Last night I dreamed that I killed myself. I was running through the woods, and bad men caught me, and I slit my own throat because I knew they were going to rape me. Then suddenly, I was in Townville and everything around me was normal, but I wasn’t. Mama was there, and she wasn’t sick. And Daddy was there, loading a gun. I realized that my throat was still cut, still bleeding and I was so, so tired and just wanted it to be over. So I asked Daddy to give me the gun so I could finish what I had started, and he did.

And then everything changed again. I was still in Townville, but I wasn’t bleeding anymore. There was a container of some kind on the patio, and it was full of pebbles… millions of tiny pebbles. The pebbles kept leaking out, bursting the seams of the container, and I was racing to pick them up, plug the leaks, but they kept running through my hands, running onto the ground. And I was crying, scrambling, running to find something to plug the leaks, reinforce the seams because I knew that if I let all the pebbles run out, something horrible would happen. Mama was there. She wasn’t sick, but she was just watching me quietly, watching me scramble and weep, and she wouldn’t help me. I was crying, sobbing, asking her to stop the pebbles, to tell ME how to stop the pebbles, but she just stood there with a quiet, sad little smile.

And then the seams burst, and millions of tiny pebbles ran into the grass, so many that I would never be able to find them all, so many that it was hopeless to even try, and Mama was gone.