Sleep-Dancing
Dalila Caryn Holness

Henry’s body lay in the sitting room on a soft bed of pillows, everyone had donated one because the plain wooden box they could afford wasn’t good enough for him. Around his body there was a crowd of mourners, laughing drinking and singing. They were celebrating Henry the way he celebrated life, with uninhibited enthusiasm, excess and laughter. Megan was too angry to laugh. She had embraced only one thing in life with such exuberance — her brother. He was gone, struck down by a streetcar as if by his own hand. Dancing in the streets. From her place in the hall with her back to the sitting room and all its occupants, Megan watched the rain fall through the open door. The sound of rain pattering had almost been drowned out by the laughter of her family. She walked out to meet the rain. It struck her as it would a sleepwalker, setting off electric pulses along her skin. Gasping at the suddenness of the shock, Megan opened her mouth for air and exploded with uncontrollable laughter. As though Henry was standing beside her, she spun, arms open to the rain pouring over her.

First published: November, 2008
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