I’m on the moon. The dirt is red for some reason, soft and light between my fingers. I’m climbing the side of a cliff when I fall. I land on my knees, hard. When I look up, the earth is rising over the horizon. It’s a brilliant blue and white, so crisp and clean. Stars shine behind the blue marble, little specks of light in a pitch black space.
It’s the end of nightmare. I’m weary and fearful but also relieved. I beat the monster. I left it behind me, and I’m home. Home is a shack in the hills of Wyoming. Old tires and a broken down bus sit outside, faded and cracked in the hot summer sun. I’ve lost my cats to the monster, and I feel a deep grief welling up from my chest. A friend appears beside me and points to the mountains in the distance. I look up. One of the peaks has turned coal black, and above it floats the skull of a elk. Its antlers are tangled high above its head, reaching into a pale blue sky. I feel instant relief, and my cats come racing through the grass, whole and alive.
I’m in the back of my parent’s old blue station wagon. We’re driving to my grandparent’s house. I watch the city lights disappear, and the heavy blackness surrounds us. I can see tall grass in the headlights as we race down the road. I push my head out of the window and look up. The sky is beautiful. Full of stars. They twinkle and shudder. I have to show my boyfriend! I think.
I’m in a trailer park, similar to the one I grew up in. I’m frustrated and angry. Trapped. My parents leave, taking my siblings with them. It’s time. I run through the trailer home, looking for my phone. It’s black with a pink and green case. I know it’s here, and I grow frantic as I search for it. I have to escape. I’m not safe. I’m crying and screaming until I finally find it, shoved under my little sister’s mattress. It’s scratched and the front is cracked. I plug it in – nothing. I tap the home button over and over, and it lights up. Shakily, but enough. My heart is pounding as I punch in my best friend’s number. She picks up, but the connection is fuzzy. You have to come pick me up! I cry to her. Please, come get me!
She can’t. I can hear her mom in the background. Angry. Fine. I tell her. I’ll walk there myself.
I’m angry, but determined, and I leave the trailer park, wearing nothing but a dress. My feet are bare, and I can feel the rocks and burrs stabbing my feet. I can feel my anger outweighing my fear, my determination strong enough to last the miles ahead.
I’ve moved to a new house. It’s small and the walls are covered in dark wood paneling. I carefully stack cups on the counter. A punch bowl sits nearby. We’re having a party. Faceless people mill around, laughing and talking. They’re dressed in costumes – it’s Halloween. I start to feel woozy. Uncomfortable. I try to tell people that something’s wrong, but it’s like they can’t hear me. I see my ex boyfriend walking towards me. Something’s wrong. I fall to the floor. I can’t swallow.
He laughs at me. There’s nothing wrong with you.
Nobody is listening to me. I plead the guests to help me, and finally someone drags me to a back bedroom and leaves me on a mattress. My limbs feel heavy. A woman comes into the room. She’s holding the hand of a little girl. Your daughter wants you, she says. The little girl is dressed in a pink princess gown. She smiles when she sees me, and rushes across the room to lie next to me.