The handheld he had hidden behind the loose pale blue bath panel in the en suite off of his room. Margaret would know it was not from her world so he needed to keep it out of sight.

Laying on the bed in the dark room, no light source employed except the backlight of the handheld, the shadows of the trees outside, illuminated by the night sky played on the back wall of his room. He watched them dance about while considering what he had learnt, the dance of branch on branch flitting about the blank canvas, creating pattern after pattern like a silhouette show or some stop go animation. He captured his thoughts every so often for future reference.

“There are massive problems in this time, of economic making by all accounts, all related to profit and greed…….There seems to be differing religions here too, some at odds with each other which brings out the worst in people…… This world seems to be run on profit at the expense of any other criteria.” How could he best describe it? It was all so alien to him. Turning over he gazed out the window at Mater, the moon as Margaret called it, thinking on what to say.

All of a sudden the revelation hit home, the realisation, the obvious he had missed. He dropped the handset on the bed covers as his imagination cartwheeled out of control. Mater, the moon? Venus and that North stars name, Polaris, he called her Naviga. He knew their names because Margaret had told him! Oh yes she had told him alright, But she had told him in his dream. How was that possible, to be able to dream it up?

He squirmed his body about the bed and finally settled on a foetal position, pulling both arms into his torso for comfort and safety.

“What? How can that be?” The handheld auto recorded his frightened voice. Picking it up again he explained the reason for his outburst adding. “There was no way I could have known their names before that dream. So how could I imagine them? This gets weirder and weirder Sal I don’t mind admitting I’m frightened at times. I told you Aunt Bessie came up in a dream as well the other night, telling me she knew I was here, so that was strange as well. She said she would tell you and everyone where I was, that is here in this world, so I guess if you’re hearing this and I’m not with you then I’m still lost. I’m so sorry darling if I can I will get back I promise.”

A tear rolled down his cheek and rested above his upper lip. The melancholy also set his pain threshold to a lower resistance and that sensation of the needle stick injury in his palm surfaced slightly once again. He rubbed it with each finger tip in turn to alleviate the annoyance and banish the reminder of the hut, debris and nights spent out in the open. They seemed a long time ago now, so much had happened in the intervening days.

Deciding it would be best to just go with the flow and not question any part whatsoever, he tried to put the fear out of mind and changed the subject, the best course of action for the time of night. There had to be some sensible explanation in the end, but he was too tired to think on it for the moment.

“There’s a man here called James,” he went on, “Margaret went out with him since school days, like you and me Sal. Apparently he looks like me. He moved away some time ago though and they split up. Could this James then be me, in this world, but on the other hand why should he be, and if he is, what if I meet him? We both might disappear from reality.” A wheeze lept from his lips. ” Reality! That’s a laugh. Sorry Sal to be so negative. Anyway apart from Margaret there is no one else here who even looks vaguely familiar up to press. There’s a lot more people to this town than home though, so I suppose I haven’t seen everyone yet and I’m kind of out the way up here so who knows?”

Looking to the night sky again an explanation for this so called moon found some ministration for him. Perhaps it was not called the moon after all and the names made up in his dream were just that, made up. That was it. He had made them up. The only way to find out was to do find out the coming day.

Whatever its name was anyway, Mater as he knew it had risen slightly on its flight across the heavens. It was now visible in the top right corner of the uppermost window pane. Pretty soon it would disappear altogether around the corner of his stable room. Mac watched it edge out of view as he lay on top of the quilt to his bed, both corners turned over the lower half of his body keeping his legs and feet warm and cosy. He tried to sync his body with the movement of the universe about the sky, watching the path Mater was taking and her accompaniment of stars as well. It was something he used to do as a boy on the garden patio on nights he could not sleep. Gradually this exercise relaxed his mind somewhat, he decided to clear his conscience altogether.

“Margaret is just like you Sal.” That was more than the truth! “I think she likes me and wants a relationship but I can’t betray you Sal. I don’t know how to hold her at arms length though but still keep her friendship. If I fall out with her I will be really lost, I’ve found someone I can trust and relate to.”

His mind uncurled from its claustrophobic, cramped position hemmed in tightly up against the inside if its bony housing, it breathed out a sigh of relief, then wandered off to the future, when, if still captive it could justify a relationship with Margaret. How much time should go by before he succumbed?

A haze of purple guilt in the form of a fog, a mist gathering momentum as it slithered over his minds horizon.

“I’m going to try again and return to you tomorrow Sal, it has to work someday.” His voice now strained and forlorn. “If I keep visiting the railway every day at some different time, perhaps even at night, I’ve not tried that yet.”

The hazy spectre lifted and ventured off leaving its tormented soul to wander aimlessly about, this time to meet Sal and be by her side in their world so far away, in time as it was in beliefs. Slipping the handset under the spare pillow he went off to join her.

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