Nightmares

There was a monster chasing a boy who was trying to fly a kite, and he was sprinting through the grass as fast as he could but the kite wouldn’t take to the air. He ran and pulled the string but the kite turned into his own tooth and the string pulled the tooth out bloody and raw.

I looked at my ticking watch, but it exploded on my wrist when the small hand hit twelve and the Volvo turned back into a rotten jack o lantern with crooked teeth that ate the puppy crossing the road.

These are the eyes, bloodshot and tired, that you made cry. These are words you wrote on the screen that grew horns and claws and ripped through the keyboard and scrambled across the desk and dove for your heart. These are the terrors that keep you up at night and cause the ringing in your ears and the branches knocking against the window.

The boy took his bloody tooth and stowed it under his pillow. The tooth fairy came and stole it, but didn’t leave a quarter, left a note instead that read, “I’m not real.”

I climbed to the top of the Empire State building. The city spread out mercilessly below, tyrannical and teratoid. Buildings hid the living. Cars looked like insects, swirling and small. I wanted a better look and crept to the edge.

The wind blew savage and cold. I slipped on a banana peel, grasped for the ledge but missed. Flailing wildly and comical, I saw the lights of the city ascend as I fell. The street lamp was a neon moon. It zigzagged one last time before I kissed the black asphalt.

Just as I landed I saw the kite drift across the roof of the world, and saw that the string connected down to the monster that was flying it with a big, toothy grin, and I smiled, because I knew he was real.

kite

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