Ramona trudged through the snow. It was knee deep and hard going. She heard voice off into the distance and turned to look.

There was an infinity of barns, overlaid in the same space – some modern, some ancient. One had a nativity scene in it – actually, a few of them did. One housed a confused set of deer. As she looked, a thought crossed her mind – One barn is the same as all the others. Holding onto what a Barn means will lead to a spiritual salvation.

“What a pile of crap. Why would a stable in Bethlehem be anything like a Nordic Reindeer stable? In fact, Why would Santa even need a stable. He doesn’t exist. God – that’s not a good idea – that’s the fears of an old man desperately trying to cling to the past. And that idea is awful.”

She carried on walking.

“This has to be a dream.” She announced. Her voice carrying across the sound muffled snow.

“What gave it away?”

Ramona span round to see young man gathering wood.

“Was it the infinity of sheds?”

“No – more the fact I’m still in my nightdress, and if this was real I’d be freezing my tits off.”

The man carefully placed his logs on the ground, licked his finger and held it up. “No, not with this wind. It’s not out of Austria.” He carefully gathered his logs and walked away a little. “Will you walk with me Ramona?”

“I hate that you all know my name.”

“I am Hassan. Does that help?”

Ramona thought for a moment. “No. I don’t know any Hassan’s. How can I dream about someone I don’t know? Are you someone?”

Hassan smiled. “I am, yes. But no one you yet know.”

“Then-”

Hassan shook his head. “It is too confusing now. Let us just say that where you are is a dream. But it is not a dream.” Ramona fell back into the snow. “What are you doing?”

“She looked up at him, flapping her arms and legs. “Making a snow angel. I never do them at home, because it’s too cold and wet. But I can do it here and not worry about it.” She stood up and admired her work. “There.”

They walked on for a while, Ramona helping to collect the logs.

“What are you doing, Hassan.”

“In some places,” he smiled. “Ideas do grow on trees. I’m collecting the wood for those trees.”

Hassan counted up the wood. “We have enough. Let’s build.”

Over the course of the next hour, the pair had build a small copse of trees. Ramona was exhausted.

“I’m going to need a nap after working all night. So,” she nodded at the copse. “Idea Trees, eh?”

“And this one is yours.” He pointed at one of the furthest trees, and Ramona saw a book growing on it.

Before she could ask the obvious question, Hassan was off, into the forrest and up the tree. He settled himself on a branch and started to read the book growing there.

“Ramona. You will forget about me. About all of this. You will forget me, Ramona.”

The wind picked up, blowing gusts of snow between them, stealing Hassan’s words.

“But you will come back to us. You are the House of Lights, Ramona.”

The snow stuck to Hassan’s face, pulling him, freezing him to the tree.

“You will get lost, Ramona. But that’s ok.”

The blizzard blew stronger, and soon all Ramona could see was white.

***

She must have been cold, she was shaking.

No.

She was being shaken.

“What time do you call this, young lady?”

“Mum? What…what time is it?”

“Almost noon.”

“Wow. I must have been tired.”

Ramona rubbed her eyes, the summer sun steamed into her bedroom.

“Are you ok, Mona? You look confused.”

“What? No… it’s. Yeah. I’ve just woken up. I’ll be up.”

Ramona sat for a while. There was something. It was just at the tip of her…

She shook her head. “Or just a dream. Maybe I am full of shit.”

Ramona grabbed a towel and headed to the shower.

***

Today’s photo was provided by an old mate, Chris Wild

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