I lay in bed, a tight line of pain clamped to my brow shaped like a bird soaring high on a clear day. I’ve slept for two hours and yet it could easily be eight. A full moon floods the garden as if someone has left the light on. I search amongst the folds of the crumpled duvet for the nightdress I took off earlier when I was saturated with heat, get out of bed, open the window, lean my upper torso out into the sharp air and as I look down to the French windows of the kitchen I can see that someone really has left the light on. I go downstairs, past the dog who barely stirs as I step over him and ignore the cat weaving in and out of my legs meowing because he wants feeding. I find the only glass I can which isn’t either pint sized or in the dishwasher, go to the fridge and pour myself some cranberry juice which momentarily freezes my neck as I swallow it.
Back upstairs, nightdress removed, I pretend that I had never woken up at all, that the interruption was as much part of my dreams as last night’s adventure down a turbulent Thames sideways in a sinking pirate ship inhabited by ghosts. But there’s a distant rumbling, the low beat of an unsophisticated engine so I get up again, open the window and hang outside to try and pinpoint the source of this intrusion but then realise that it’s not long past midnight and I could be seen by anyone on their way home from the pub. The rumbling fades and there is silence in my head except for the blank hissing at the end of a cassette tape. And then someone switches off the power.