"Dream is a paved road towards our own selves, towards the Realm of Freedom where the relationships between signs and things are at loggerheads… Dream is our downstairs world towards which we should always be guided to discover its spaces."

There creeps the evening, slowly submerging the room in darkness. The cracks in the window looking onto the street turn into pale luminous strips. You let yourself enjoy the darkness. You feel that your breathing is growing heavier and heavier as if you were drowning, drowning in the darkness. You start to feel so dull that you cannot even get up.

You take some time to stand up on your feet before the window. You peep through its cracks at the street outside. You peep through the leaks in the curtain of your fortified tower at the trivialities overwhelming everything in everybody everywhere. You enjoy this secret habit of yours: watching people without been seen.

The girl on the balcony across the street is dancing to the rhythm of rock and roll music. You wish that she will respond to your silent call and look at you in loving interest.

At the bottom of the street, there are two silhouettes in a private embrace in the dark, and some children circling around the electric post playing cards…


There come to your ears the microphone cracklings followed immediately by the muezzin’s call for prayer. A few moments later, there will follow the noise of the closing door of the neighbouring shop. The shopkeeper has never missed any appointment to pray in time.

You are getting rid of all the links that connect you to the world and taking refuge in a book against all the trivialities in this world. You strike a match and light a cigarette. You breathe out smoke all over the room. The feeling, however, that you were used to whenever you smoked a cigarette, is turning into an unpleasant feeling that every one of your living organs is burning with the lit cigarette between your lips.

You replay the series of photographs in your imagination. You find the photos more beautiful as you decode their enigmas and unveil that erotic tendency lying behind them. However, the eyes of Laura, the Italian beauty who owns the gallery, remain the most beautiful of all. You tell yourself:
-“Beauty yearns for beauty”.

You remember that Earnest Hemingway had written that the beauty of eyes is a trade mark registered in Italy!

Now, you your limbs start feeling heavier and heavier. Strangely enough, when your resistance to sleep weakens, your sensitivity to voices sharpens. The threads relating you to the world of sleep look like an abandoned spider-web easily torn by the slightest voice frequency. Like a drunk, you start your game: listening to the faraway voices.

The quiet of the night makes faraway voices quite nearer. You can distinguish nothing but the throb of a car that you imagine parking somewhere. You can even see it with your eyes: a car shivering like a frightened animal.

That night, you are sad as you fall asleep. You would never have slept at that hour were you not sad. Sadness weighed down your eyelids. Night was coming in through the window: Utter darkness, sky embroidered with stars, remains of distant voices but no trace of the moon anywhere.

Suddenly, you feel something monstrously heavy lying on your chest, paralyzing you. You cannot move. You felt suffocated. You gather all your strength and try to stand up and get rid of the monstrous weight but in vain… You fall down helpless. You breathe with great difficulty, as if that you were inhaling the last atom of oxygen into your lungs...

You dig your nails into the giant body, trying to peel it away from your chest. You asked for help in a stifled voice. You start shrieking but you notice that your shrieks are lost in the void. They leave no echo. You scream and scream… but no one can hear you. You wake up terrified, sweating cold beads that roll down your face like snow balls. You are weary, as if you had just come out from under a heap of ruins. You wonder:
-‘‘Is it a nightmare?’’

Now, moonlight comes in from the window and there is no trace of any of the voices that were echoing around. Silence reigns over the universe. You can always distinguish the voice of silence from all the remaining voices. In the silence, low whispers come to your ears and growing louder and louder with time.

You join your hands together. You inserted them between your thighs next to your genitals. You roll yourself into the foetal position, the way you do whenever you feel cold, or fear, or loneliness.

Finally, warmth envelopes you and runs through your veins. You yawn, and wondered:
-‘‘Is it a nightmare?’’

That was your last thing thought before closing your eyes and dozing off again. Your bladder is full to the brim. You feel the pressure and you realize, in a Pavlovian sense, that the morning has come.



* Faouzi Boukhris, is a Moroccan short-story writer, born in Safi, Morocco, on July 17th 1971. He is the author of:" Zoom ", (Short Stories).

* Mohamed Saïd Raïhani is a Moroccan translator, scholar & short-story writer, born on December 23rd 1968 in Ksar El Kébir. His works in Arabic include:"The Singularity Will " (Semiotic Study on First-names) 2001, "Waiting For the Morning" (Short stories) 2003, "Thus Spoke Santa Lugar-Verde" (Short stories) 2005, "The Season Of Migration to Anywhere" (Short stories) 2006. He will soon publish:"Beyond Writing & Reading ," (Testimonies) and "Kais & Juliet" (An E-Love Novel).

* "Nightmare" is the thirteenth narrative text in the "The Moroccan Dream", An Anthology of Moroccan new short story directed by Mohamed Saïd Raïhani.