I am going completely nuts.
I had the dream last night. Again.
It started like it always starts - I'm walking alone on the endless expanse of a frozen lake, dusted with fresh-fallen snow. I'm not wearing enough. I can't see the shores from where I'm walking, under a silver shroud of cloudcover and grey skies.
I feel something under my feet. It startles me. The ice is thumping.
I drop to my knees and wipe the snow away. It's my sister. She's under there, pounding the ice with her fists, trying to get out. Her eyes have had a cartoon-puppy poignancy since the day she was born - so wide, so sharply emotive - and I'm watching them on fire with desperate terror.
I pummel the ice with my fists, legs, arms, feet. It hardly shivers with the impacts. My skin is red and raw; my bones bruised from trying to save her. Her struggles are slowing; she's getting tired, and the cold is getting to her. I put my palms on the ice where her hands are still scratching underneath, and try to tell her I'm sorry.
I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I'm sorry it wasn't enough.
She slips down into the darkness. She looks like a mermaid falling asleep. Something tears under my solar plexus.
Then I feel it again, behind me. And beside me. And, suddenly, everywhere.
They're all there, trapped under the ice. All of them. Everyone I care about, and I can't save them. I crawl around the ice, wailing and pounding and stomping. And watching everyone's inexorable disappearence - the loose undulation of hair over closed eyes as they drift down below the light. I can't say enough to them. I don't have time. I can only say I'm sorry. I love you. I'm sorry.
And then I'm alone.
Every time I have this dream, I wake up with my fists still clenched.