By LR Forgues
*Found in old ‘ideas’ notebook. Date written – unknown.
Through that strange fog of sleep, a picture emerges…slowly. It becomes apparent that I am no longer…here. I am in a…different place; a place that I find intensely familiar, yet I know that I’ve never been. I see the same thing every time this nocturnal vision pays me a visit…5 nights and counting.
I almost welcome it now.
What I see is this…
…a wide expanse of wet grass dropping away, a gentle slope, before climbing again to gradually meet with an enormous white and green house, its styling telling of the Victorian Era. A dark hardened path cuts past me across the moist lawn toward the mansion, leading away around the house’s side and out of sight. I am not on the path, merely off to the side. An impossibly large maple tree stands to the left of the house, its vast drooping branches forming a shadowy canopy from my vantage point.
An elegant tea party, in a classic sense, is laid out beneath the dangling curtain of vegetation, all elegantly done in white. From my vantage point on the lawn, I can make out three figures, two woman and one man, all distinct in their attire, all somehow familiar. The man, tall and thin, sitting at the tea table with one of the women, is clad in a fancy top hat and dress jacket, complete with coat tails. The other woman, like the one sitting opposite the man, is dressed in a white dress, capped off with a small woman’s top-hat, set at a jaunty angle and matching the dress in color. A narrow, frilly parasol leans easily against her delicate shoulder. What I can see…looks beautiful, prompting an added thud in my heartbeat, a hitch in my breath. From the distance away that I am, the figures appear faceless and shadowed, but the body language of the standing woman is obvious.
She’s waiting for something…or someone.
At this point, I notice the dense jungle that forms the backdrop to this picture. It is all encompassing, choked with vines that dangle and creepers that creep underfoot. The plaintive calls of jungle animals, in all their varieties, echo quietly through the tree trunks. Grey clouds of mist drift lazily over and through the foliage, dimming everything. Water drops fall everywhere, glittering like diamonds. There’s something…ominous, about these surroundings.
Beyond that…all is quiet. A hush seems to settle over the scene.
I feel the need to approach. As I step forward, the muddy grass beneath my feet squishes and slurps. I can now smell the wet soil, the mud, mingled with the warm pungent odor of the jungle in my nostrils as my steps stir it up. I feel as though I am…home, the familiarity filling my heart and mind.
The three people at the table seem to acknowledge my approach. The standing woman turns greet me warmly, with affection and desire.
She is still faceless. A blur in my mind’s eye. The other two watch, faces like smeared water colors, welcoming joy in their mannerisms, also reaching for hugs and handshakes.
I am not frightened by this. I know that…one day…the blur will clear, revealing…
The whole image, starting in the corners, begins to fade…just as I reach the table, and her opening arms…