fiery pressure – direst pleasure – sweep of scented fan on skin – tension of fantasy within – nip-nip of fate – softest skin treat – a hungry mouth – relieving drought – oh, ecstasy of harmony within – of unforbidden sin –

Oh, the strangeness of that awakening. It was hard at first to believe it had been a dream. So many nights we had lain with our arms around each other, her sweet supple body brushing mine. I knew I had felt a girl’s mouth on mine, on my ribs, my nipples, straying down, tongue-teasing manhood to completion – almost a painful coming.

Nevertheless, she was not. And I was stark awake, sitting bolt upright, in the dark. But was it dark? Now that I came to look around me, it seemed no longer dark – a luminescence: Stars? The moon? was staining the sharp rocks, my heaps of spoil.
I looked up the hill, and knew I must still be asleep – the vivid dreams, it appeared, were returning. Not that any had ever been so vivid as this. There, above me, stood a palace, turreted walls, strange filigreed gates. Large windows in the domes.

It was the colour of the moon, without its blemishes: purest mother of pearl. As I stood up and started towards it (an almost instinctive act – it drew me somehow), I saw that it matched exactly the lines of the walls I had been excavating for the past week. True, that fitted the nature of this fantasy – to be sure, it would use the lines etched into my brain. One thing was certain, those crumbled mud-brick courses had never supported a structure such as this, fresh from Arabian Nights fantasies.

I was barefoot, having climbed straight from my bedroll, and began to notice that the pebbles were cutting at my feet. This somehow did not match the dreamlike atmosphere. I blinked. The palace was still there. No moon was in sight to justify its opalescent sheen. I continued.

Approaching the gate, I saw two eagle guards. They were made of stone, but with eyes of fire. I halted, uncertain, and watched them for reaction. Nothing. They glared on. Eventually one blinked – fires extinguished in a second. I looked over at the second. It too blinked, but by now the other’s attention had been restored.

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