Done around the same time as The Portrait, Morpheus was a slightly different take on the Sandman concept. I may reuse this for a Gaunt story down the line.
Morpheus (Sep. 14, 1992)
Susan sat up in bed and waited. She was an incurable insomniac. Tonight, that would change. She could feel it. Someone was coming who would end her insomnia forever. Morpheus. She wasn’t sure who he was, but in her vision he had promised to help her. If she would let him.
“Now what sort of nonsense was that?” She thought to herself. Of course she would let him. She’d waited all her life for someone who could help her. All those doctors, all those tests, years, decades. They’d never accomplished a damn thing! But now, here he was. The one would finally end her misery. Who would-who could turn that down? Not her.
Of course her friends thought she was crazy. They’d always thought that. But what did they know? Did they have to endure her hardship? Her struggle? Night after night not being able to sleep? Of course not.
Susan began to doze. She’d not even noticed that she’d somehow managed to drift off. She was awakened by a sound. A noise, really. She couldn’t recall what it was. What it had sounded like. Now she wasn’t even sure she had heard it in the first place.
“Maybe I am crazy,” She thought to herself. “Maybe I am crazy and they’re coming to take me away.” She looked at the door, illuminated by light reflected off of the moon. Just under the crack of the door was a small, black puddle of shadow.
Susan glanced at the puddle and realized with horror that the puddle was growing rapidly. When it had reached a certain length, a head began to emerge from the center. The head was filled with long, black hairs, unkempt. They contrasted against the white skin, seeming to glow in the moonlight. Black markings around the eyes and mouth. That mouth! It smiled at her with impish glee.
Now she could see shoulders and a torso emerge. Arms and a waist. Legs, and finally, feet. He was dressed in a manner that would be described as Edwardian. The clothes appeared to be black, yet had some sort of light radiating from them. It was him! He had come just as he’d promised! Morpheus!
He smiled and tipped his hat to her as if somehow he knew she’d thought his name. “Dear lady,” he spoke in a dreamlike manner, as he pulled a bag from where it lay hanging around his shoulder. A gust of wind seemed to escape from his lips. He dug around in his bag and pulled forth a small handful of what appeared to be sand. It glowed as though from within. Almost like gold.
“You’re him, aren’t you? The one who offered to help me. Morpheus.” She was sitting up now. Excited in a manner that she hadn’t seen since being a young girl in school.
“I am.” He responded.
“You’re going to do it, aren’t you? Help me?”
“Oh, yes. Help you I shall.”
“And I’m not crazy, am I?”
“Not at all, my sweet.” Morpheus opened his hand and the glowing sands began to shift and fall through his fingers onto her body. The sand piled up around her body, covering her. As she leaned back, the sand began to reach her head. She closed her eyes as she disappeared from view forever.
Morpheus smiled and clapped his hands gleefully as the sands shifted again and flowed back into his open bag, leaving behind an empty bed. “Say goodnight, my sweet Susan. Forever.”
And with that, he was gone.