8      Not a dream but still a nightmare

 Waking up Jack sees the tramp in his room

He thinks it's a nightmare until he hears the thump of boots on the carpet

“There’s nothing there!”  Jack spoke aloud for courage

Art: Donata

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Lying in the dark, ears straining for the tiniest sound, Jack flinched at every creak.

“There’s nothing there.” He spoke aloud for courage and turned the lamp back on.

The tramp from old Gibson’s front garden wall was sitting on his desk, staring at him with mad, dead eyes.

Jack was relieved to see him. It was a nightmare. Spooked by the tramp, he was dreaming about him. It felt good to be having a normal nightmare after all the other weird dreams.

The tramp slipped off the desk. Jack heard a creak and then the muffled thump of boots on the carpet. It did not seem so much like a dream now, but it was still a nightmare.

The tramp walked over with Jack hearing every sound, every breath. Wanting to scream, unable to move; all he could do was lie helpless as the tramp bent over him to whisper,

“Jack, oh Jack, you were there. Now you’re back. Does she miss me, did she say, in her tower far away?”

Reaching for the lamp, the man flicked off the light, leaving Jack staring wide-eyed into the dark. His cold hand brushed Jack’s forehead as his strong fingers closed his eyes.

“Goodnight sweet prince and flights of angels sing thee to thy dream, and when you see her once again, tell her who you’ve seen.”

from Chapter 3     An Inspector Calls

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