A Dream

I had a strange dream last night.

I was looking at myself in a mirror. I was dressed in a flowing white evening dress. My soft black hair spread beautifully over my shoulders. Someone had lit a candle near me. The warm glow of the candle illumined my face and made me look resplendent. I rejoiced in the golden colour on my cheeks and my tender pink lips. I think I never looked so beautiful before.

Suddenly I stopped smiling. It must be something I saw in the mirror. It looked silver and shiny. As I gazed into the mirror, I could make out the outline of a skull. I looked as if in trance. Some more skulls appeared as I watched stupefied.

Suddenly I saw a black figure growing larger from a corner of the mirror. It grew big and life like. It had red fiery eyes and it smirked as it looked at me. The skulls bowed before the apparition. It seemed that the apparition was their king. They were waiting for a command. They all looked at me. They seemed to ridicule me.

I do not know what I was thinking. I had stopped thinking. I only looked with wonder. Then something within me spoke to it. It couldn’t have been my voice. I said, who are you? The apparition only looked, smirking and ridiculing me as before. I was growing impatient. This time my voice said, who are you? What are you doing here? Still it refused to answer. The skulls were now leaving one by one. They seemed to have attained their goal. They looked calm and dead.

When the last of the skulls was gone, I asked again, who are you? The apparition answered. It had a deep guttural voice. You know me. You have always known me. I’m here because you want me. I give you beauty. I give you happiness. I give you everything you desire. Don’t you know me? It left as suddenly as it came.

Then I looked at myself again. Deep black spots appeared under my eyes and I had grown pale. My beautiful eyes looked dead and withered. My hair was coarse and my lips looked swollen and red. I’d become ugly. I could not smile at myself any more. I did not cry. I was as stupefied as before.

I do not know how long I stood there looking at my ugliness. Suddenly I heard birds chirping at the window. It was daylight and I’d woken up.

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