Weekly Writing Challenge: Collecting Detail

Been in bed since Thursday night with some of the worst food poisoning I’ve had in years. Finally getting better so I decided to use one of my graphic fever dreams for this week’s DP Challenge…

Fever dreams

The room is thick with a terracotta dust that never leaves, only twists and rises in the low, orange sun before settling back down in a gentle ballet.

Right now, as you scrabble and snatch at anything you can reach – books with tattered covers, t-shirts, sanitary towels from your underwear drawer – shoving it all into a canvas bag, choosing and not choosing what to take and leave, there’s no time for settling.

The dust streams upwards in the light from the window as a sick weight crawls up the back of your legs and climbs into your belly from behind – a freezing mass that will cling to your spine and keep you cold inside now, even on the hottest days.

The sun is tumbling slowly toward the horizon – just more dust, as far as you can see – and as the hollow twitter of a bird sounds in the bare branches outside, you thrill with fear, knowing that you need to go now but that it’s already too late.

And then it tips, that huge and heavy sun, over the horizon and it’s dark and too hot, and you’re awake, maybe half-awake, tangled in a heavy fleece blanket, the back of your neck soaked with sweat and your stomach tight with dark red knots.

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