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Sci-fi Fantasy


Phyllis J. Burton




‘Feeling Blue’

Feeling Blue

My heart began to pound with excitement. My dream man was back! He stood on the other side of the courtyard and as I stared at him, I knew that I was now totally lost and under his spell.

'Come to me...come to me,' he murmured. His  voice was as soft as velvet and appeared to emanate from inside my head. He wore  a full-length beige-coloured robe with golden edges that gleamed like the early  morning sunshine. His long flowing blond hair moved gently in the balmy breeze:  I thought that he was magnificent.

A cry of pleasure escaped from my lips as  his outstretched arms beckoned to me. 'It is time...come to me my dearest...come to  me,' he pleaded.

Recognition flared briefly inside my brain as his eyes bored into mine, piercing my soul and heightening my already receptive senses.  Feelings of pure joy, distantly remembered love, longing and peace settled over  me like a warm silken blanket. I was a compliant and happy slave being drawn  towards him: I was a helpless moth hovering and flitting over a flame.

I ran  towards him.

I could feel the hot sun filtering through the gently swaying  palm trees that ringed the old courtyard. A heady perfume exuded from all the  tropical plants surrounding the ornate fountain in the centre and the sound of  water trickling and flowing over rocks and stones was like gentle music to my ears. This was a peaceful paradise interrupted only by the sound of bees as they fluttered their sun-drenched golden wings all around me...I was nearly there...

I woke suddenly and struggled to open my eyes. It was still dark outside and  the digital clock beside me glowed clinically: it was only 5a.m. I heard the  insistent sound of a police car's siren as it sped beneath my window. I groaned. I needed more sleep. In fact, I needed to be back in that beautiful courtyard. I  needed to be with him. Instead, all I could now hear was the rainwater splashing and gurgling noisily down the drainpipe outside my window.

I sleep alone, but not by choice you understand; you see my husband Michael, had decided two months before, that we were no longer compatible. His feelings for me had gone,  been extinguished or whatever else you may say about the loss of love. He had  moved out the following day!

Of course I still miss him - we'd been married for fourteen childless years for heaven's sake. As usual, my eyes searched in vain for Michael's familiar shape beside me. But for once, the fact that he wasn't there didn't fill me with anguish and grief. Instead, everything seemed different and I was filled with optimism. But why was I now feeling this way? I knew the answer now.

Throughout my life, my dreams had conjured up a  man with deep, gentian-blue eyes and long flowing hair. Unaccountably the dreams  had stopped once I'd married Michael. Now they had started again, only this time they seemed real and somehow tangible: I had allowed my dream man's eyes to  pierce my vulnerability and enter my soul. With a languid sigh, I stretched and snuggled back under my duvet cover.

I wanted to return to my dream-world:  I wanted to find and be with this handsome man, who always had such a profound effect upon my senses.

I woke again later to the sound of my mobile phone ringing beside me and fumbling sleepily, I picked up the receiver. "H...Hello."

"Hi Angela. You took a long time to answer." It was  my friend, Liz.

"Sorry Liz, I was fast asleep - I'm absolutely zonked. I had a disturbed night."

"Another one?"

"Yes," I replied with an expansive yawn.

"What are you doing to day?"

"Nothing much."

"Angela, what  happened to that fun-loving beautiful blond, slim girl I used to know? Your  husband's a rat. He's not worth all this angst."

"I know!"

"You know?" she  said in surprise.

"Yes, and from now on I'm going to think of him as my  ex-husband." Wow, I thought with pride; the words had at last been said.

"Well done," Liz continued, "I knew you'd come to your senses sooner or  later."

"Liz, do you remember me telling you about the strange dreams I used to have?"

"Yes, they involved a rather dishy man, didn't they?" Liz chuckled throatily.

"Well, last night I dreamt about him again and now I find that I don't give a fig about Michael any more. Isn't it great? I feel that something  momentous is going to happen to me to day."


"Yes.  don't think that I'm going mad, do you?"

"No, of course not. Realism has  reared its head at long last, that's all. And yes, something momentous IS going  to happen to day. You're coming up to London with me."

My head suddenly 'zinged' and a pair of blue eyes swam enticingly before me. "Well, I suppose I  could?" I replied. "Good. We're catching the 9.37a.m. to Waterloo and then  we're going to the National Gallery. Its ages since I've been and perhaps it  will encourage you to..."


"...paint again?", she teased. "You cannot possibly let all the hard work you've done in the past, go to waste. It's just  sitting there in your garden shed. The man from the local art gallery says that you should..."

"Oh, I don't know about all that, but London sounds  wonderful...and Liz?"


"Why to-day?"

"I don't know," she said. "A flash of inspiration, I suppose. Right, I'll see you at the station at 9.20, so you haven't got long. Bye."

"Bye," I said into thin air - she'd already hung up. Liz could be quite bossy sometimes, but she was right, a day in London would  be perfect.

I climbed out of bed and rushed into the bathroom. I stared at my  reflection in the mirror and was surprised to see that my eyes looked brighter:  in fact they positively sparkled: but why? I walked downstairs with a renewed spring in my step and then minutes later; I actually managed to eat some  breakfast!

