I found myself in their room. They were getting ready for bed but, once I asked, agreed to let me share their space because the bed was big enough.
I slept on the edge of the bed, sandwiching them between themselves and the wall. I was half off the bed, but they’d given me just enough room and a share in the pillows.
I could see their feet wriggling, kicking, beastly. I grabbed the fluffy pillow I’d been about to use and swatted at the insects and the gossamer threads that hung above the bedframe in thick sheets, hiding swarms of spiders. I swiped furiously and threw the cobweb-coated pillow across the room.
When I finally lay down, the old leaking feather pillow with its threadbare case prickled my face until I went to sleep.
I woke from the dream, sweating and tangled in my sheets. I thrashed my way out of them and sat gasping. The air was scorching and the heat unnatural; I felt the urgency to move and did.
I hurried down the long hall to the living room. My parents were dousing the floor in water – buckets of it – trying to keep the fire in the floor below from spreading upward. I stepped in to help.
Angela stopped me and asked for a drink. A glass of juice.
Dazed, I nodded. I stumbled as I turned and she caught my arm. Better that I eat breakfast first, she said. There was some still on the stove.
Then I woke for realsies.