Art by jiashu xu ©

 

Sheridan pulled his leather jacket tight, his wind-chilled fingers fumbling with the top button. He turned a closed mind to the sensory overload, retiring to his preferred haunt of solitude. Withdrawing deeper still to a familiar retreat of unlit grief, he entered a solitary dungeon where unanswered questions sustained an inescapable longing. And there, in that secluded darkness, it appeared. It was tiny, infinitesimal really, no more than a spark, like the intermittent flicker of a firefly. But in a black cesspool of misery it shown like a lighthouse on a distant shore. It had been the last presence to forsake him and one he had swore he would never welcome again. He had once longed to be visited by the captivating light but in his darkest hour he had grown to distrust its counsel and resent its company. Yet there it was once again – the glimmering light of hope.

Sheridan knew why it had suddenly chosen to make its appearance; it was always the ready companion of a dream. But for Sheridan this expedition bore none of the illusions of a dream. It was a hail-mary pass, a last ditch effort, Sheridan’s last stand. For dreams required faith and carried a price he could no longer could afford. Sheridan began to think on these things when, from the depths of his emptiness, a melody arose to accompany his poignant reflection:

 
 I feel the heat
 I see the sun’s rising
 Could this be a dream
 Is this a new beginning
 No more night, no more pain
 No more tears, no more crying
 The oasis awaits, a mirage never arriving
 
 How long, must we wait
 How long, this wandering
 How much, must be paid
 To the shadow of the dream
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