I rise at half past one, and though there’s sunlight at my window I can smell a storm: there’s violence in the air. I bathe and dress, then before I leave my room I lie upon the bed again and tune in to Evelyn … and there, where you sprawl in a similarly luxurious Saturday lie-in, while Rik clanks around in the kitchen making breakfast, you drift back into a half-sleep, dreaming of your garden of water and loveliness contained in its circles of balustraded terraces. Down on your left is the flowering jungle, where a stiff-nosed anteater halfway up a palm-tree pecks at the palm’s trunk. Down on your right is dry land, where the lemon-trees flourish in the bright cool sun. Up the hill towards you Flames Alleyne stalks, carrying a crowded world of Spanish baboons in a sack, which he swings through the sunrays. You wave, to invite him up. He nods with animal seriousness and flips a control beneath the terrace, which you haven’t seen before: up comes a nozzle right in front of you and shoots a peeled hard-boiled egg tightly up the water chute inside it. He clambers up the nozzle to your garden, you embrace and evening falls. A rabbit in the moonlight beckons to the two of you and leads you to a lake upon whose surface little creatures caper (ponies, zebras, unicorns), flowing through the silken water; tiny bunnies slide down the slopes of the wavelets. A waterspout of tentacles is sprouting and shrinking at the centre of the lake, while white-eyed lungfish wheeze in the mud around the shore. You and Flames tiptoe and peer into rock-pools, where underwater micro-cities teem with pulps and jellies. Baby yales and sea-ears scuttle through the shallows, past sea-mice, sea-cows, sea-pigs, seahorses, sea-eggs, sea-cucumbers, dogfish, sea-oranges and sea-lemons … and you wake!
For more about "The Imagination Thief" by Rohan Quine, see
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