5 - Vehicles of Sleep

5 - Vehicles of Sleep

A Chapter by Tertia

Chapter 5

Lucas lay spread-eagled on his old bed, his head flat without a pillow, his mouth half open and a contented look on his face. He was in dreamland, all was well, he couldn’t feel his bones or the weight of his body, he could go wherever his mind took him.

Celia looked at him from across the room, in the sleeping bag he’d thrown at her and saw a snoring silhouette of a thin man. The couch was bumpy and stank of damp foam and at this hour, at three o clock, it was the coldest. Dawn hadn’t broken, the storm had not abated, the windows were still rattling and drainpipes gurgling, also there was a constant creaking. And every time there was a creak she thought of the horror movie, the zombified men with demonic eyes. If one came in the room it’d be her first, she was nearest the door. Lucas stirred.

‘Are you awake?’ she whispered hopefully, almost gasping.

‘No,’ he groaned.

‘It’s so uncomfortable on here?’ There was no response. ‘And worse than that it really smells,’ There was still no response. Outside there was a clatter. ‘Oh my god, was that you?’


‘Did you hear that noise?’

‘No, what noise?’

‘I don’t know, outside I think,’

‘Go to sleep, Daggs,’ Lucas said. A chunk of time passed and she drifted in and out of light sleep, not dreaming. A while later she heard his voice.

‘Are you really scared?’


‘What would you do if you were on your own?’

‘I’m not,’

‘But what if you were?’

‘I wouldn’t watch those stupid films. I’d stay in my room and keep the door shut,’

Verrs looked at his watch, it was the middle of the night, four o clock, the coldest time before daybreak.

‘It’s not very comfortable here,’

‘Go back to your own bed then,’

‘No, I can’t. This sofa smells,’


‘Can I come in with you?’ she asked, making her voice sweet and light. Her words rang like a song, somehow resting in his ear.

Verrs let out a big sigh ‘That’s not a good idea,’

‘No, well yes, it is for me,’ she whispered across the dark void. Verrs didn’t reply. He stared up at the ceiling. ‘You’re such a cold fish Lucas Verity. You won’t know I’m there,’

‘For Christ’s sakes, Daggs,’ He knew he was in trouble as she’d called him by his name. A moment later he heard her get up and slip under the duvet. ‘That wasn’t a yes...oh. Keep to your own half,’

‘Yes,’ Daggs said, her voice making a small echo. There was a loud bash from downstairs. ‘Ahhh,’ He turned to look at her, she was facing him in an embryo position, her eyes wide and shining. ‘I’m glad I’m here with you. I feel safe, well, safer,’


‘I’m dreading going back home.
I think I’ll go out of my mind.
I’m dreading getting a job.
Living in a suburban town.
I can’t stand the normality.
It’s going to be so different.
I can’t work in an office,’ she spouted all in one go.

‘Same,’ he said simply and as he was about to reply the rain came down destroying his thoughts, it came down in buckets, filling trenches, overflowing drains, dripping out of gutters and swamping gardens. Its ally the wind rattled the offcuts of wood in the front garden and rocked the sodden old sofa that had been there since they moved in. The wind brought a barrage of clouds that were filled with tons of water ready to pour down on to the city. He felt her edge closer to him and in panic blurted. ‘I met a girl yesterday, Daggs,’

‘Oh really?’ she said stopping in her tracks.

‘While I was sketching,’

‘What’s she like?’ she said, her voice going up with excitement

‘Sometimes people talk to you while you’re sketching,’

‘What’s she like?’

‘Or they stand around behind you and watch you. They like to see someone playing the artist,’

‘Yes, but...’

‘I don’t know, I don’t know her yet,’


‘She seems nice, she’s young and wore workman’s clothes. Cropped blonde hair, pretty. She was working in the boatyard,’

‘Men don’t care about personality, they go on looks and are grateful a woman’s spoken to them,’


‘Don’t agree with me,’


‘No, that’s not good conversation,’

‘I’m sketching her,’

‘Sounds pervy,’ she said. She felt a pang of jealousy. Why couldn’t she be sketched? ‘Will you sketch me’

‘Yes, but there’s a queue now,’ he laughed.

‘You’re getting such a big head all of a sudden. It’s funny how people change,’

‘Yes, ha ha,’

‘Remember the pact we made,’ she said solemnly.

‘Yes, but what do you mean now?’

‘House rules, Tuesday night, Thursday night,’

‘Yeah, I know. He knew she meant that he could do what he wanted so long as he kept to the house code. Anyway what’re you doing tomorrow?’ he said changing the subject.

‘Nothing, no money’

‘I’m going to sell my junk and do some shopping,’

‘Cant even eat,’

‘I’ll cook us a meal’

‘What with? How?’

‘With the money I get from selling the stuff,’

‘Oh right,’she said in surprise, looking at him in the gloom, he wasn’t that bad looking and here he now was a tribal leader, caring for and looking after two women. He had come from a rank outsider to the odds on favourite.

‘I spent the last in the Carriage last night,’

‘That what’s supposed to happen, Verrs,’

‘If there’s anything over I can get us some booze,’

‘Yeah,’ she said dreamily and felt her eyelids fluttering, her breathing becoming slow and everything going dark. He fell under too as the black night became the grey veil of dawn which in turn changed to a soft glow of white. In the late morning he woke to find her neatly resting on his right shoulder, fast asleep. She looked beautiful, he put his arm around her.

© 2021 Tertia

Author's Note

In the next chapter Lucas goes to the market

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I've been deeply immersed in writing a book, so I've completely forgotten your storyline by now. It doesn't matter. This chapter contains everything you do best. This chapter is a showcase for the bright sparkling dance that your writing can be. To start, the opening 2 paragraphs -- brilliant writing! I love it when you take those few minutes extra to guide dialogue thru uncertainties & resistances, such as one questioning the other, or misunderstanding, or clarifying . . . you put these in all your conversations to show the way people really interact, with bumps & surges. The bit of verse that "she spouted all in one go" -- so effective! And his response to it is equally effective. Love it! When reading your dialogue, the reader gets a deep sense of how the two people relate due to your choice of how to phrase things & other nuances buried in the back-and-forth dynamics (((HUGS))) Fondly, Margie

Posted 2 Months Ago

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Added on March 1, 2021
Last Updated on April 19, 2021
Tags: love, lust, attraction, linger, desire, story, chapter, trust, promises, life, jealousy, wild, discovery, emotions, people, relationships, freedom, reputation, morals, friends, feelings, carry



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