Nephele’s dreams trouble her for a week and she wakes many times, having trouble falling back to sleep each time. Eventually she gives up on trying to find any peace and decides to write instead what she dreamed.
There was a green film that covered everything; it looked as though through a piece of murky cellophane. I remember there was blood, and a man. He was yelling but I couldn’t hear him. It’s gotten louder each night.
Nephele woke up one morning to find the city draped in a thick fog, the kind the tops of buildings like to disappear into. Nephele is the type of person whose mood is affected by the weather, and today she feels like a wet washcloth has been draped over her face. She stands and pads across her apartment, coming to stand in front of the fridge, where she finds a bottle of Sriracha and an apple on the white shelves. That meal doesn’t seem particularly appetizing to her, so she pulls on a pair of jeans, tucks her long shirt into it, and slips her feet into a pair of paint stained black converse. Her steps waver at the door of the apartment building, and she can’t quite figure out the reason why. She pushes her way through the doors anyways, despite the little voice in the back of her head telling her not to. She has grown accustomed to not listening to that voice.
Clutching her worn moleskine journal to her chest, she lowers her head and plunges into the fog. Ignoring her growing dread, she walks on towards the pizza place by St. Cecelia’s, suddenly hearing a voice cut through the fog.
“You there, in the converse.”
Nephele moves towards the voice, her curiosity outweighing the bad feeling manifesting itself as a lump in her throat. Emerging from the fog there is a small man, his wrinkles etching canyons through his face accompanied by a small boy with silver duct tape on his mouth.
“I sense there is something bothering you, I can relieve that for a small price.” The old man utters. Something inside of Nephele possesses her to tell him that she will do anything to stop the dreams that plague her during the night.
“Give me your arm, Nephele.” Her breath catches in her throat yet she extends her arm anyways. The man reaches out and winds his spindly fingers around his wrist, his knuckles pressing into her skin. With his other hand he reaches into his pocket and takes out a small dagger. He drags the blade across her skin and a dark red liquid bubbles up from her skin. The boy produces a slide and takes a drop of her blood. Nephele is too shocked to do anything about this strange ritual. Finally, the man speaks;
“How terrible--to see the truth, when the truth is only pain to him who sees.”