She danced her way around the questions, her clean hands took no blame. The effortless zing of her ready smile disarmed all but the most cynical. Childlike simplicity grew her wings and she used them well to escape the humdrum and fly high above the every day. Despite all the cluttered corners her windows sparkled and let in the light. It fed his fascination with this woman who felt like mercury cupped in the palm of his hand.
She picked up the bells one by one and bought each up to her ear and rang it just once. He watched the intense concentration on her face as she tilted her head and listened carefully until the sound from each ring had totally disappeared. When she picked up the tiny brass bell he saw the smile appear as soon as she rang out its pure clear note, it seemed to cut through the atmosphere in the dimpsy room and hung like tiny jewels sparkling in the air. He could sense her pleasure and felt a warm wave of love spread up from his stomach, he loved to see her happy. That's the one! she squealed, and took off up the stairs, bell in hand.
She dreams he is there and he is beautiful, a butterfly preserved, still twenty seven, still her love. Captured like a repeating video run, frozen in one moment, denying them the natural process of decay. Existing, intact and timeless inside that night world. A perpetual memory drenched in feeling so that every time she wakes she feels the wrench as she has to leave him all over again...
Sleep was a distant land she travelled without recollection of the dreams she knew lived there. But today, today was different. They were in a car that was about to crash and in the final few moments she saw him reach out his arm to shield her. She turned her head gripping the seatbelt waiting for impact. It never came. She opened the door and stepped out into a dark building and looked at the crumpled car and knew they had survived. A shaft of light poured in through the boarded windows. She awoke with her heart racing. . .