The God of Sleep – Titania and Bottom by Henry Fuseli

Titania and Bottom by Henry Fuseli Via Tate

Surrounded by a horde of mutant characters, a man raises his arms to the sky and implores.
The incredulous man-horse Apollo listens while holding the little man in the palm of his hand, his other hand holding his horse-head pensively.

All the island inhabitants have gathered around the main attraction of the night. Angels, dwarfs, dolls, the old man on the leash, the French sisters, fairies, and even the Duchess is present.
Isabella, the cat-headed woman on Apollo’s left flew earlier in between the nests, each dwellers’ homes. Her magical wand in her hand, her muslin cape following her twirls and pirouettes in the sky, she meowed a melody reminiscent of a lullaby signalling the presence of a strange phenomenon unsettling the peaceful night.
At the sound of the soft notes, each of the inhabitants woke up instantly and stood out on their front doors, glancing aside, searching for answers in their neighbours’ eyes.

‘What is the matter?’ whispered Milena the baby doll, holding her teddy bear monkey tight in her arms.
‘Ha ha!’ murmured Elliot the old man on the leash, pointing his hand towards the human figure. ‘A naked miniature man keeps screaming his arms raised up to the sky.’
They all made a circle around the little man and mumbled thoughts, questions and indignations.

After nine o’clock, when it is dark outside, everyone whispers to ease Morpheus’ passage into the night. The God of Sleep adores putting his children to sleep in silence, and invents the most wonderful dreams when nothing disrupts his creativity.
In their sleeping gowns, the inhabitants are now all awake and curious to learn more about the little human man agitating his limbs in the warmth of Apollo’s hand.

‘I brought cherries in case anyone is hungry!’ happily murmurs Iris.
‘Ahhhhh,’ sleepy cherub Cricket yawns in the arms of brown-hooded Dimitri. ‘Not hungry, just sleepy.’
What does he want? How can we help you?’ sings Magdalena the flying ballerina above everyone’s heads.
‘I am lost, afraid and cold.’ The little man screams, but he is so tiny that they can hardly hear him. ‘I belong to someone’s dream. Morpheus was distracted tonight and he dropped me out of the bag of dreams before he was close enough to the child.’

Tear drops fills Apollo’s hand, overflowing on the sand where he sits. ‘Take me back to the dream where I belong.’
Her arms crossed, looking down, Duchess nods her head from left to right, sighing with empathy.
‘This is terrible,’ the sisters murmur in unison. ‘This has never happened before.’ ‘This has never happened before.’
Their voices usually overlap but at other times, they speak with a slight interval, producing an involuntary echo.

While the mutant characters stare at the little man with compassion, a strange wind melded with the scent of roses and the sound of icy snow swathe each of them tightly. They shiver and look at one another, scared. As a reflex, they grab one another’s hands to keep them warm and to keep them safe.

Morpheus swirls in the night, enjoying the silence, sending grains of magical sand into his children’s eyes, creating sumptuous dreams filled with bizarre characters, sweet melodies and mystical landscapes.
Far from truth, close to imaginary tales and untold fantasies, Morpheus, the almighty God of Sleep turns wishes and desires into inescapable realities.

This might have been a dream.
This might have been your dream.

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