The walls were burning. Flames licked their camouflage, encompassing the golden sides now melting with heat. I could feel it against my skin, the heat, tempting me to surrender to its mercy. I gave in. My legs collapsed below me, leaving me lying on the ground. Above me the fire danced, inconsistent in its way. But it was falling, falling, falling.
I awoke. The roof was still intact, the walls their normal golden. The closed window made it stuffy, but not hot. I was not falling. Instead, I was lying on the bed, sprawled out in the position that had come when my legs collapsed. But none of it was real. I moved quickly, as if to take myself away from it at last. To push the dream into a forgotten memory. And with it gone, I slipped back into sleep.
The morning came with a cool glaze shifting through the windows. I slipped the glass open, feeling the waft of a breeze touch my face. Calm, soothing I thought. I stood there for a moment, just letting the peace of air envelop me. Sweet air. A rustle came and I turned, a straggled piece of paper caught up in the wind's path. It met the fireplace in the corner. I never had a fireplace. But I was not confused. Scared. Scared as I tried to open my eyes, to wake from what I realised what a dream. But I couldn't, and surrendered to fantasy's grasp. The paper was crackling in the heat, sparks flying high, too high. A lose one, caught by the wind, by memory maybe, darted from the hearth. I lunged forward, hoping to catch it in my hands, preferring it to touch my skin instead of the carpet. I wasn't fast enough. It landed smoothly on the floor, melding into the soft covering. I sighed, it would be fine. But my mind quickly changed as it began to build in flame. A thick flame that sparked around the room, catching quickly the curtains and closet. I beat at them wildly, a soft heat coming to me. It did not burn me though. They were growing, enclosing, grasping. I was screaming, but my voice made no sound through the fog. I closed my eyes, opened, closed, opened. Why couldn't I wake. There was nowhere left now, the room covered, my corner my only vicinity. I reached out, touched the flame.
I awoke. I was lying solidly on the bird, a sweat covering me. I sat up, went to open the window, changed my mind. I had no fireplace. Twice tonight. It was an irrational thought, that something like that could actually happen. So why did it strike my core? I remained sitting as a deep breathing expressed though my mouth. I would be fine soon, only to return to a sleep that chanced upon remembrance. My eyes began to drift as I returned to lie. Drifting, closing.
An alarm shook through me. Screeching. I opened my eyes, the first thought of a dream flooding through me. But I knew this wasn't a dream. The wailing was there, my mind ticking. I could hear the rustle of waking in the next room. I skidded to the door. A thick smoke billowed from the staircase. It wasn't a dream. Screaming had come from the person who appeared next to me. A lick of flame came to sight.
What do you we?
I did not know. A smile though came to my lips. My fear, rational, as I thought.