Sleepish portrait

His eyes move behind sealed lids, not a REM-style flutter, but looking, as if searching, then training that gaze on something for a spell before continuing on. Periodically he recoils with a sudden violence, as though frightened, bewildered eyes now wide but pale and unseeing, their unresponsive pupils tightly constricted. And then he relaxes again, and the eyelids descend, shrouding his gaze, plunging him back into darkness and dream. The usually wispy tufts of his hair are plastered to the side of his head where sweat dried them in thin tendrils. Three cascade in front of his ear like delicate fronds of a secret shrub. Another string across his temple, and a little fringe juts out over the sweet funnel of his ear, others evoking a haphazard thatch across his crown topped with an ethereal froth and a flop and a flip. Hooded eyes are motionless now, but he’s treading closer to waking. Hands tense, fingers briefly little claws probing the texture of the surface on which they rest, then release again. Leg flung up and over, the footpad finds purchase, the knee straightens, lifts the hip and twists the waist just so before folding again and conforming to the sleeping surface. As he descends again into bodily stillness, his breaths become smaller, stealthy little creatures in their hidden burrows. Eyelids tremble. Abruptly he’s surging toward the surface once more. Will he cry out when he emerges?

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