Falling

Her heart was pounding the beat of a song she couldn’t hear, and so she couldn’t fall asleep. She lay awake instead and listened to it thump against her chest, the soft sure sound that kept her awake. Across the room, her computer blinked at her with a slow glowing and dimming, the light strengthening and dying again. It didn’t match her heartbeat and the dissonance bothered her, in a vague distant way. She couldn’t hear anything but her heartbeat echoing through her body. The rest was silence.

There was a very large rabbit and she was outside. Oh, she thought, I’m dreaming now. Maybe I should climb on the rabbit. When she approached it, trying to touch its fur, it gave a startled whinny and hopped away, bounding toward the sky before it fell again to the earth with a deafening crash. She shook with the force of its fall, and then it was off again. She ran after it, feeble, wishing her legs could carry her farther and push her off the ground like that. When the rabbit landed again, it turned to her and blared.

She woke to the sound of the car horns, pulled from her half-sleeping by the sudden noise. The horn whined through the air and then stopped. The silence grew again, except for her heart. Now it was thundering in her ribs, beating a frightened tattoo. Her bones were jangling, like the bundle of knives she dropped trying to empty the dishwasher. Her skeleton jittered in the same way and the vibrations buzzed against her bones for a long time before the shivers faded again into sleep.

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