envelopd Charlotte lay deeper than any wistful appreciation of nature. What lay around Charlotte was her. Her soul became the forest, each leaf, branch and twig .
The greenness of every frond played within her. The moisture of the moss rose within her to encompass her being. She was the light: She was each movement and sound:
She was one.
And, at that instant, she heard it.

Charlotte lived alone. In her heart and soul she had always lived alone, always lived in isolation. Her solitary life had been built through choice. Relationships arrived, stayed, and then departed, with the regularity of commuter trains. Stops and halts were visited, but there was no hurtling unrestrained towards some unknown and intriguing distant destination. No-one ushered her blindfold onwards – Charlotte’s eyes were always open. Friends and lovers came and went, but the confines of Charlotte’s
sanctum stood solid, like invisible force fields repelling boarders : Her dreamtime guarded by silent strong statues of desire.
Within this sanctuary Charlotte had fine – honed her senses. Sights became magnified
as every detail was enhanced and scrutinised. Every sound was intensified and internalised as Charlotte built a mental library, complete in every detail of all she encountered.
This was how she knew. As she stood, in static watchfulness, ears focused, she knew.
The sound , emanating from the cover of distant trees , was one with which she was familiar. She recognised the footfall, the breath, the motion, slight and slow. She was no longer alone. In her paradise, in her dreamtime, in the place where she was her
truth, she was not alone.

The sounds were human; the breathing male. She was motionless, soundless; her senses alert. Attentively she tracked each action, each whispered sound. Her will was focused, her awareness, her very being, intense. Messages spread like grasping tentacles throughout her body, emanating from an unknown place deep within her. She was entranced, in meditative calm. The sounds quietened, in accordance with her will. The
intruder, the invader of her world, slumped, became silent and slept .
And now she saw him. A wave of attraction, one she had not experienced before, caressed her, and plucked at her nerve endings, and then, as unexpectedly as it had touched her, it ceased. This being, this man, was a stranger, an alien. Somehow he had broken her dreamtime, defiled her world, shattered her peace . She felt violated, open and vulnerable in her nakedness.
The rock felt smooth and solid, a heavy and hard friend nestling in the soft skin of her palm.

Charlotte awoke, naked and moist. The sound of the door was her second intrusion. She struggled to rise, fighting drained emotions, as the crimson dried slowly to brown.

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