This story comes direct from my subconscious, in the form of one of the most vivid dreams I've ever had - in imagery, color and subject. I feel as if it wrote itself; one of those dreams that stays in your head, haunts it and demands to be felt. (Note that this is a dream within a dream - my dream was about a boy having a dream about his father.)
In his dream he sees his father riding on horseback across the fields that have taken on the bright, glowing green associated only with dreams and with afternoons that carry thick, gray storm clouds across the sky without letting them release their rain. The beautiful green fields are smooth and flow without blemish to the horizon. Even through the unbreakable drift of the dream, he - as the dreamer - feels the desire to roll down the slopes, to feel the cool grasses along his bare arms, against his face, and the hard earth beneath gently prodding him with its moist clumps along spine and shoulder blades.
But in the dreamworld, his father rides across the fields, returning home from a journey that has taken him away for many months. His jaw is covered by a thick beard, and about him seems a haze - the hesitant indefinite color of dust kicked up by a slight breeze. Soft brown dirt that has traveled the miles with him covers the horse, coats his leather chaps, his unruly hair and makes the green of the landscape seem even stronger and cleaner. His father and the horse never waver from the invisible line that brings them closer to home, but he looks more often in the direction of far off trees, and at the ripples, one after the other, of small hills.
His father rides across his land - his own land on which tree and grass are allowed to grow without limit or constraint. It is allowed this because the boy's mother would have it so, and his father loves his mother above anything else. The boy's dream progresses and the man and horse have now reached a thin dirt road that trickles into the distance. Before it disappears, it passes by a large bed of flowers. Against the glowing green, below the dark gray sky, the flowers' colors explode among the plain grasses, yellow seeming to be the brightest and the most burning, until the eye catches the flame-lick of red, then vibrating plumes of purple.
His father does not pause at the flowerbed, even though it is his wife who has loved the flowers into existence, but turns his horse onto the thin road. On his left side, the tamed arms of dozens of apple trees reach up and into thick leaves and the tiny pale buds of infant fruit grow bigger in the still of the day without the notice of the man on the horse.
The road dwindles to nothing and he is again riding on smooth grass and a slope pulling him towards his home. A breeze - nothing more than a whiff if wind - causes the boy's father to twitch his head to rid his eyes of the strands of hair that have fallen across his forehead and as he does, he sees the color gray, as brooding as the clouds, floating among the leaves. He recognizes the color instantly, the diaphanous quality of the plain fabric. It is his wife. It is his wife and she has hanged herself, dressed as a coolie, from the branches of one of her apple trees.
For a second his father's pale, pinched face is visible and then the face disappears as he turns his body and reaches for - pulls out and swings towards the body of his wife - a large, shimmering blade. The blade slices through the rope that supports the body of his wife and she falls across the brown back of the horse. The knife is disappears and the boy's father holds the quieted body of his wife as he continues riding across the green field towards home.