The dream was the same as always.
She was standing there next to a boat in the middle of the lake. No shoes, no ripples on the surface. The water wicked up the pink hem of her dress, turning it a duller, darker color.
She tilted her head and looked at me like a questioning child, though she was a grown woman. A sliver of a smile crept across her lips for just a moment, though her eyes remained sad.
I woke with another headache. The doctors had predicted the headaches, but made no mention of the dreams.
“Your Highness, I’ve taken the liberty of scouring the whole of the Royal Empire to find you this enormous yellow apple,” he said, whipping it out with a flourish from behind his back.
I’m not royalty, and the object in his filthy hand was neither particularly yellow nor was it an apple. It was enormous though, and marked with purplish blotches beneath its waxy pallor.
I sat there on the log in the fading light, next to the fire we’d started. I looked at this strange little man holding a rutabaga, a look of utter pride on his grizzled face.