You have the dream again. It is of Annabelle, naked in the sunlight and lying on the bed. She smiles at you, her large brown eyes begging you to adore her. You draw nearer to her and run a finger between her breasts and down her abdomen. In the wake of your touch a wide, blood-filled gash appears, running the length of the invisible line you drew. Your hands are stained with blood. You try to wipe them on the bed sheets, but they are saturated with it.
On Annabelleís face there is a sad sort of smile.
"Do it more," she urges.
You wake with a start, as you always do. You havenít been sleeping well. You have been prone to nodding off at odd times. Your hands are clammy and a hole is forming in your stomach and you try not to hyperventilate, try to tell yourself that it is only a dream, only a dream. You find yourself hard to believe.
There is a box of tissues on the window ledge. You reach for several and dry the perspiration from your skin.
You think of Annabelle when you were both twenty-year-olds: vastly and inconsolably in love, sitting on the grass in the springtime on the library green. You remember her sweet words: "I would have to kill myself if you ever left me." In your sleep you have killed her countless times.
Ian Kita lives in Minneapolis and works at an Italian restaurant. He trades a few hours sleep each night to write fiction and poetry. E-mail: iankita[at]mac.com.