Another Day

He walked into the barn and could feel the color drain from his face like a sunset bleeding from the sky. He paused as if another step would bury him alive. He could remember back, years ago, to when his son had brought home his first fish and he showed him how to prepare it for cooking and how his son had cried when he cut the fish and how he had hugged him and explained the natural order of life.

And now, straight ahead, he saw his son dangling from a rope. His body, limp as a marionette without a puppeteer. Where had God gone? He thought. His son’s pale skin—nothingness.

He stepped forward and was buried alive.

Molecules (my first official piece of experimental fiction)

Euclid’s Definition 1: A line is a length without breadth.

When I look into the mirror, I see a silhouette—blank and cast only by a breadthless black line. A line without breadth, yet with more space between than universes apart.

 

Euclid’s Definition 3: And the extremities of a line are points.

How many single lines woven together form one arm? One arm, my arm, an extremity baring a strawberry patch of track marks. Cold, metallic, needle puncturing my skin, taking life and giving it. Fill my veins black. Black is blank—blank as a heroin nod, teetering on the edge of life and death. The distance between life and death is a line without breadth.

 

Euclid’s Common Notion 1: Things equal to the same thing are also equal to one another.

Life equals death and death equals life, a state of consciousness separated only by different realms. A vacant space denoting everything I am and was will form, and I will be—nothing. A vacant space of life and death and nothingness, only patterns of many lines and points. Dirty points in a sharps container and track mark lines and I am off to the needle exchange to give life for death.

If when I die I leave a molecular trace of metal activity, physical actions, and a complete record of states of being, and if when I die I am nullified, then it seems my identity crisis is greater than once thought: How can a conflict between my social role and my personality weigh so much when I become so little?

Euclid’s Common Notion 3: And if equal things are subtracted from equal things, then the remainders are equal.

I witnessed today my reflection, upon a lake of metallic electricity, baring the same measure of expression as a marionette—and just as dead.

I shall pay attention for just one more moment. I shall look upon my countenance. I shall try to remember who I was. And yet, the recollection continues to escape that which I wish to foment into identity, as to measure who I was through the displacement of light: instead, the Voice has formed a symbiotic relationship with life and death, lending to my nose only the sweet fragrance of rose petals glistening with morning spring’s dew and the fumes of formaldehyde steeping in my nasal cavity. I ask only one question: must I accept and live within the abscess of aloneness in order to survive this calling?

I have been struggling with an identity crisis. And ever since the Voice awakened, I have been slipping further from regaining the me I once was.

It is easier to find your way back to the light when you are swimming in darkness, for the displacement of light makes itself appear ever brighter if it should so choose to make visible its ember. And so, I choose to gauge the tangibility and distance of who I once was through the burden of this darkness the Voice has forced upon me: images, utterances, and other deathly fantasies destined to be written down—a feeling much like an owl losing her young to the universe’s ever thirsting tummy.

 

Euclid’s Common Notion 4: And things coinciding with one another are equal to one another.

The second my consciousness is severed from my soul, a vacant space denoting everything I am and was will form, and I will be—nothing.

 

 

Black as Night (very rough draft)

It is a dark night. One of those clear nights when the only thing visible is the stars above and the faint glow of distant streetlights. In the middle of the street, between the stop sign and the church I’m heading to, is where it happens, some point in between a depressing thought and a feeling of loneliness, the space in between hell and reality. He grabs me by the collar of my coat and begins bashing my head in with a lead pipe. I fall to the ground and then nothing. Blank. Absent.

I cannot move nor hear, but I am aware of some type of darkness. A black box of sorts. It’s an octagon shaped box with a chalky colored table in the middle and two chairs, I in one and you in the other. And then I begin speaking to you, whoever you are…

 

I have been having these dreams since before I can remember. It’s the same scenario each time: lying in a bassinet in the hospital, four days old, I stare up at the blinding florescent lights just above me. People buzz in my peripheral, like flies high on amphetamines, and then suddenly they are gone. Their bodies are still there, but not alive. They stand, drooping over my bassinet as several dead puppets. A few seconds pass and then I see a blinding light, followed by a tunnel of darkness. A few seconds, later I see a figure of a man. And then I wake, just like that, holding only a scintilla of recognition. It is strange. That is, experiencing these dreams through a baby’s perspective.

All my life I have known something isn’t quite right. Not just because of the dreams but also sick, mentally, like a thin lining of darkness lies woven through the fabric of my soul. Many a nights I have laid in bed awake, fearing the oncoming dream and trying to pin point the source of my problem.

