Sunday Scribblings: Gypsies or Dragons?
Note: I want to tell you so many stories. They're just bouncing around in my head, and I don't know which to write. I don't know how to start because the images and characters are so strong in my mind I'm afraid they won't translate as well to paper. I could cry, but instead I'll write till I get it right, or until a particular little story sits up and says "Just publish me on the blog, already!"
This one is kind of weird. It got stuck in my head and spun round and round and wouldn't let go, although I kept telling it that it was too fantastical for such a tiny, insignificant, dreamy little thing. The unedited version had a paragraph about 700 sheep and another one about The Sound of Music, but somehow I couldn't put that in the final version.
This one is for Sunday Scribblings, and the prompt is Soothe.
Her soul was restless- twisting and turning, trying to break out of its shell, fluttering wildly as a butterfly caught in chewing gum.
She reached for the sleeping pills but she was supposed to be off them. A doctor had said so. She was already at the threshold of dreaded narcotic dependency. Addiction, habituation, substance abuse, white plague. The man had had a vocabulary.
“Call this number if you can’t sleep,” he’d said, pressing a yellow sticky note to her arm. She’d pushed it into the pocket of her jacket, and she could see it on the floor now, peeking out of the jacket like a sunshine yellow beacon.
WE SOOTHE, she read, picking it up. We Soothe. What kind of a name was that?
It was two a.m. by the clock; two a.m. with the moonlight streaming through the window and the apple-tree outside rustling in the wind; rustling and rustling and raising its branches to the sky like something that wanted wings- any kind of wings- dragonfly wings or angel wings or the wings of a tattered devil; it didn’t matter as long as flight was achievable.
(It was two a.m. by the clock and her soul was restless, imagining apple trees flying.)
The hotline rang thrice when she dialed it. And then a boy said, “Hullo?”
“Hullo? I was supposed to call this number. If I couldn’t sleep…”
“Of course.” The boy said. “Gypsies or dragons?”
She sat on the bed and stared at the receiver. “What?”
“Which one do you like? Gypsies or dragons? Don’t say wizards, I’m sick of wizards. And we don’t even offer vampires anymore.”
“Gypsies, I suppose. Dragons sound frightful.”
“Okay.” Said the boy, and then the phone was dead.
She swore and lay back, but already something seemed to be short-circuiting in her brain. There were shifting sand dunes and a drowsy, golden afternoon sun in her mind. There were a long line of camels and a scent of soporific spices. A fire crackled purple and orange and whispered soft, strange whispers in the way only fires in fantasy books can. There were swirling, twirling skirts around her in a profusion of colors- purple and coral and grenadine and crimson- and gold jewelry flashed in sleepy blinks from brown, lithe limbs. A voice smooth and cool as the deepest, quietest cave sang a lullaby, and she felt her eyes close.
We soothe, indeed.
*note*: I couldn't find the original artist to credit this image to, it's been used in the internet for so long that the original source is quite untraceable. So if anyone knows, please tell!