My first attempt at a prompt from Light and Shade Challenge. I took the prompt from the quote, 'A dream can poison sleep,' from Mutability by Percy Blyshe Shelly. It was harder than I thought it would be.
Cassie tried to get back to sleep. The dream was haunting her again. She focused on her breathing. She mustn't wake Jim next to her. She mentally snuggled back in to the dream.
"Cassie, are you awake?"
Cassie rolled over to see her husband. "Go back to sleep, Jim." She said softly.
"It's that dream again, isn't it? I can always tell."
Cassie stretched to see the bedside clock. It said 2.17am. "It's late Jim, go back to sleep. You have a heavy day in front of you."
"So do you." Jim sat up and rubbed a hand over his weary face. "Listen, I know you have trouble getting back to sleep after that dream. Why don't we go down into the kitchen for some hot milk."
Cassie trailed after him. The kitchen was cold and hard after the soft bed. "You don't need to do this, Jim. Honestly, I'll be fine."
Jim put two mugs of milk in the microwave. "Should I add a little nutmeg?"
Cassie shook her head. "I still don't like nutmeg." She smiled. "But thank you anyway."
"This dream, it's almost every night." Jim was watching the microwave but suddenly turned around to look hard at Cassie, standing dreamy eyed. "We should go to the doctor. I could come in with you and help you explain. I know you have trouble talking to doctors."
Cassie shook her head firmly. If she took sleeping pills she could lose her dream. "Why don't I stay down here? I can read for a bit and get ready for sleep. You can rest in bed."
"You know I can't sleep if you aren't next to me." The microwave pinged and Jim pulled out the hot milk, giving it a quick stir. "Are you sure that you won't have some nutmeg? I'll add some anyway."
"If you add it I won't drink it." Cassie wondered why it was so hard to have milk without nutmeg.
"It would just be better for you." Jim grumbled. The nutmeg hovered over the milk for a moment, then he took it away. "I could go with you to a dream analyst. Some of them are really good. I know a few people who have used them."
"I don't think so." Cassie said, sipping her milk.
"We can drink the milk together in bed." Jim suggested. He led the way back to the bedroom. As they slid into the cooling sheets he frowned. "We have to get this dream sorted out. I can't keep waking like this."
Cassie lay still beside him, listening to his breathing almost instantly slip into the slow, regular sighs of sleep. Jim could never stay awake for more than a minute. Then she stared into the dark and slid back to her dream. She was walking again in the golden sunlight with blossom in the trees and the birds singing. She lay down on the soft, warm river bank and listened to the river chuckling. And she was all alone.