Surrounded by mist, he felt himself in a dream. Music seemed to swirl around him, coming from the mist itself as it swirled. Was it making the music? He wasn’t sure of anything. Even the ground didn’t seem to be real, soft and yielding, letting him sink slowly downwards. His eyes were closing, and unable to stop himself, he drifted into sleep.
When he awoke, it was to the sound of laughter, drifting slowly on a light breeze. Something soft brushed his cheek. He opened his eyes and watched, all bemused with sleep, as flurries of petals drifted past, dancing and swirling to music only they could hear. The sky seemed touched with gold, light warm on his face. He touched smooth fabric underneath his fingers as he pushed himself up, half dreaming.
Was it a heaven? Soft greenery was underfoot, small-leaved plants that gave off the sweetest of scents. The trees around him were in bloom, the flurries of petals settling around in a subtle carpet of colour, drifting around him. A little way to his right he could see buildings, the curving walls draped with clinging greenery. The other way, the trees grew a little more thickly, but he could hear a gentle trickle of water. In the distance, mountains rose in splendid grandeur. He stood up, slowly, and began to walk towards the water, following the drifting laughter.
Threading his way slowly through the trees, he became aware of people around him. Someone took his elbow, and then another took his arm, leading him gently, supporting him as he stumbled. He was still half-dreaming, still half-asleep.