I woke up at midnight to my birds fighting. I was the one to get up and calm them with gentle words and gentle lights. As I touched the timber with tender toes, I felt my head spin through time and space. I went back to bed. On the cusp of sleep, my subconscious mind took full control and I had none.
Images of me, the devout vegan, at a barbecue were thrown at my broken mind. Everyone was eating meat and I was yelling but I couldn’t stop them. All I could hear were the names of animals once they had been ground and smoked and baked and burned. Prosciutto, ham, bacon, beef. I could see and smell flesh charring in big pans. Everyone laughed as they squelched their meat into mint jelly. Suddenly, the cutlets jumped off the plates and arranged themselves as the ribs of a sweet sheep in front of me.
I forced myself to wake and my heart forced itself out of a comfortable rhythm. Someone’s invisible hand grasped my throat. I gagged. I shook. And I didn’t go back to sleep.