I had a dream about a rocking horse burning. I stepped through a door into a nursery and there under the window, where sunlight blazed in was a large white rocking horse. He had a grey mane and tail, grey spots on his side and an open red mouth. He had a leather saddle and reins.
If it wasn’t for the bowed wood his hooves were upon, he might have been mistake for a real horse. As it was he was made of wood and paint; a child’s toy. When he rocked there was a loud creaking sound and the floorboards underneath him squeaked.
I wanted to go over and touch him but then the sun seemed to shine blinding bright and flames sparked up. The rocking horse was vanished under red, orange and yellow fire. The wood crackled, the paint peeled away and the leather blackened.
The urge to save the horse grow but I couldn’t move. The whole nursery became alight and I had to escape but I couldn’t. There was crying and shouting, the fire and smoke blurring the sounds. I didn’t understand that I had gone but I had.
The dream haunted me for nights until I had to figure it out. I couldn’t just be a random thing it was some kind of memory. I looked it up online and found that in the 1874, there had been a girl who died in a nursery fire which had started when the sun shinning too hotly on the back of a rocking horse had caught fire.
The snow fell on the town. Flakes danced in the lights from windows and out on the street. There was no noise as the snow stuck to cold patches or melted on warm roofs. Everyone was asleep, staying warm as winter froze everything but a small face appeared at a window and looked down into the street.
It was not the first snowfall of that year that the child had seen but for her each was magical. She thought some of the icy flakes could be fairies fluttering by. They helped to spread the frost and ice that lay thin.
The child rubbed her eyes and felt sleep calling her back to bed. She hoped the snow carried on falling. There would be games to play outside tomorrow, snowman to build and hot bowls of stew to wolf down in the evening.
She could wear her new suede and fur coat, the knitted gloves and hat from granny. Father might take them sledging on the hills and to feed the deer herd. Maybe, they would go to auntie’s for tea and cake on the way home.
Head full of things, she snuggled down back in bed and had dreams full of snow and fairies.
In the dream, all the letter of the alphabet fell on top of me and I become buried under them. I cried out for help but the letters filled my mouth and out come strange words that made no sense. I tried to free myself, but the letters weighed too much. I knew if I could break them it would be easier but they began to form powerful words and I realised all was lost to them.
(Note; I somehow missed a day of the A To Z Challenge even though I have also kept on track with the letters each day so I’m not sure how it’s happened. A lot has been going on in my life which might be why I missed this day. I can’t cope with that, so I filled in the gap with this story. Just in case anyone came across this post and wondered why it had been missed and what I was going on).
I wiped condensation from the stopped bus’s window and peered out. A road, stretching with lawns and trees which hid the houses, was before me. We where in the fanciest part of town and I always wondered what life was like for the people in those homes.
I pressed my head to the damp, cold glass. The voices of the comedy podcast I was listening to chatting away in my headphones. My thoughts were far away, picturing posh rooms and furniture that were more Victorian and Edwardian in nature then modern.
One day, I told myself, I’d live in one of those houses.
It was too hot to do anything but Rose had to stay out of the way. She sighed and flopped down in the wild meadow that ended the decorative hedged gardens. After Rose’s morning lessons and lunch, her maid had sent her outside to ‘play’, giving her a strict warning about not coming back until supper time.
Rose looked back in the direction of home but she couldn’t even see the chimneys from here as the tall trees hide them away. Everyone at the manor house was busy preparing for the ball this evening which she wasn’t invited to being ‘just a child’.
Rose knew when she got back she would have a simple supper in her day room then her maid would put her to bed. The sounds of the musicians playing, the guests’ voices, the cars and horse drawn carriages at the front door would drift into her room and keep her up all night. She would try and sneak down as people started arriving, Rose decided. She liked to see the ladies in their huge ball gowns and the men in their black suits.
The flapping of loud wings and a large bird rising in the air, broke Rose’s line of thought. It looked like a hawk or some other bird of prey but she wasn’t sure. The bird flew over the meadow then towards the house. Rose wonder what it was like to be a bird as she dozed off.
Rose dreamed she was at the ball, wearing a dress made of bird feathers. She was dancing and drinking from the pretty wine glasses. The french doors were open, she went out, the dress transforming around her so that wings grew from her back. She took off and flew up to the starry sky and moon, the guests below gasping at her. Then she was falling, the sky seeming to move higher away and the ground rising to meet her.
Rose’s eyes snapped open and she rose up from the tall grass, looking around confused. The warm breeze on her face, the smell of flowers, the buzzing of the honey bees and singing of the birds, caused her to remember where she was. She rubbed her face, wondering what time it was.
Getting up, she walked back into the gardens and into the one where a proud bronze sun dial sat. The head garden’s boy had taught her how to tell the time from were the shadow lay. It seemed to be close enough to supper time to start walking back to the house. Still, sleepy and shook up from the dream, Rose wandered way back, thinking that maybe she wouldn’t sneak into the ball.
The crash of wave and snap of sail sung to Desi as the sun set on another day. She had only a few minutes of watching the ships arriving or leaving the harbour before mother called her back into the inn. She had a good view sat on a little hill above the harbour and now the lamps were being lit too.
Stopping the wind from making noise with her skirts, Desi listened as sails were taken in or let loose. The whipping sounds of ropes and flapping of cloth mixed in with the creaking and slapping sounds of the sea against the ships’ sides made her long to be down there.
Desi shut her eyes and let the rumble voices of the men wash over her. She couldn’t hear what they were saying but she could imagine them repeating instructions, talking about their travels or suggesting which inns to visit this evening.
How she longed to be amongst them, traveling to other lands and escaping her dull life. But it wasn’t to be. Women couldn’t be sailors and many believed it was bad luck for them to even step aboard. Still though, Desi clung to her dream and maybe one day she’d be sailing away from here never to return.
When she woke up, the first thing she saw was the white rose he had left on bedside table. Picking it up, she saw a scrap of paper with I Love You written on it in between the petals. Smiling, she knew she was never going to forget him, he was apart of her now. If she ever wanted to see him again all she had to do was close her eyes and he would appear in black and white before her. Then they could travel to any dream they wished, living as they both wished they could.