|Subject: Chapter 308 - Part 1
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Date Posted: Wednesday, October 24, 07:00:58am
In reply to:
's message, "Chapter 307 - Part 1 (16 and above)" on Monday, October 22, 07:10:11am
Dreams in the Dark (308/?)
by Katherine Gilbert
It had been forever--five and a half endless weeks--since she had seen him, had been a month since she had read a letter in his hand. Now, as she sat in their house, doing her best not to focus too much on all that inner emptiness which constantly threatened to devour her, she couldn't help but pray. All she wanted, all she hoped for, was some sort of word. Because the news she was hearing on the radio, in the papers, wasn't positive at all.
Nikita shivered slightly, as she sat at her desk, doing her best to calmly compose another letter to her beloved. She had tried to accept that--with so much distance between them--letters couldn't be so much a matter of answering correspondence as simply recording her daily thoughts. Still, her thoughts of late continued to be bad company--and nothing which happened around her was making them any better now.
There were so many factors which added into this truth, so much she couldn't quite ignore. Even the newspapers seemed to be conspiring against her. It was now May 12th. Only yesterday, the reports had been of the Nazis' invasion of Belgium the day before. As little as she knew about the country, the idea alone made her shudder. She might not be a scholar, but it seemed to her like the Germans were intent on destroying the whole of Europe, their ghastly reach never-ending. Knowing that they were furthering these plans only made her fears more trenchant now.
Still, this wasn't the only basis for her ever-increasing terrors; she could only wish it were. Last night, she had been woken up by the most terrible nightmare--a hideous mishmash of fire, death, and pursuit. She didn't know exactly what to make of it except for the obvious fact that it was Michael at the center of every event--her beloved who was the enemies' target; the shudder started deep inside her before rising up through her form. No matter how hard she had tried, she couldn't get away from it. Sleep had fled.
It was partly due to this fact that she was exhausted today, but that wasn't a wholly new factor in her life. In the last month or so, she had grown absolutely *huge*. The simple discomforts of getting around the house aside, it was a little trying. Finding a comfortable position in which to sleep was utterly impossible.
But it wasn't this mere physical effect of her late-stage pregnancy which was making the day so difficult. The dream alone was terrifying, had taken a hold on her soul which she had yet to be able to dismiss. As often as she told herself that it was only a dream, was undoubtedly brought about by her simple fears, she couldn't make the terror go away. Somehow, she feared all too greatly that it was caused by far more than simple doubt.
She couldn't get away from this anxiety, couldn't even begin to. Still, somewhere in the clatter of her thoughts, she heard Fredericks going out to check the mail; the very idea caught her, forcing her to hold her breath. As ridiculous as the hope always was, every day proving that truth yet again, she still prayed for some word from her husband. Maybe, even if it were several weeks out of date, it could provide some sort of respite from the horror of those dreams.
She realized that she was still holding her breath, knew that she was probably hoping as much as she feared--the mailbox not always her friend. Lately, she and her father had somehow gotten into another written shouting match--every letter between them becoming more vitriolic than the last. Still, with the threat of Enquist hopefully gone--apparently, Murrin had taken him on in a distant enough capacity to keep an eye on him--she did hope that Jones's threats were nothing more than basic saber-rattling. It was probably almost comic, if she were only capable of entertaining such humor. Here she was, a woman so pregnant that it was annoying to have to walk from one room to another, while he was limited by his bad legs and his cane--both of them using the mail to send the other all their impotent curses. If Michael were beside her, she could have seen the humor in it, could probably even have laughed; the sigh rose slowly. But there was no joy to be found, until--or if--he returned.
She felt the shudder rising through her, had to force herself not to question his safety; it might well drive her mad, if she did. Besides, up till now, she had been doing so well, had forced herself to believe that he was unharmed, that everything was normal. It had only been those dreams last night which had changed that; she heard Fredericks closing the door distantly, as she shivered again, despite the May heat. She could only hope that she could force the fears away from her soon.
This was probably her only way toward sanity, her only possible hope. She tried to focus on it, steeling her resolve once more. She had promised Michael, more than once, that she would be strong; she heard her assistant's footsteps approaching, braced herself for another tirade by her father. It wouldn't do any of them any good if she let him down now.
It was to her surprise that her assistant laid down a different sort of letter in front of her, the handwriting on it so sweetly familiar; she felt the tears come to her eyes, even as she looked up to Carl's smile. "Thank you," she whispered, to his nod, before he left her to enjoy it alone--her gaze caught utterly by it again. Now, perhaps she could force away some of these useless fears.
She was telling herself this, was lecturing herself to believe that this sweet miracle in front of her meant that all the dreams were wrong, that they were only caused by anxiety. Still, she tore the envelope open much more slowly than normal, found herself extracting the letter as though she were terrified of its contents; she took a deep breath, waiting to see what it held. But she knew, even as she did so, that no form of correspondence this slow could really assure her that he was alright.
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