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He could not help but dream of her.  Dream of her fear, of the way it must have sank fangs into her throat.  Dream of her body, so small, so vulnerable.  Dream of the claustrophobia, the air growing stuffy and she didn't really need to breathe, but he knew she would have been gasping, even sobbing, and no matter how long they lived, there were certain things their bodies never forgot.

But mostly he would dream about the last thing she saw.  The light as it crept down the bricks, catching little flecks of quartz here and there that would have glittered like fresh snow under a full moon.  The sky growing rosy above her, the undersides of clouds a dusky violet, and perhaps she would have remembered her own mother's petticoats at the sight.  A flock of birds flying across that golden, glorious sky, singing out to each other bright, glad songs of morn.  A perfect round circle of day, and she had never been too fond of poesy, but maybe a few lines of verse slipped unbidden into her mind; something reverent, something beautiful, something so far removed from their lives that it may as well have been written by the angels themselves.

He would dream of the sun, the sun as she must have seen it, a blinding arc of molten bronze.  A glimpse only, before the flames took her, mercifully quick.

Louis would dream of his darling Claudia, and he would awaken sick with envy.

January 2017

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