All My Friends Are Dead
 
I dreamt of them all again last night. All of my dead friends. I dreamt that I could see their emotions, shimmering veils of differently coloured lights, rather than their physical aspects. I saw Margriet’s russet fear and Kiera’s bright golden anger.  There too were Elsie’s bronze sadness, Abigail’s confusion of citron and scarlet, and Ellen’s incarnadine sobbing despair. The colours made me so sad that I turned myself into a tree, and drew all their colours inside me; sucked them into my roots and way up inside so that they coursed through my entire being. The chromatic feelings mixed and melded, becoming songs that budded from my branches as vivid emerald leaves. No one noticed the new me-tree much until autumn when the leaves fell, and the city was filled with passionate music that caused people to weep with anguish for the dead souls of my friends.

I dream often, now that I’m all alone in this vast decaying house full of dusty, dry rooms that are all the same. The ceilings crack, and rusted hinges prevent ancient doors from closing. Leaves blow across the unswept floors; ordinary leaves that have blown in from outside, rather than morsels of feeling that wait to be trodden on by uncaring feet.

I am not quite alone here, of course. Mother and Father still live here with me; their love endures. I hear them calling me now, in fact. I had better go and see what they want.

The room where they sit is dark; the heavy velvet curtains cut out all light from outside. The only light comes from a feeble candle on the small table where they sit. Mother looks worried, haggard lines stretching her mouth. Father looks bored. Neither of them look at me as I enter, but fix their gaze on their guest, an old woman I have never seen before. Her grey hair is cropped short, and she wears pince-nez and a paisley shawl.

“He's here,” the woman says. “I can feel it. He is sad.” I notice that they are all holding hands.

“Freddie, darling, can you hear me?” Mother says, her voice hoarse and strained. She peers into the gloom, in an entirely different direction from where I hover. “Please, Freddie, tell us where you hid the bodies.”