So, you say to me, “And what are you proposing to do about your dilemma?”

“Um, I think I’m gonna check myself in to see a psychiatrist,” I say to you.

“What do you think will happen? I want you to live out this scenario in this black box and explain to me what happens.” You say to me.

“Ok.”

I am sitting in an all-white room, at a desk, and across from a doctor who doesn’t even know me, yet his job is to figure me out. I am skeptical: a moment similar to when someone tells you that life is plotting against them, and you say to them, “Are you alright?” You see, all my life I have been the one who figures things out. I can tell you what the weather was like ten years ago, or how many drops of rain hit my hand in any given amount of time. According to behavioral psychologists, I am gifted. And I am supposed to accept that I can’t even figure myself out?

You nod in understanding and notion me to continue.

So I am there, in his office. He hands me a piece of paper and tells me to sketch a picture of what I feel I look like. “Look closely at the page. Try to define the shapes and colors that make you who you are,” he says to me.

“Ok, I’ll try.”

I hand it to him and say, “This is the best I can do.”

He looks at it. It is a rough outline of a man, filled in with black scribbles.

“Why black?” He says.

“Cause that’s how I feel.”

“But why?” He says.

“Cause there’s something in me that’s dark.”

“I see.

He says nothing for a short while; it’s probably the longest bit of silence I have ever experienced. He begins writing on his legal pad. And then he looks up at me and says, “Go home. I’ll see you in a week.”

I walk out of his office with my head drooped and my eyes teary. On my way to the elevator, I stop by the reception desk. “May I help you, sir?” The receptionist says.

“Who am I,” I say.

“I’m sorry; I don’t believe I understand…”

“I said, who am I?”

“Are you ok? Do you need help?” she says.

“Ummm, no, no I don’t.” I hand her the drawing of myself and then leave.

As I exit the window shiny high rise, the fall weather greets me warmly. In the distance, I see a small cluster of marmalade leaves stir in the wind and then scatter. “How is the world feeling?” I say, “Droopy? Blue?” A woman passing by stares at me. “Crazy? Maybe the world is crazy, and I am the only one that is sane,” I say, pressing on down the sidewalk.

I reach 4th Avenue and am about to cross the street when a large blue sign in my peripheral catches my attention. I look over and see a large, blue, neon palm glowing in the window of a small shop. I’m not sure what it is, have never seen it before.

So I step back onto the curb, look back across the street, then back to the sign, and then I decide to check it out. As I approach, I see small letters on the upper portion of the window that read “Palm Reading.”

I walk in.

“Your shoes are blue?” A short woman says from behind a table shrouded in a net, awfully similar to a mosquito net.

“Wow, that is very observant of you,” I say mockingly.

“No, I mean your shoes are blue and so is your brain,”

“Look, I’m not sure what you’re playing at…”

“Don’t you see, blue shoes and a blue brain means you’re going to have a good week and soon see the light.”

“Whatever, lady.” I turn to walk out.

“Wait, come here,” she says

I step up to the table, a bit hesitant at first, and then take a seat across from the woman. She has saggy face, similar to pizza dough drooping from the effects of gravity.

“You seem troubled, young man.”

“I am.”

“Tell me about it,” she says.

“Well, it’s kinda like this: I suffer from chronic, peculiar, and slightly frightening reoccurring dreams.”

She stares at me. Silence takes to the room. And then she speaks up, “There is a man in your dreams…”

“Yes! How did you know?” I say.

She laughs and then points to the front window.

 “Oh, right,” I say, “So, do you think these dreams are bad?”

“No. But the reason you can’t see the entire dream play out without waking is because you’re scared.”

It seems futile to argue with her. She crosses the room and then comes back with a small rabbits foot.

“What’s this,” I say.

“It’s called the Foot of the Rabbit. And I want you to wear it while you sleep.”

“Ok,” I say, taking the rabbit foot and leaving.

I pause and look at you. You’re still sitting in the same position. “Go on, continue,” you say to me.

So I get home from the psychic and go to sleep. I have the dream again, of course, but see it in fullness: Lying in my bassinette…Corpses all around me…The black figure… Only this time, the man approaches me. He towers over me. It’s a scary feeling; I feel as though his thoughts are trickling down his hooked nose and falling upon me as droplets of acid. Then, the man cuts himself with a small knife and smears a drop of blood on my forehead, whispering something.

I wake suddenly, shivering in a cold sweat.

