The wallpaper is peeling somewhat, and I can see the wallpaper under it, and the wallpaper under it, pale peach on pink on blue. There have been generations of wallpaper, plastered on this one hundred and fifty year-old wall. The window is a bare white frame. The bed I lie on is a hulking ancient relic, like a tall ship.
But the impression you are getting is wrong. I love this room. It is comfortable and beautiful, in its way, and it is home. It has always been home, and so I am pleased to be here.
I've stripped down to as little clothing as possible, and have just a single thin sheet on me. My brother is already asleep in the bed beside me. I can tell from the gentle snores across the hall that my other two brothers are asleep. The window is open, and the sky is dark. Crickets play a mild symphony from the fields and bushes around this house. At the foot of the hill that we perch upon, Hartsville brook meanders aimlessly. I could just hear it, if I were to try. The summer air plays over my over-heated body. Sweat drips slowly from under my arms, off my forehead, between my legs. The pillow is damp with my sweat. I'm a little restless, and the air presses down on top of me, heavy, the hand of the nature god that stands on the roof of my house, silently stirring the winds with his antlered head.
It is late, and so I fall asleep like I usually do, softly and quickly. But the hand of the god reaches me even in my sleep. And I dream.
I dream I am running. Men run after me, chasing me. They have guns. They are shooting at me, bullets are careening into trees beside me, into the ground ahead of me. They miss me, though, and I continue running until I reach a tree split with lightning; a tree shaped into a "Y." I turn. Damn them, I will make my stand! I take out my gun, level it through the split of the tree, and pinwheels of flame burst from the barrel of my weapon, slamming into my pursuers. The first takes the shot in the chest. He slumps and fades into the ground, an apparition, but as I watch, another man joins the chase. He looks like they all do, suited in dark colours. I fire my gun again and again. I hit them again and again. Some burst into flame, the fire charring the flesh off their bodies before they fly backwards into the ground. Some fade forward, ghost-like. Still, they come. They are half-hounds, hell-hounds. I flee.
I come to a place where my friends are seated on the crown of a hill, watching what look like fireworks over a town. I know better. The "fireworks" are explosions, mortar fire. It is the capture of the town by the enemy! We must run, now, quickly, while we are yet free! The enemy comes! But my friends stay seated, eating and drinking and laughing. I argue, I yell, I try to move them. Eventually, I sit with them. They will not run. The enemy does not exist for them. The chase has not yet begun. I wait, despairing of hope. I can't breath. I am found! The enemy comes! I choke on the very air, clutch my throat, and fall.
And wake on the floor, prone, between the bed and the window. The night air is still, humid. My face is red and hot. My body is soaked through with sweat. I have a powerful erection, painful against my stomach. I find it hard to breath. My heart won't slow down. I can feel my blood moving through my body. The god has invaded my home, invaded my sleep, my mind, my sex. I stand, slowly. I am half-drunk on lust and sleep. I walk downstairs, then outside. All is still. The moon is hidden with rags of clouds. I lay on the grass, wet with dew. My mind gradually empties, and the hold of the god relaxes. I drift into a dreamless sleep.