The new and all-encompassing whiteness left only one thing in existence; me. This time, I was entirely naked, stripped down to nothing but the flesh on my bones. There was simply nothing else in the entire snow-coloured void and I began to worry that the Tree Walker had blinded me and that I was now just another lost soul, wandering around his courtyard, calling for help.
The worry passed when I saw two specks coming from each end of the horizon, specks that, as they got closer, assumed the pleasing shapes of naked women, specks which, as they got closer, became two particular and unmistakeable women; Laura and Kiera. Since I’ve never seen Kiera, I can’t say for certain that the person I saw in my coma dream was her but I feel very strongly that this was no ordinary dream and that the vision in my dream was not just my mental image of what I expected Kiera to look like. The two of them were similar in many ways; their physiques and hairstyles were near-identical, though Kiera’s breasts were somewhat more pronounced and Laura’s hips were that bit wider. The two of them began to walk around me, always perfectly opposite of each other and always getting closer. Suddenly, the whole world, this whole white world of nothing, gained a heartbeat, a thunderous drum that beat harder and harder as Kiera and Laura got closer to me. As they got closer, their bodies started to break away and decay before my eyes, but there was something beneath the flesh and bone, en ethereal light that burned brighter than white and soon I was enveloped in these two auras, one steely silver and the other faded sepia.
I cannot say for how long I was enveloped in that glow, but it was not long enough. The two lights swirled together but never mixed, like oil and vinegar. After a while, the sepia began to drift away and though I was surprised to see it go, I was more surprised to find that I was not sad to see it go. I let it go with no fight and I felt like a great burden was lifted from my shoulders. The silver light remained, however and after a few seconds, it began to reform into the full-fleshed figure of a woman, though I cannot for the life of me remember if it was Kiera or Laura. Whenever I try to remember, her face is hidden from me by blinding white light.
When the woman had reformed, I pulled her close, kissed her, then lowered her gently to the floor and made love to her. After we finished, we lay there in the white for what seemed like eternity, she in my arms and I in hers. Then, before my eyes, she grew pregnant and faded away to silver light once again, leaving behind a newborn baby. I took the baby in my arms and knew it was mine but, again, I could not identify the mother. Was it the child that died with Laura on that fatal night? Was it the child I might have had with Kiera had she lived? I can never know. All I know is that I held the child for eternity and then started crying like a baby myself when I realised that eventually, I would have to wake up and leave behind the child that fate had denied me. I called out, begging for forgiveness for whatever crime I had committed to deserve such a horrible fate, but no one answered. I called for days and then I stopped because I felt it coming. A new speck had appeared on the horizon, one that was always in front of me, no matter where I turned. The Tree Walker came for me and when it reached me, I held my child behind me, making a shield of myself and then the Tree Walker called out his foul appendages and sunk them into me, eviscerated my body, reduced me to the dust from whence I came. But before I died and woke up, I looked over my shoulder one last time to see my child untouched and untouchable.
And that’s when I woke to a world where I could not walk, where Benjamin Vanderwaal had come back into my life and where both Kiera and Laura were dead. But what hit me most of all was that this was a world where my child was not, but was all the safer for it. And that’s when I cried.