Out of bed I stagger and head over to the bathroom. I turn on the light and stand in front of the mirror. My hands grip the edge of the sink. I look down at the drain, my eyes strain, and then I look up to the mirror to face my reflection. I blink and then jump back. He is there; I see him standing behind me with one hand resting on my shoulder. I blink again, shake my head, look, and he is gone.

Later during the day, I stand in front of the psychic’s shop, looking into the window. I don’t want to go in, but I do.

“You’re back!”

“Yea, and with bad news,” I say, throwing the rabbit foot at her feet and walking back toward the door.

“Wait, you must tell me what happened,” she says.

I turn toward her, “I saw the whole dream and I didn’t like it.”

“Please, tell me what you saw.”

“It was the man…He cut himself and smeared blood on me as he whispered some incantation,” I say.

Come here; I have something to show you. She takes me into the back room to a small table in the corner. A small, silver book sits on top with the letters “QZ” engraved on its cover. “This book belonged to your mother,” she says.

“What is it?”

She opens the book and begins reading. “Sometimes we are confronted by a certain evil understood only by voice inside of us, the voice that tells us stories and forces us to write them down. You, my son, were born to be a writer, like your father before you. As you know, he died before you ever met him. But he is the one that visits you in your dreams. He is the one that begrudgingly smears his blood on you, regretting and fearing it every time. Writing is your birthright, a curse passed by the gods.

“Something isn’t right in you, just as you know. And there is nothing you can do about it but continue to listen to the voice and transcribe what is spoken to you. This is your appointed time to know and understand this evil. And it is you who must uncover what this evil shall create,” the psychic says to me, “those are the words of your mother.”

You get up from your chair, adjust your blazer, and say to me, “I suppose my work is done here.”

 

That is when my eyes open. For how long I was out I am uncertain of. I see people towering over me, dressed in white suits and masks. For a second, I get the feeling it is another dream, but then I hear a toothpick shaped woman yell out, “We have a code Orange. I repeat: we have a code Orange.”

I just lie there, confused, and then I hear a voice, the evil inside of me say, “Don’t forget who you belong to.”

 

 

 

Stolen Dreams

“Don’t do it,” I said to her. But she did it, she didn’t listen to me, and then she was gone.

Football season had just started. The evenings were coming sooner and the nights were growing longer. It all happened so fast, in the blink of an eye. One second, she was the Jessica I had known and loved. The next second, she was gone. It was a weird feeling—like she was a stranger, though her appearance was so familiar.

Every night, we would meet at the abandoned church and lie with each other. We loved it; it was our thing. You know, she once told me that those moments were the most sacred to her, that we would be one with each other. Now, looking back, all of her words seem nonexistent, like an entire chapter was ripped out of my book.

I had just finished my studies and took off to meet her at the usual spot. When I got to the church, I had a feeling something wasn’t quite right. I felt separated from her. The air seemed colder. The night seemed quieter. And my mind seemed noisier. I crept into the church and looked around. I didn’t see her. I called out her name, and nothing. Maybe she is on the second story. I thought to myself. I reached the top step and there she was, standing above a hole in the floor with a noose around her neck.

“What are you doing, babe?”

“Just leave me be; there is no other way out.”

“What do you mean? What about us?”

“Honey, I love you, but what is the point in living when I am just so sad?” She said.

“We can work this out. Many people feel like this and they go and see the doctor and everything works out.”

“No, no it doesn’t,” She said.

Those were her last words to me. Not, I love you or, I’m going to miss you.

What happened next went from very slow motion to very fast motion. She turned away, looking straight forward, and plunged to her death. I could hear her neck snap, a crisp, clean, snap. And then everything in my mind shattered. I stepped over to the hole in the floor and looked down upon her. I then raced downstairs and stood their staring: she was like a beautiful, lovely marionette hanging. A certain blankness glazed upon her eyes. She couldn’t recognize me, and for the first time, I couldn’t recognize her.

I looked down, just below her feet, and saw a piece of paper lying on the floor. It read:

Life is messy. Tears are eternal. And I feel like a firefly trapped in a jar.

I put the note in my pocket, reported the suicide, and then left.

Months went by and I still couldn’t wrap my mind around her death. I just wanted her back, and I wanted to understand why she left like that, why she felt she couldn’t have come to me for guidance. All of those times lying together and we really weren’t one with each other; we were as separated as life and death.

Toward the middle of winter, I ran into her mom at the super market and asked how she was doing. She began sobbing and gave me a giant hug. Jessica’s mom adored me. It was a long embrace; it felt like eternity. Then she pulled away and said, “I’m probably doing as a bad as you.”

