A Grisly Kind of Sleeping
She lay in this absurd bed, utterly still, the very mechanics of it were strange and foreign to her. She lay still, under the apprentice’s recommendation, her hands folded over the blanket, and she watched the inside of her eyelids. Hallem Kemp had already burst in with offensive and vaguely rude accusations and had undone whatever good fortune they had been trying for. She turned her head and opened her eyes again, looking at the little vial he’d set aside on the table.
The drug is not foolproof, he’d warned. It might not do anything at all but otherwise she would just lay here all night. It might not be the worst idea, to give it a try.
She sighed a little, picked up the little vial and uncorked it. She drained the vial without a second thought and set it aside. It couldn’t do much worse than the grain alcohol she’d been sampling the week previously. As he’d said, there was even a high chance it would not work at all. She lay back down, staring at the ceiling. Time passed interminably, endless and gloomy here in this dark room, she had trouble telling if it had been an hour or a few minutes in this dark room.
She took a deep breath, relaxed the way she had been taught to when she was weary, let all of her muscles drop loose. And then she felt it, it started from her back, a strange sort of numbness that overtook everything and then she felt herself falling out of her own body, into some shadow. Not like fainting or going unconscious, she had done that enough. This felt… wholly pleasant. Like she had been floating on a warm spring and now had slid underneath.
For the very first time in a very long time, to any memory in fact, Raenarcam slept.
And she dreamed. Strange dreams, even for her, fleeting things she wouldn’t remember. Light patterned through wide golden leaves and down onto a little stone and a funny sort of insect that crawled through the grass and into a very small hand she thought must belong to herself though she couldn’t imagine how. The sound of the sea from a very great distance and air through high grasses, the quiet of a very old tomb in some distant land. Old forgotten voices saying old forgotten things. And for a moment, just a moment, she felt herself standing as though outside of her own body and standing across a tall man silhouetted and shadowed.
And then she woke and there were little bars of sunlight coming through the window and she had slept. Slept for hours in fact and outside she could hear birds and see all sorts of things. And she felt better. Just a little.
Though as she made her way out of the door and into the other room she reassured herself by thinking that she would never, ever do that again. Sleeping, what a grisly idea.