Title: All That Lies Lost
Word Count 622
All That Lies Lost
Christofer was a crepuscular being, creeping to sleep at dawn, and coming up bright and busy as the sun began to lower. He was, as I have said, in this and other ways, a natural for the world of the theater. He had gone out, late last night, for dinner with Kempe and Ned Allyn. I had declined to go, and used the time writing. I had slept early and he came in late, I suppose.
He slept with childlike immobility, huddled away into himself. So mornings when I woke, I could lie and think, have his body heat to warm the bed. And I found, after years of living alone, that I liked the arrangement.
That is why, when he kicked, me it was a surprise.
“Ow, Hey, stop it,” I said, or perhaps ruder words to that effect. I received no answer.
I came fully awake and raised myself on an elbow.
His feet were cold, he smelled of sack, and his shirt was spotted with fine flecks of mud. All this I saw between one breath and the next. I was able to see it because the light was creeping past the shutters, and falling onto the disarrangement of our bed. And, too, because, unusually for him, Christofer was facing me. Sleep had cast him onto a sharp shore. I could see that he was dreaming, his eyes flicked left and left, and his mobile mouth was drawn tight. Is it wrong to watch another dream? There is an imbalance of power, I am sure, to look in, when they cannot look out. To see and not to be seen. I think so anyway. But I had no choice, as he had wakened me.
There in the stripe of light from the window, I saw his face was wet with tears. His hair was loose, brown and thick as the mane of a pony, stuck to his mouth and cheeks. He had been weeping.
“I can't find it,” he whispered. His eyes opened, dreaming eyes, such as small children have, seeing only the world that the rest of us have lost.
“Gone-- all gone,” His mouth bowed, opened. “Can't find it.” He was shuddering now, strange flattened sobbing. I could see his body heaving beneath the muddy shirt.
I reached out to touch him, shake his shoulder perhaps, and he cast himself into my arms. His head tucked under my chin. And I was thinking maybe of my long gone tiny brother, or something. But Christofer was a man grown, I could see his prick, full from sleep, and the tangle of hair around it. Still, my arms closed around him, and I think I rocked him a little. Asleep we are all children again, and his distress hurt to see.
“Shh, Christopfer. All is well.” I said that, and other nonsense, I am sure.
“Can't find it.” He said again, his body tight, his breath shivering.
I felt, more than saw, him wake to the real day. He drew a long breath, and I released him. He pulled his shirt down, and scrubbed at his cheeks.
“Sorry Kyd.” He said.
I did not ask him what the dream had been. I doubted he would know. Such is the way of those things. And I did not chide him for kicking me, as I might have done in the robust middle of the day. Now was not the time for that.
“Try and sleep a little more, if you can,” I said.
“Aye.” His voice was hoarse. He settled himself, and I watched him drop away.