“I know,” I said.

“Have dinner with me tonight. I’m cooking your favorite beans and rice.”

“Sounds good. How about 6?” I said.

“Ok.”

Even her house seemed different, with Jessica gone and all… That night, we ate dinner, a mostly silent dinner.

“I know you probably don’t want to talk about this, but did you see it coming—perhaps not suicide, but something bad?” I said.

“Yea, I knew something wasn’t quite right, but when I’d approach her about it, she would tell me it was nothing and that she was just stressed out.”

“I see. Well, you got more than I did…”

I poured myself another glass of wine and walked into the den. This is too bizarre. She doesn’t seem to be that out of sorts over her daughter’s death. I thought to myself.

On the table next to me was a notepad with some notes scribbled on it: on the full moon commence the cycle…rub the stone first… What the hell is this? Full moon, stone…

I looked over to the book shelf and saw a book sticking out: “Modern Witchcraft for The Coniving Witch.” Really…Is this some kind of joke? I began flipping through the pages, one was folded down. The title on the page read: Dream Walking. It explained how to enter peoples’ dreams and embed them with subliminal messages.

I brought the book back out into the dining room.

“Hey, what’s this?” I said.

Almost choking on her food, “Where did you find that?” She said.

“It was in the den…do you know how to dream walk?”

“You shouldn’t be meddling in other’s business…”

“Well, why the hell do you have witchcraft books?”

“That book was given to me by mother. It’s time for you to leave,” She said.

“Ok. I need to use the restroom first.”

I walked down the hall and to the bathroom. I flipped on the fan, the light, shut the door, and then walked into Jessica’s bed room. I began rummaging through her stuff trying to find some clues into her death. God help me. Show me. I scanned her room one last time. Her pillow! I looked under her pillow and found her diary.

I could hear footsteps coming from down the hall. Shoot. Screw me… I edged up to the door and peered down the hall. She was standing outside of the bathroom with a kitchen knife. I crossed the room and over to the window. I climbed out onto the roof and down the drain pipe.

When I got home, I went straight to my room and began reading the diary. There seemed to be an entire dream log dating back to several months before her death. I read every entry. The first portion of the log described weird dreams in which she hung herself. Then, the entries began getting more graphic, more descriptive. The last entry:

I don’t know what to do. I have this desire to hang myself; I keep having dreams about it. I can’t help them; I’m going to have to…

I closed the diary and laid back on my bed. There is no way. Did she really plant these suggestions into her own daughter’s dreams…

Everything took a weird twist that night, but I actually felt better. At least I knew it wasn’t Jessica’s doing, rather, her mom’s.

Then she woke up. It was all a dream. Jessica pulled out her dream journal and began writing:

I had the weirdest dream last night. I hung myself. The entire dream was of my mom’s plot to kill me and my boyfriend’s coping with the whole ordeal. But it was just a dream; that means it’s not going to happen…

Jessica climbed out of bed and walked to the den. She looked at the books and found one sticking out: Modern Witchcraft for The… Oh, dear God! She dropped the book and fainted.

Cat Eyes

He sat there, on his couch, staring into the depths of a picture hanging from the wall. A scenic view of mountains overlooking a lake nursed his thoughts. He wanted to be there, to be away from his life and his world.

Things had been going downhill for him for a while now—his job, his girl. And unstable he grew, by the day, as he toyed with his paranoia. He had been having very obscure dreams for weeks, dreams of people plotting against him, hunting him. But one of which was different from all: a leather bag of sorts swinging over his head like a pendulum. It was a reoccurring dream, but he knew not of its meaning. He sat there just waiting for something, anything to happen—preferably out of the ordinary.

He flipped on the television set and began scanning channels. Meanwhile, his cat, Felix, hopped up onto the couch and laid down next to him. He purred and then sunk his fangs into his leg and began drinking his blood. Peculiar? No, this was the most ordinary situation in his life: his cat lived on his blood. Sanitary? No. and that is kind of where this story begins.

About a week later, the cat died—he had caught a blood disease from all of the human blood he was feeding on. I guess you could say this was the unordinary circumstance he had been waiting on.

He held a funeral for him in his back yard two days later. Into the ground he lowered the soap box casket he had made. He then cut his wrist and dripped blood onto the box. “Here lies Felix: a furry friend, a loyal friend. Rest in peace.”

