I wake up with a start.
My face is drenched with sweat. The nightmare hangs around my head, like a carousel. The thin sheets are hanging off my bed. I clamber out and tiptoe downstairs to get some milk. I reach out towards the larder, but my hands feel emptiness. I sigh. I needed to go to the stores in the morning. I look out the window.
The sun was warm on my face. I was so tired, I hadn't even noticed it was morning. I go upstairs to get dressed. I glance quickly at the small square mirror, which had been the only inheritance from my parents. That, my little childhood cottage and a couple of pounds to live on. I usually kept that aside for emergencies. I usually made my living on paper rounds of the "Evening Despatch" and working on the local farm. It wasn't much, but it paid for food. But I had a really simple life. I shake these thoughts off. They only held me down. But sometimes, I resented my parents leaving me so little to live on. They didn't even assign a guardian.
I look at the mirror again. A single pair of green eyes stare back at me. It almost seems... as if I didn't recognize myself. I spit on my hands and attempt to flatten my hair. No hope. It was always as if someone had held me upside down. I start to frantically scratch at my head.
Something snaps. I tear at my hair and scream. I got frustrated. This was unusual. I was always the peaceful one. But the past years memories had been building up all the pain and hate inside me, and with the Nightmare choking me like a collar, tightening every night, something inside me broke. I started running around, tearing down pictures and banging on the wall. I collapse onto the floor, sobbing uncontrollably.
I had to stop this. This would not bring my parents back and would not help. I slowly stop crying. I rise up and make my way towards the door. I unlock the door, and a small breeze ruffles my hair. I start walking towards the river outside my little cottage. I kneel down and splash my face with cold water. It stings, but It brings me back to reality.
I hear a rustle in the bushes behind me. I snap up, and quickly turned around.
Something was moving in the bushes...
Something emerged. I automatically relaxed... Just a fox. It sits down beside me. I'm slightly startled, but I do not move. It just stares at me, with beautiful pure black eyes. It looks at me with a wise look, as if it was telling me "pull yourself together" It's glossy red fur bristles in the wind. We just sit there, staring at the trees, watching the green leaves flutter in the summer breeze.
We stay that way for a long time.
I turn to face the fox but there was nothing there. Just a small red flower...I scan my head to remember the flower's name. Mother was a flower enthusiast, i remember her showing me this flower...
I stand up and pluck the flower from the soft green grass and put it in my pocket. I start heading back to the house and picked up some money for the food. I count out the pennies. Something dawns on me.
I was on my last few shillings...
I sigh. This was bound to happen. I pick up the pennies and started the long walk to the stores.
Halfway there, I remember the name of the flower.
It was called Papaver somniferum. Also known as a Poppy...