As the train pulled into Waterloo, I could hardly contain my excitement, but Liz insisted that we had a cup of coffee first. We sat at a  small table in the station forecourt, but I couldn't get rid of a strange  all-pervading feeling of urgency.

"Right," Liz said, finally draining her  cup. "Are you ready?"

"Yes. I can't wait. Michael was never interested in  art, unless it appeared in girlie magazines of course."

"Least said. Come  on." Liz walked off.

The National Gallery was wonderful: the building exuded  an unhurried aura of respectability and each room was a delight. There were so  many differing styles, colours and sizes of pictures painted by people long since dead, but whose lives lived on in the images they had created. Time seemed meaningless as we walked from room to room. I felt as if I was being drawn along by an invisible thread; but where was this thread taking me?

The second I walked into the main gallery, I knew.

A huge painting dominated one side of  the room. It was beautiful and it glowed with vibrant colour.

"This is what  I came here to see," I told Liz excitedly.

She looked at me strangely. "What  do you mean? I thought that I arranged this visit?"

"Well, yes,  but..."

"Come on Angela, let's find the restaurant. My stomach's rumbling  dreadfully."

My heart sank. I had found the thing for which I had been  unconsciously seeking and all Liz wanted to do was eat! "Would you mind if I stayed here for a while," I said, "only I'm feeling a little tired? I'll come and find you in a few minutes. OK?"

"Of course," Liz said placing her hand on  my forehead. "You do feel slightly hot. I'll go and order us something."

"Thanks, I won't be long." To be honest, my head was beginning to  thump and I sat down on the wooden bench directly in front of the painting. I  smiled as I watched Liz wandering off in the direction of the restaurant. I knew that she would choose something sensible, like low calorie soup, if there was such a thing in a museum restaurant, of course.

I turned my attention back to the painting. It had been completely unsullied by the passing years and was still clear-cut and alive. A small sign gave the artist's name - Rebecca  somebody or other (I couldn't quite make it out) - and the date - '1527'.

My heart missed a beat when my eyes strayed towards the intricate painted marble floor at the bottom of the picture. A lone white flower like a small lily,  struggled for life in one of the cracks, which like the branches of a tree, spread at random across the canvas. The flower's bruised petals brought a touch of sad poignancy to an otherwise joyful scene. By now, my heart was thumping  wildly. Déjà vu...déjà vu, the flower suddenly screamed. I felt confused...vague memories fluttered like butterflies in my mind and...the invisible thread pulled at me again. I looked upwards. Then I saw him.

Two deep-blue eyes stared  back at me from the canvas! The man had a glorious head of golden hair, just like a halo. I took an involuntary breath. Could it be?

I heard a deep penetrating sigh beside me and I turned round. A young man sat beside me, his long, blond hair drawn back into a ponytail. He was slim and wore a faded blue denim-jacket and jeans and he too was staring intently at the painting. "My  dreams...aarrhhh, it's a miracle," he whispered. His voice was as mellow as the  sands of time.

"Sorry. What did you say?" I replied. He turned to face me and smiled...and my heart flipped. I was looking at two deep gentian pools, into which I felt I could plunge and lose all reason.

"I said, it's a miracle," he repeated 'and yes, I am beginning to understand. It is indeed a miracle."

"Wh...what is?" I spluttered.

"The picture. I remember it being  painted." He looked away and a few tears began to fall down his handsome face,  which he quickly brushed away.

"But how...this picture is dated 1527." I smiled nervously at him.

His voice grew softer. "Yes, I know, I was there you see."

He looked at me again and...I couldn't even begin to describe the feeling that began to spread throughout my body. I was tingling all over. It started at the tip of my toes and quickly spread upwards. I felt alive...joyful...and...whole.

I  looked away and tried to bring myself back to the reality of the National home and even Michael. But none of it seemed to matter any more: my reality was the nearness of this man...this beautiful man who was sitting  beside me. He WAS the man in the painting and MY DREAMS and what was more, I  knew that I had loved him aeons ago. A long forgotten name came to me.  Anthony, I dearest, dearest Anthony!

I sat up straight. My mind was filled with confusion. I tried to close my mind to what was happening. You  don't believe in reincarnation, I told myself fiercely.

"Yes, I was there,"  he repeated, his voice gentle, yet persuasive. "And so were you."

"I was?"

"Yes. You must were the one who painted this picture and  you were the one who fell into my arms each night."

"I was...? But surely..."

"Will this help you to remember?" From inside his jacket he produced a flower: it was slightly bruised but instantly recognisable. He pressed it into my hands, before leaning over and planting a kiss on my lips. "My sweetest Rebecca, you cannot know how long I have waited for this moment."

"Rebecca?...Rebecca?...yes, I remember now." My heart felt as if it was jumping  out of my chest as I looked down at the flower. "This picked it and gave it to me at the end of the sitting...Anthony...oh could I have  forgotten?"

"Our time has come, sweet Rebecca."

"Yes...our time has indeed come, my dearest Anthony. I realise now that I too have been waiting for you...but  in my dreams...always in my dreams."

Anthony stood up, clasped my hand in his and pulled me gently towards him. "It is time...come..."

His willing slave dutifully followed him.