Wednesday 22 February 2012

Stories from Other Lives: The Dreaming Bed,

I woke up too early then went back to sleep.

Now I am in this cluttered auction room surrounded by the detritus of a hundred lives. Something catches my eye. Here is a great  big  bed  standing  sideways  against a wall, illuminated by a skylight.  The head and foot of the bed are built from two great cupboards with finely carved doors.

An auctioneer in a yellow waistcoat strolls up and says. 'Interesting bed, that. Inside contents are part of the lot.'
I walk around the bed: once, then twice. Finally  I open the cupboard doors and inside I see:

one folded travel rug
one yellow jar with feathers in ;
two thermos flasks - one large, one small
a pile of books with bright leather bindings 
three blue Chinese jars in different sizes
two enormous  ledgers withe red spines
one very thick pink wool scarf
one a green ceramic cat with a long slender neck
one dusty whisky bottle half full
two boned bodices, one pink, one black
one silver aluminium step-ladder
one navy Fleet Air Arm peaked cap
three worn wool rolled up blankets;
one pot of orange marmalade with a faded label
on  folding beach  chair, striped

I decide to bid up to fifty pounds for the amazing bed. The yellow-waistcoated man takes the auction and  I'm driven to bid sixty five pounds to make this dream bed my own. The auctioneer nods at me, his eyes opaque,  as he brings his hammer down.

When I woke up I was very happy that I'd got this bed with my sixty five pound bid. I knew this was on important dream. It was very different.  I never dream in this detail, I never dream in such colour. Most importantly I know that the questions I ask myself about the bed will give me thirty stories or a very long novel.

Writer's bonus


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