Heightened awareness and the warning lights go to yellow. She comes out of the cold mists waiting for the pounce. Staring cold ruinous eyes patient in their destruction. I ignore her. And as I fall deeply sleep it begins. A tornado taps on my window and begs alms for the poor. I say no, then relent because it's a tornado after all. It could do me some damage. Not giving my wallet just because I feel moved by anything other than a bit of fear for my face and the bed I lay in. I really don't like sleeping on splinters.

Tossing back and forth under the covers I ask Nigel to bring me some water. Glass bottle, Pellegrino. With ice. He ignores me. Bastard. Still she waits for the pounce.

I hear the car coming over the hill. Motor loud and Aston Martin lively. I am speeding down the grade heading for my bedroom window. Screaming "hallowed by thy name" at the top of my lungs as I hit the flower patch she is hiding in and a puff of smoke rises. I missed. I was attempting to give her a lift. Or was I?

I toss and wake up asking Nigel for that water again. He still ignores me. What the hell is he doing?

Now without warning, she spikes her heal into my back, swinging from a pole and down into the raging torrent of weather that surrounds me. Suddenly, she reaches out a hand, looks kindly for a moment, and gently wraps a bandage around my injured leg. She tells me of peaceful moments. Ones that I must truly want deep within me. Ones that only she can show me. A peace she wants more than anything. Then a call comes in on the rotary phone and she turns into a high setting blender, shows her spinning teeth and dives at me. I maneuver my tank out into the open eye of the storm. Freeing the tangled trees from my tracks. Getting clear and preparing for battle. She will never best me. She reaches out spiny arms and slaps me. The lawsuit feels oddly good across the face. It doesn't hurt like my chains around her legs must, tying her tightly closed. Sealed to the outside world.

I awake again and shout at Nigel for the fucking water. He stares but doesn't answer. I give up and fall back asleep. He will be fired in the morning.

Now I am in math class and the lights are too dim to see the chalk board where my test is taking place. If I understand this equation, I get the sums correct, I will be released for recess and never have to come back to this god awful stench of a jail cell. But I WANT the answer. I crave the answer, the formula, the relief of knowing how to get there. I reach out to touch the scratches on the board and feel my way toward enlightenment. Just then her riding crop swings from the shadows and bites into my hand like a wet snake. I turn to sting her back. I'm not done here yet. She turns into a fruit tart and falls to the floor.

I awake again. But this time, I am not home. I am never home. I am in a wide open courtyard surrounded by pepper trees and high clay walls. The scent of jasmine hangs like a thick fog in the air before scowling and turning to head off to the kitchens. I lay still knowing she is near. I can hear her covered growl. Her games await. And I toss again.

Nigel! Answer me you bastard. I have something I need you to write down...