Late that night, when all was dark and he was asleep, Felix climbed from his grave. First, his paws reached through the virgin soil, then his head, and then his body. He stretched and cried out to the moon, a screeching noise that pierced the night, stopping every demon in its track. He made his way into the house and up to his owner’s bed.  He sunk his fangs into his neck, and drained his master dry.

 

6 am. Carlos rolled over in his bed. These damn dreams! What do they mean? I just don’t get it. Im not a surgeon. What do I do? He thought to himself. The dreams were getting worse by the night: surgical procedures, blood, organs. He couldn’t make any sense of it. He layed back down and closed his eyes.

“Carlos, listen carefully…”

He opened his eyes. He tried to move his body; he was paralyzed.

“What do you want?”

“When the time comes, you will know.”

He woke up. What the heck is going on? Was that all a dream he thought. Was I dreaming about interpreting my dreams…

 

 

Weeks passed, letters piled up, and finally the neighbors began wondering why the lone cat was without an owner. Carlos, the next-door neighbor, walked over to the house. He rang the doorbell, no answer. He checked the door knob, unlocked. He walked in and began investigating the situation.

Felix slinked in Carlos’ shadow as he made his way throughout the house, room by room. This is odd where is he. Felix stepped out into the light, crossing his path. Carlos looked down and said, “Take me to your owner.”

Felix brushed against his leg and led him to the loft.

Carlos looked upon the body, then at the cat. “Good work, good work, indeed.”

“What am I saying? What is good work?” It was like he was looking down upon his own body, seeing himself move, carry out a deed foreign to his wildest fantasies.

After bringing the cat and the body to his house, he went into the basement and began preparing for the operation. He placed the body on a long metal table and placed the cat next to him. “This is only going to hurt a bit,” he said to Felix. He reached into the cat’s fur and found the zipper. After unzipping the cat, he pulled out its brain and placed it upon the cold table. He then began the brain transplant.

Hours went by; Carlos continued working on the body. After everything was said and done, he took off the leather bag hanging from his neck, pulled out a small handful of Extex dust, and sprinkled it over the body.

“It worked; you did it,” the voice said.

Carlos collapsed to the ground. His eyes opened, he looked up, and the last the he saw were fangs piercing into his neck.

 

Glass Jar

The lights went out and I awoke just as suddenly. I looked over, only to see my alarm clock’s neon digits screaming 12 am. I pulled my covers back, put my feet on the floor, and said, “not again.”

This was the third night in a row that I heard the woman’s voice calling to me in my dreams. And the third night I got up and followed her distant tone.

After I walked out onto the porch, I climbed down the wooden stairs and continued down toward the lake. The lake was all black, a glassy sheen. But across the way was a faint glow that seemed to land at my feet.

I followed the trail of light with my eyes, then back to my feet, then back across the water. I could see letters forming in the glow, like a long stretch of message. Come to me. Hurry. I have something to show you.

I didn’t hesitate, well, maybe a little, but not too much. I climbed into the water and began swimming, following the light to the other side. When I got to the shore line, I got out and looked around: only darkness, trees, and a house.

“Come to me. Come into the house, but don’t forget to lock the door,” the voice said.

I walked into the house locked the door behind me.

“Upstairs.”

Where are the stairs? What is this really all about? I thought.

I made my way around the downstairs, looking for a way to the second floor. Finally, I an old oak flight of stairs that weaved and turned in a spiral motion. I began climbing, each step, the voice grew deeper. It felt as though I was ascending past my mind, past everything sane, and into the darkness.

I reached the top stair and then she spoke, “I’m right here.” “No, over here.” I looked around and saw a jar siting in the middle of the floor. It radiated with a sharp glow of blue light; enclosed in the middle was a butterfly baring iridescent colors.

“What is this? Who are you?” I said.

“I am your guardian,” she said.

“Well, what do you want?”

“Open the book beside me,” she said.

I walked over and knelt beside the jar. I opened the dusty book and began reading.

Day 1…Day 2…Day 3… It was a catalogue of all my days, actions, and thoughts. It was my Akashi records.

“I don’t understand; what do you want from me?”

“I want you to fill in the last page. I want you to decide how you’re going to die.”

“What the hell are you talking about? What kind of sick joke is this?”

“Seriously, you must fill in the last page,” she said.

“But that’s not how it works…”

“Do it and you will understand.”

With the last page staring at me, with the blank page screaming at me, I picked up the pen lying next to the jar and began writing:

People call me Jake, but my name is really Jacob. I have lived a very peculiar life, and now I am here, visiting this page, to spell out my death. I will die writing. That’s it. I refuse to write any more details than that.

