Lost in that mysterious nether world between sleep and consciousness, Walter Hammonds hears his wife breathing rhythmically beside him as reality and imagination merge like a Salvatore Dali painting.
He sees himself floating down the Sea of Japan on an Army cot soaked with blood. An Asian woman, with hair down to her knees, undresses him and cleanses his flesh with her hair. His wounds heal miraculously as he takes the woman in his arms. She, too, is naked.
Together they float in the heavens. Walter watches the cot grow smaller and smaller.
They glide over a forest of giant trees, where the cot vanishes in a puff of blue smoke. Walter sees his own nude body entwined with the Asian woman’s floating in the sky, her hair acting like a parachute. Gently, they land on a bed of ferns, and make love.
Walter and the woman rise from the soft foliage holding hands. Doused by a jasmine mist, cleansed of sin, they run naked through the woods until human voices strip them of their innocence and they seek vines to cover their nakedness.
Walter opens his eyes; his wife is muttering in her sleep. He rolls toward her, reaching for her once long, dark hair, and presses his naked body against hers, hoping, in that nether world between sleep and consciousness, they might become one and soar into the heavens.
Wayne Scheer has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and a Best of the Web. His work has appeared in a variety of publications, including The Christian Science Monitor, Notre Dame Magazine, Eclectica, The Pedestal Magazine, flashquake, Smokelong Quarterly, Pindeldyboz, and Flash Me Magazine. Revealing Moments, a collection of twenty-four flash stories, is available as a free download at www.pearnoir.com/thumbscrews.htm. Wayne lives in Atlanta with his wife and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This story was sponsored by
Rotten Little Animals — An unnatural novella by Kevin Shamel. Animals are people too! And that is messed up. It’s a crazy ride from the backyard to the Big Time. Zombie-cats, car chases, puppet shows, kidnapping! Fear your pets from this day forward…