Everything after kissing Bricks on the cheek, stepping out of the truck, & closing the door, is all slow-motion — from the front steps, through the kitchen, up the stairs to my room, & through the door — after that, & the very instant I swung into what was usually my safest space — everything in the world exploded into the first truly terrifying moment I've faced.
You know that split-second feeling of horror when you think you catch a shadow or dark figure in the corner of a room? Or you pass a mirror & think you see someone or something behind you, only to realize nothing is there? Well, imagine that momentary sinking fear, the falling in the pit of your stomach lasting forever, as you realize slowly that it’s not a figment of your imagination & there really is a dark figure in the corner of your room. I’m just glad I didn’t ruin my pants.
“Hello, Moon Flower.”
“Nope, no, no, no, no, you are not real, this isn’t real, I’m dreaming again. crap, how do you wake up from a dream?!”
“You are not dreaming. I am here. Linnaeus.”
“You are not real, you are not anywhere, you are a figment my imagination, oh my god, I’m talking to it.”
I wasn’t moving because I thought it best to just stand still when seemingly face to face with a being I could not describe to you in a way that would make sense, but radiated a power & a calm that let you know you should probably stand still.
“Are you not happy? Have I not ended it? Your suffering.”
“You are not real!”
“Technically, you're correct, no, I am not real. To be real, I would need to be bound by reality. Bound by this universe & its laws. Yet I am bound by nothing… & neither are you now, Moon Flower.”
“Jane, thank you... if we’re going full blown crazy here, at least call me by my real name.”
“You are no longer bound by the real as you perceive it to be. You are now a vessel, the vessel. It is all held in you now. Can you feel it?”
“I know you can. I can feel you feel it, in a continuous series of waves, each longer, & larger & more encompassing than the last.”
“Okay, that’s totally creepy, & oh my god why am I still talking to you?!”
“Your time is nearly up. The full moon approaches & you’ve yet to reap your first.”
“Reap my first? What is going on?!”
“Your soul has blossomed. You are the Moon Flower. You are the arbiter of souls. Guardian death for all who's color you see.”
“The what now?”
“Every new moon, if you’ve yet to reap, if you’ve yet to release a soul, you will die.”
“Okay, yep, you’re crazy! I’m crazy! I need to wake myself up, I need to wake myself up right now.”
For the first time ever, I wished that I was dreaming… but it should come as no surprise to you, given your doubtless foresight, I was very much awake.