Helen slept in dreams of gold. Everything exploding, which was not frightening at all. The explosions were beautiful, wondrous, and left her feeling calm and light.
House-job-commute: kapow! Broke-down car: kapow! Snotty sister: kapow! Cheating husband: kapow! She lined up those things and said (or did not say because it was a dream after all): Off with your head! And their heads fell right off. Just like that. It happened with the flick of a wand (she had a wand, somewhere, and she might have even yelled Expelliarmus!)… or maybe just a withering glance (yep, that worked too). Simultaneously all those things exploded, evaporated, dissipated into thin air. Even the yappy dog from next door — one raised eyebrow did him in. A year’s worth of jammed up stuff was simply gone and the air was clean and she could breathe — in her dream.
Helen awoke with a flash of giddy golden light all around her as the dream lingered. Then she glanced up to the water-stained ceiling, heard the whir of the fan, felt the dull grey sheets hanging heavy on her body. She glanced at the grey lump in the bed beside her, snoring in oblivious peace after the late-night celebration, his breath the usual mixture of alcohol and cigarettes. She leaned in close, said: Kapow. And whispered to herself: Happy new year.