I could feel the dampness streaming across my forehead. But I dare not wipe it off for fear of losing my concentration. It would be difficult to swim through the bright ball of fire glowing some distance ahead of me. But I desperately wanted to see what lay on the other side of it. The ball was very near now. I could feel its heat starting to incinerate the hair on my elbows that were extended ahead of me. My head started to spin the way it did, benignly, after two pints of beer. I was losing my focus. The dampness of my forehead had started to accumulate and then flow through my eye lashes- I still did not close my eyes. But it was becoming unbearable. Worst of all, I was beginning to founder. The ball was contracting. With a sudden realization, I knew I would not make it through. It was all a mistake. I wanted to scurry back, but I knew it was too late. My flesh was burning. And then my eyes.
I stared at the bedside lamp for the whole two minutes it took for my heartbeat to slow down. The recurring dream. I pulled myself off the bed and walked to the kitchen without my slippers. The light of the refrigerator, as I opened it, felt refreshingly alive. I took out a bottle of water and walked to the open backyard. The moon was frowning angrily at me. But as I kept staring into its face, I realized the menacing glower was just an indifferent smile. The whiff of cold air licking off the trickle on my forehead as I drank the water made me think of my helpless state. The same dream had driven me off my bed for six years before one morning I woke up refreshed after an uninterrupted slumber. The dream had stopped pricking me just like that. And here I was, two years later, bathing in the frigid moonlight, jolted by the re-emergence of my nemesis.