“Ok, I’m done, I did it; now will you please explain…”

“There is no need: walk down stairs and open the cupboard on the wall,” she said.

Begrudgingly, I went down stairs and opened the cupboard.  Inside laid a silver egg. I picked it up and turned it over in my hands. What the heck is this? I thought. I tapped on the shell, and nothing. Three second went by and then it began cracking open. A little phoenix peaked its head out and stared into my eyes. Startled, I dropped it.

The phoenix stood on the floor with its shells lying to the side. It jumped up and down on the floor, excited to see me. And then everything went quite for a few minutes, as though it was waiting for me to truly acknowledge it.

I could feel my whole body vibrating—like I was separating at a molecular level. I looked down at the bird; it was making the most beautiful noise I have ever heard. What is it doing? The vibrations got stronger, more intense. And then my body, my frail shell, fell to the floor; the phoenix consumed my soul.

I was scared. I couldn’t see anything, but I was aware of everything around me. A few moments later I could see the butterfly flying toward me, toward the mouth of the phoenix. She landed on its wing, flapped her wings twice, and then flew away. The phoenix, then, flew over to my crumpled body, to my lifeless mouth, and blew a breath of life into me.

I sat up, confused, and looked around. Where is the butterfly? Where is the phoenix? The book!! I walked back up stairs and found the book lying on the floor, just as I had left it: the last page open, but different:

I am the butterfly in your life; I am your guardian. The phoenix is the Holy Spirit. And you, Jacob, are eternal. Your death doesn’t matter: it’s simply the beginning of your eternity. Your life does matter, though, every second of it—not to dictate your death—but for the soul purpose of God’s will. Stop acting selfish. This life doesn’t belong to you; your eternal life does.  

I picked up the pen and began writing underneath my guardian’s message:

I have found that every time I write, I die a little bit more, but I become newer, more fresh, during the process. It’s like shedding skin: I shed an older me onto the page so that a newer me can manifest. I have found that vitamins and supplements can help me feel better—I have twenty different ones sitting on my night stand. I found that slamming speed balls made me feel really, really good. But I have not found anything that can replace my relationship with Christ.

I feel like shit. I look into the mirror and see a marionette enslaved by learned behaviors and social contexts chiseled into my grain. For years now this has been bothersome to me as much as these damn fleas that have taken home to my house. But I understand what the problem is: it’s a disruption in my values. I have a value system put in place by Christ, and when I don’t live up to it, well, I feel like shit. Someone once told me that I must change my values so that I can hit the mark and not feel defeated.

But that won’t work either, and that is my spiritual battle. I can change my values, but then I’m lying to myself. Awww, yes, the curse of the believer: knowing the right way to live. It doesn’t matter how I change my values; there is only one path Christ walked—the path of righteousness. I’m left with one choice, the one choice I keep skating around: complete surrender.

I put down the pen, closed the book, and fell flat on my back. I closed my eyes and went to sleep.

 

 

Mirrored Image

It was last summer, as I recall. I was outside walking across the yard when I saw a leaf lying upon the ground. At first, it appeared normal—but still kind of peculiar. So I got down onto one knee and picked it up. Holding it in my hand, I turned it over, then back again, and then held it to the sun. I could see little specks of water, sparkling in the sun’s rays.

I brought it a bit closer to my face; the water droplets appeared much bigger. But the biggest concern I had was with one particular droplet that was a translucent blue color. With my fingers, I grabbed the side of it and began stretching it into a much larger drop of water. I then stuck a straw through the side and began singing a song, every note echoing into the droplet, reverberating against the pliable, liquid walls.

Then silence.

“Now listen,” a voice spoke.

I put my ear to the end of the straw and listened.

“Night will fall upon you heart

as stone crashing down the side of a mountain.

Sorrow will find you from the womb of loneliness.

And blood will tear from your eyes,

letting you know the night is here.

You will seek out love,

only to find a deep, dark box that you will call home.”

I dropped the leaf and looked to the sky. Clouds ruptured. Rain fell. I fell—to the ground I called home.

The wind kicked up and blew the leaf; it settled on the ground, inches from my face. My left eye met the gaze of that tiny drop of water. It burst, shooting millions of tiny water particles outward and into my eye. “Ouch!”

What just happened? I sat up and looked at my arms: I could see darkness spreading down my limbs.

I fell to the ground and died with the dammed that call their box home.