There are nights when his imagination runs wild. As time passes, those get less frequent, but, if anything, more vivid. Some of the material, and characters, reappear from earlier episodes of his life, some from his writing, others are new fantasies, out of the blue. He is now in the habit of discussing his dreams with his friend the poetess, a very beautiful, and much younger woman we shall call Agnes. He cannot recall how they met, and when, but it has been some years: Agnes, obviously, came from elsewhere. They meet from time to time in his little study, although they also go out out walking in the nearby woods. As they walk they exchange confidences, small secrets, and often he tells her how much he cherishes their time together. She smiles then, her arm resting over his, her small hand often on his shoulder.

Her hair, dark red with golden reflections, fascinates him. She writes tense erotic verses that she reads to him, slowly, punctuating the stances with long looks at him, perhaps seeking his approval, or a sign he is in tune with her. She too wants to listen to his fantasies, or read about them. In his small study, they take turns on the couch, or the armchair, dependent on which one of them is the story-teller. For those occasions, she wears old-fashion Victorian garments, lace, and black stockings. Often, she surprises him, when she wears some exquisite jewellery he has not seen before, or a new scent that never fails to inspire him. She observes him, reading or listening to her, his eyes drinking the sight of her, her so white skin, her movements as she lies down or sits, for what they call their therapy sessions. She’s aware of his attention, his curiosity, his sheer pleasure when she starts revealing more of her secret self.

Now, she reads one of her poems, about a very young woman and her brother. Her verses tell about their searches, their discovery of each other, ending in sadness, and perhaps betrayal. He listens, his eyes fixed on her lips, transfixed. At the end she smiles at him, wants him to join her on the couch. She sighs, says inviting absurdities to him.

Then he tells her about his discoveries, far away, east. He tells her of the dark forests, the deep lakes, the small towns lost in time. He says how he misses the city, the tree-lined streets, the ghosts roaming in the ancient museums, or the even older cemeteries. He hesitates, and then tells her about his encounter with the lady of the forest. She drinks his words, and when he pauses, rests her head on his knees. She wants to know more, she wants more.

Image: Hujoo dreaming, by cfyrh, on

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