It’s raining on the bus. Indian summer waves its headdress across the sky in a powdered white cotton. Water drops differently in the cold—heavy, weighted iron balls clip the yellow lipped gutters along 9 slip-down bus windows. The fire pops inside the black stove like a tongue clicking in the closed mouth of a dreaming giant. The heat rises slowly in the dark and, cupped between two duvet covers, my furry head listens to the music muffled by a thin piece of clear glass. I am so close to it—so close to reality, two quick clicks and I could physically touch it. But why know for certain a world I could imagine? Everything I know to be real was first born within me. I remove the lens cap and turn on the projector. My eyes find the shape of Pem at the foot of my bed, keeping a diligent eye on the ground lava beneath us. The tears of summer solidify to ice, snipping the wind into paper snowflakes as my mind wanders slowly into the hibernating space where all words are kept and magic & realism wait to be played with.

Katherine Dolan