Every night at midnight the purple clouds came out to dance with the blushing sky. That’s how it felt lying underneath a bright summer moon. The stars were brighter back then, in the warm Florida air, where fireflies played with occasional lightning in the distance. Her name was Flora, named after the state she lived in all her life. A peaceful existence was her world among the tangerine trees that grew so sweet inside the panhandle of her home. Lately though the weather had not been so ordinary, with hail the size of Giant golf balls that would ruin a picnic or outdoor gathering, sending folks running for shelter. The storms became worse around the Fourth of July, sending her messages that something preternatural was happening. She didn’t mind living alone since everyone in her family had died. The tangerine trees and garden became her sanctuary, lighting candles and watching old movies. The neon tube of the television glowed green matching the glow of the fireflies, a quiet environment where she could work in silence. Until the night of the purple clouds that brought a wicked storm strong enough to cut the steam generator off, sending her to the utility room to repair. It was a hydro powered generator invented by the steam company, as everything was engineered by steam in the new era of post war. A city powered by steam was more at peace than a city of high electric voltage. How a bolt of lightning could cause a power outage seemed like magic. She found the fuse box and readjusted the gears that were there instead of switches. Her candelabra served as light as she wished her friend from the library was there. The purple clouds she saw outside had moved inside condensing to a thick fog giving her little room to fixate. The clouds snuffed the candles, rolling in and making her dizzy enough to faint. She was out for a long time where she had the strangest dream. There standing in the midst stood Elizabeth, out of her movie and in her room. She wore a silver metal headband that beamed a white light. She told me not to be afraid, her white gown blowing in the purple fog. It suited her existence, like a shroud of amethysts on her birthday. Yes it’s my birthday, her lips spoke as if she had read my thoughts. She used her headband to relight the candelabra that gave the only light in the room, as Flora could see more of her within the flickering flames. Her black hair, her beauty mark, her breathing, it was all too real. She reached out her hand to the apparition as it glided through her being. How could this be? The silver headband began to vibrate pulses of light. Does it control you? She asked Elizabeth. She backed away more into the fog and answered. The cube controls me, over there, she said pointing to the lawn. There underneath a full moon stood a thin outline of a square structure, iridescent in hue. Almost translucent it glowed of illuminating color resembling abalone. It seemed to call her to return, as it sat resonating making Flora feel bewildered. Then Elizabeth’s hand, the hand that wore hundreds of jeweled rings, took hold of Floras hand, pulling her closer to the cube. Her beckoning head light entranced Flora to come. The two women looked as a pair of supernatural phenomena walking slowly hand in hand into the cube. Inside there were lights and thousands of floors, a hyper cube designed for space. Walking into a enclosure their figures stood in what looked like ashes from a ceremony. There wasn’t any furniture except for a few pedestals, while a small charade of characters were, all wearing costumes from the Renascence. They seemed friendly at first, smiling through their Venetian masks.. until Flora realized that they were gathered there because they needed a sacrifice. There smiles turned to hunger, as she was only food for their vicious souls. Then Elizabeth, the grand master put on a black mask, standing before her, clutching a crystal sword. Her head light pulsed to the cube that was drumming a rhythm to the masquerade. Flora grabbed for the sword before Elizabeth could use it on her. Smashing it on a pedestal, it’s fragile shards spewing onto the ash covered floor. And then..everything disappeared as if it had been a dream within a dream. Two dreams clashed together taking the cube back into the vanishing purple mist. Flora walked back into her house, the steam powered lights restored. Her television beamed with Elizabeth back in her film world, bathing in her bath. Yet, it wasn’t quite her, it was her own image a mirror reflection. Switching off the silver screen projection, she retired to her bedroom to rest. She thought the storm had a abomination effect as sunlight peaked its way through her curtains having the dark matter of clouds etched forever in the shadows of her mind.
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