The blue-black of her inner eyelid tickled her retina. She was not aware of the tickle. It was a bee-humming from the base of her brain stem, an imperceptible bumping as she slept. And the colours changed for her: blue. It elongated, prickled. The edges of a velvet flower. The blue grew negative, gave birth to a sunrise. And in it, she materialized. Her body was propelled to the edge of a crystal-gleaming steel column, suspending her a football field length above and out from a waterfall. Above her hovered an enormous, monolithic cube. It was made of some deep metal, a black graphite. Its skin was imperceptibly smooth. The light barely touched it, the space barely revealed its edges.
Janet was used to odd dreams. “Odd” as her peers defined them; they never were odd when you were in them. They were your reality. And reality is always self-consistent, makes sense to the senses at the time. Reality must always be kept real. Until it isn’t.
The man brought his own light through the door frame. It shone out from behind him, somewhere. His silhouette was — enough of a man. His face was completely dark. So were even his body’s edges. He was a vacuum where the light could not get to. His eyes did not sparkle; they weren’t even there.
His fingers grazed the tips of the curled up bedsheets, where they formed mountains and valleys. The gaps in the weaving of the fabric shone darkly when he passed them. A reverse shone, a black light. His fingers lingered on and up to the collar of a women. The strings of her neck were highlighted beneath an orange button up pyjama shirt. He danced a black dagger out from his shadow finger — it must have been his fingernail — inching closer and more towards the girls throat.
She stood atop the steel beam. The thunder split the sky like glass. The cube, roaring, lost its buoyancy in the air, tumbling into the crevice of water beneath it. The water gritted its white teeth in a great spray to consume the thing. The still water fractured, it swirled around the steel bridge to nowhere. The steel began shaking, swaying like a loose rope in a violent wind. The spray lapped up at it. The girl felt her legs give way, her stomach drop. She felt her feet tremble, matching the waves of the unstable beam. She began to fall, the cube spinning below her.
Her toes stretched, nearly clenching the water in their grasp.
The loose knitted fabric tucked their coils between her toenails.
The black thread grew, tracing itself up the chin, over the nose.
She could feel the salt spray grip its moisture underneath her skin.
It darted into the cavern of her nostril. It spun rapidly, coiling, in and in and in.
The cube submerged. The white instantly faded to a cool, still pond, once more. Her face screamed, silently, blowing bubbles out under.
The thread snapped the light out of her mind. It glowed like a star through the canal of her sinuses. The pressure in her eyes left; the tension in her muscles released. The bedsheets flattened. The dark man crept away in the night, clenching it like a crystal ball. He lingers in the door frame, touching his ball of light into the unbreakable wall behind him, with all the others.