The Tiger Dream
By Kate LaDew
I was in the dream forever before I realized it was a dream and still I could not stop the tigers from eating me up. They chewed so slowly I heard every millimeter of skin tearing, every shard of bone cracking and spearing into itself, every drop of blood diverting course into the tigers' mouths and the grass below and still I could not stop them eating me. I asked once, only once, if please, they might consider letting me go, but the tigers reassured me it was better like this. If they were to stop now, who knows what I would be left with. And I saw they were undoubtedly right, for they had left my head intact, and my brain was able to turn the images upside down so my eyes could watch and be informed of what the last of me was going through.
I waited a few more moments that might have been always, they took up so much space in my heart, before asking as calmly, as politely as I could, if the tigers might eat my ears next, so the chewing and tearing and cracking could, at least as far as I knew, stop. The very biggest of the three tigers replied he would be glad to, especially since I asked so calmly, so politely. The chewing and tearing and cracking dissolved, leaving me in the always, watching my body feed the tigers bit by bit. I saw a jumble of arms and legs and fingers and toes sticking up under the soft fur and muscle of their bellies as the tigers stretched and flopped in the grass. I closed my eyes and the dream that lasted forever before I knew it was ended. I raised my head up towards the ceiling, a blur of orange and black through green coating the backs of my eyelids, a fieId of grass empty, save for three tigers, licking their paws.
Kate LaDew is a graduate from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a BA in Studio Art. (Updated September 2015)
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