Published in The Summerset Review, Spring 2017


There’s more than one of everything arranged on the table before her. In a perfect circle there are six sets of French glass goblets with special twisted stems, white napkin swans on gold-rimmed plates, matching coffee cups in saucers, and more silverware than she knows what to do with. Dylan picks the smallest of the four silver spoons for drawing the things she needs to remember on the pearl-white table linen. The whole picture doesn’t come to her at first, just a few ambiguous images that seem meaningless. A black tiger with bright orange stripes the color of fire. A big yellow sun over a forest of palm trees.

In the most spectacular of dreams, she had been in some other place, living some other kind of life—something so enchanting she can’t shake the fire growing in her belly. She was alone on the beach, watching the waves coming up high as the trees until they froze midair over her. Like any other moment in which she might find herself in new surroundings, she let her curiosity take over to make sure this place was true. The water was cold when she reached out to touch it with her fingertips. The air boiled so hot she tasted it on her tongue; the sweat above her eyebrow dripped down her forehead until it reached the end of her cheek. The grainy white sand was warm and sticky, clumping between her bare toes, as she made her way inland. A roar echoed past the palm trees towering high over her head; at the time, it seemed important to find it before it was gone.

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