BY JOYANNA M
From my bedroom window, I watch the ferries. Like counting sheep, see them float across my window, light up against the darkness, and reflect in the water. I can't sleep, and the languid pace lulls me.
A bright spot flashes—is it fire? Eyes widen, it appears so. Fire in the middle of water, panic, stop, drop, and roll, but paralyzed by blankets. Imagining chaos, running, screaming. A caterpillar on the surface of the water, cannot escape, The fire now reflected and throbbing. The ferry becomes a bird and flies above the water, leaving a trail of fiery debris.
It screams, and I know I must shoot it, put it down. It becomes a target in a shooting range. Like a flock of birds concentrated and then dispersed, it multiplies into a hundred targets. I aim at one and then another, not knowing which one to shoot. Which one is real and which ones are an illusion. My arms feel heavy, and my wrists strain at the weight of the gun.
The targets fall from the sky, and each black dot becomes pink, running along the floor. Now a hundred baby pigs scurry at my feet, pushing against me, making me lose my balance. I need to herd them all back into the pen. Pushing with my feet, guiding them, the noise of their cries grabbing the back of my neck.
Most are back in the pen, I chase the last one, and notice that it's my dog, Charlie, from my childhood. Picking him up, he licks my face; holding him, my fingers sink into his heavy coat. Putting him down again, I pretend to throw something out the door, into the light, and he chases.
He is gone, and I approach the light of the door. Streaks of brightness fall from the sky and burst into glittering specks on the ground. I hold an arm over my head to protect myself from what is falling.
Outside, my eyes adjust, and everything turns into a vibrant green field with large flowing oaks. A sound of water tells me a river is nearby. I head towards the sound. A stream of water blends into a large lake with ducks floating across the surface. I cover my ears as the sound of water becomes too loud, although the lake is calm and still.
A red sunset reflects in the lake, silhouetting the ducks. I lie down, now very tired on the shore cover my ears and close my eyes. A horn blows, I open my eyes, look out my bedroom window and see the ferry slowly moving along in the morning sun. I am too tired to wake up, so I try to remember where I was. My memory dissolves like a watercolor painting in a pool.
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Joyanna M resides in Seattle and creates fiction, poetry, art, and music. Her works have been published in The Rumpus, Moonchild Magazine, The Cerurove, Rag Queen Periodical, and Five:2:One. She produces music under the moniker 'Aquamarine Space Unicorns.' You can follow her on Twitter at @joyanna1985, Facebook/Instagram @joyannam1985, and read selected works online at www.joyannam.com.