This is a dream. This is not real.
I am not running. I will wake up and I will be home. Asleep. Warm. Home.
Pain shoots through my feet as thorns pierce my bare skin. The blood is warm for a second until it hits the ground. But I don’t feel it. This is a dream.
Guns cannot hurt you in dreams. They fire and pop. The bullets whistle and move. When they finally hit you after a long second has passed, your skin folds in and gives way. The organs are soft feathers to gently cushion the powerful blow. Lodged inside you, it’s hard metal burns. You grasp at yourself, desperately tightening. Squeezing. The hole is small but fatal.
But this is a dream and in dreams you cannot die. Because if you die, there will be no dream. You will wake and it will all be behind you.
I stop. My breath paints the dark sky with mist. Dropping to my knees, I notice the rag that was once my night gown. Threads jut from all places, twisted and twined. The white has taken on a darker tone. A witness to my falls.
There is salt in my eyes. The cloudiness blurs the world around me. I look down at the leaf ridden floor. The dampness of the night has begun to sink through the thin gown. My legs begin to grow cold.
I lower myself further. The coolness is a blessing compared to the heat that continues to grow in my belly.
On the ground, I can smell the dirt. A mixture of decomposing foliage and dust.
But it is good here and my muscles begin to relax. I let my eyes close and my thoughts erase. It will be soon now, that I will wake.