Title: Dawn Cure
Word Count: 200
Most nights Hannibal sleeps without dreams, or with the ordinary kind that fade with waking. What he's lived through stays mostly settled; he's come to peace with his demons.
Oh, but there aresome nights. A bad plan or a close call or too much of the Jazz – and he wakes in cold sweats calling the names of dead men and aching in old scars.
Tonight was one of those; he came back from Vietnam at four a.m. with blood and gunpowder on his tongue. He knew better than to try and go back to sleep; instead he slipped a handful of cigars into the pocket of his robe and let himself out onto the apartment balcony.
Other men use whiskey or women to drive away those nights; but Hannibal knows better from long experience. Only one thing will cure those nights – and he's been waiting for it since four a.m., smoking and thinking in the early L.A. darkness.
It's seven, now. The eastern sky unfolds ribbons of gold and rose; the nightmare fades back at last into whatever dark corner such things come from. Hannibal stands, stretching.
For one of those nights, sunrise is the only cure Hannibal knows.