I sat at the edge of my room, on that early night. I was by the French window not ready to go out into the cold and hostile air. Inside more habitual minds were asleep.
I too began to doze at my post, snoozing at the doorway, phasing in and out of the sunset. In a few winks I was deep into the night, the sounds of stillness all about me. I looked inside and out for answers still too drowsy to ask any questions. The ringing fury of a motorcycle came to my attention. That was with me as I woke up, maybe it was what woke me up.
My eyes drifted out towards it but I could see nothing on the street. Who was here in this outskirt hamlet? Why did the noise grow louder with any step I took? I looked back inside with hesitation. With the time taken to turn back, awake and explain the sound might be gone.
I took a few steps down past my compound and into the empty road ignoring the cutting chill of the night. Suddenly the Banyan on the corner shock with force and I noticed it had lost all leaves on it’s left side. Every breath felt like an icy cut and only then did I realise that not a light was on. Ever house closed and shuttered with not a single sound of life.
Suddenly from my right I head a roaring crescendo like a train barreling down on me. I turned back in horror but saw that my house was far, so far away and I was without any knowing step in the middle of the street. I turned expecting steel carnage but saw nothing under the moonless night sky.
Then with a shudder I felt it, first from the warm stream brushing past me, then hearing it from the creaking gears slowing through the rumbling machine. It was a chariot, steel and silver with no horses but instead four chrome plated Enfields. No riders sat upon them. Only a charioteer spoke to me, commanding me onto the carriage.
I wanted to beg, plead and bargain. But I could not turn away. What of all that I was promised? The warmth and familiar home?
I looked at the un-reality before me. No dream I had was ever this clear, this long and discomforting. I held myself and realised my skin had never felt so cold in any dream, no I hardly noticed at all. It seemed like the steel and chrome were the very edges of being – like the linings of clouds ready to break and dissipate at any moment but instead of clouds there was only emptiness. I strode up onto the carriage and saw the reigns in my hands.
With horror, I realised I must not dare look back to where I came. With these reigns I could do no good and knew I could do no evil for I knew not what it was. It was from the beginning, my voice that the charioteer spoke with. I had turned back and in turning the reigns were already afloat. The engines driving the chariot burned and in red fury I left that shuttered home, the cold no longer something I could feel. Now at last the deepest night was silent.