This article is taken from Stand 231, 19(3) September - December 2021.

Rosemary Evans Pink and Speckled
1. Katherine

The nightmares aren’t how they used to be.

When I was younger, I would dream it was happening around us, with the water crashing through the windows and swilling round the room, waves bulging in from every opening. But these days, in my dreams, there is no disturbance, no chaos. It feels as though that was all over a long time ago. Now, we are peacefully submerged, and the water – the miles and miles of water that we are underneath – is too thick for me to kick my legs, or to scream. So I simply stare into the blueness, eyes straining, until I slowly begin to realise that the marble quality of the light is just the dawn filtering through a crack in the curtain.

The nightmare doesn’t stop anymore: it simply fades in and out, like a tide. On some days I blink and when I open my eyes, I see the room I am in as it would look under litres of water, silent and layered with blue. On other days my mother floats beside the saucepans and the pages of my father’s newspaper ripple out through the water like fabric. Both of them stare listlessly at me from across the dinner table with eyes like boiled eggs.

What’s wrong? People ask me. I blink and the tide withdraws.

Seriously, Kath. Isla looks into my eyes one day and places her hand on my knee. Tell me what is wrong.

I can see from the ...
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