Brann slipped out from under the blankets, letting the corner of his sheets grow until it dissected the bed in two. He swung his feet to the carpet, no childish slippers to be found, simply toes and flesh. He couldn’t recall what had summoned him from his sleep, but he didn’t care to remember. It was buried in the thicket of his memory now; surely to be relived eventually. He shifted his weight from mattress to floor, dreading the age of the house which produced the quietest of protests.
His parents wouldn’t hear him. They never did.
Yet he crept slowly through the dark. With a pocket of cancer he moved. Each step a well memorized action.
Seven steps he had taken hundreds of times before. The staircase before him glowed blue in the dark. As he descended, he silently attempted to float across each level. With each opposite-escalade he glanced at the doors of Authority, knowing deaf ears laid within; yet retaining every caution of silence.
Suddenly the exit.
He opened it. Slowly and certainly. The frozen air reaching it’s tentacles of ice through each inch he progressed. He surrendered to them. Letting them pull him into the night, nearly forgetting to shut the door softly behind him.
The house was merely dream to him now.
As he turned to the moon and all below he now realized why he had been so timely removed from his sleep.
Slowly snow drifted, in numbers like the stars. For some strange reason, Brann hated them all; that is, until they reached their resting place upon the ground. There they were safe, their descent complete.
Suddenly he bagan to run, awkwardly for his feet had not yet grown numb. When his brain finally wandered to the wind rushing past his cheeks and his ears he stopped, poetically in the middle of his quiet, unplowed street.
He had run far enough. For a moment he felt alive. This was sufficient.
Without allowing his body a protest he fell prostrate in the snow, as a lunatic worshipping an unseen god. He buried himself there, as he so often did when he needed to be clean. The snow was his haven. The blackness of his days seemed to wander further into the sky in these seconds. If he lay still enough, for a moment he could be the snow, separate from the darkness surrounding the moon.
His brain traveled to cold again. He removed the cancer and a small flame for company. Moments later he was breathing out his demons, as children so often do when there should have been no school.
“It’s not my fault,” he whispered in protest to the treetops, “it’s not my damn fault.”
With these whispers Brann felt as though tears should accompany, but it was much to cold for such a thing. In any case, his words were flowing from no other place but his throat.
“Sic semper tyrannis,” he muttered.
He did not even know what that meant, but he felt the poetry of the moment was waiting in lust for a foreign word. A few puffs of smoke completed his cinematic instance.
Brann’s mind wondered if he should pray, for his sins and for those of the women he’d meet, but he didn’t.
“Deaf ears of Authority, mon ami.”
His eyes fell heavy, though he would never describe them as such. Slowly he drifted off to sleep, all the while knowing that he would be ripped again from his sleep, to creep into his house, escaping the cold, hovering up the stairs, wandering through the door, partaking in seven steps, and crawling into a bed of blackened dreams.