• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 11
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The Midnight Leopard

Shara closes her eyes to the doom of the day. She has scrolled, she has zoomed, she has read and she has replied her day away.

She is tired, and yet when she closes her eyes it does not help. The dreams don’t come. She does not sail away escaping the seriousness of her day, as her body rests into the night. Shara fights her mind to try to make it quiet, as it bounces from fear, to memory, to worry, and back again before the to-do lists begin: the laundry, the emails, the cleaning, the shoulds, the coulds, and ‘the oh no I forgot that agains’.

Shara closes her eyes tighter and takes a deep breath. She prays for the Midnight Leopard to carry her away to the land where dreams may come and days of doom fall away.

She imagines the leopard’s smooth silky fur under her hand before she climbs on its back and says “okay, away we go”. She imagines the cool breeze rushing past as the leopard runs and jumps into the air.

Looking down she sees her problems, her lists and the shoulds as nothing more than piles getting smaller and smaller, until they are as far away as the stars above and half as bright.

They bound through the clouds with a gentle grace. She imagines the lightness of being, as they rise above that fluffy layer to see only the twinkling of the stars. Shara looks down at her hands clutching the Midnight Leopard’s fur. It matches that of the sky and the stars all around; a black with flecks of white and swirls of blue. It’s as if she is floating above the clouds on a soft warmth, protecting her from her foes and leaving her fears far below.


The Midnight Leopard

They go further into the starscape. The Midnight Leopard knows where to go. They take one last bounding leap before falling gently down. Down through the clouds, down to a sea of lapping waters and tiny islands.  Down to a beach where palm trees gently rustle in the night and the whales humm a melody.

The Midnight Leopard lands on the soft sand, and its great paws pad over to a swaying hammock. Shara climbs in. The hammock sways, the salty breeze carries away the last of her worries, and the Midnight Leopard rests its mighty head on its paws with a contented sigh.