She woke suddenly from sleep. Sweat dried on her forehead in the cold air as she calmed her breathing. Looking around in the dark, she grasped for the light but could not find it. She reached out in the dark to find the door. Seeing the moonlight on the floor of that small hallway, she moved to her children’s rooms. Holding tight on the doorknob, she pushed open the doors to see their faces sound asleep. Images flashed through her mind of lifeless bodies, colorless faces, breathless limbs.
They were sound asleep, breathing heavily, their faces turned upwards to the sky. It is okay. It was only her dream.
It was a dream Philothea could not wake from. Where was her king now? How long these nights were when she waited with her tea and her open door, hoping for some news or some sign he was still there. How long this darkness lasted.
It was an hour this time. She sat at the table, staring out into the distance held at bay by the fingerprinted glass of the living room window. Just as they were grown more familiar, he disappeared again.
The darkness was palatable. The dreams continued. Some times felt so long, she hated to go to sleep again. Philothea would wake and wonder what was real and what was a dream. She woke to see that reality was the nightmare. Some times it was better to just have bad dreams.