Sleep was good, sleep was amazing. To be able to stretch out and feel safe and just sleep…what a wonderful feeling. The bed was a little crowded. I had to kick to get my space more than once, but I could deal with it. I’d been nearly sick by the time we’d finally gotten to bed. Too much excitement, too much fear. I needed rest.
The glow of the sun through the blinds didn’t bother me, but I wished we could go back to sleeping at night. I had been used to a theatre schedule. I’d never gone to bed with the chickens. What a ridiculous idea that was. Who the hell wants to sleep with a nasty chicken? I rarely got to bed before 1:00am, but it had been dark when I went to bed, not daylight. And it had been daylight when I got up to eat my breakfast and start my day. I missed all that.
I missed my own apartment. All of my stuff was there. All of my personal stuff that nobody else had. Now I didn’t have a lot of stuff, and I had to share most of it. Just my very personal stuff was mine, now. My necklace and my bag, but that could change at any time.
The sun must have been starting to set. It was getting a little darker in the room. I vaguely hoped that we could sleep late. I hoped that we could sleep a little in the true darkness. Well, as close to true darkness as New York City ever gets, barring blackouts.
I heard a noise I didn’t recognize. It wasn’t a normal noise in the bedroom, or in the apartment, for that matter. I roused myself a little so I could listen closer. The sound wasn’t in the bedroom, or in the apartment. The sound was outside of the window.
With no warning, something came crashing through the window. The dimming afternoon light flooded into the room, but the light wasn’t the most unwelcome visitor. The giant bird’s giant head was the most unwelcome visitor. The blinds immediately became trash. The bird’s head poked through them, and they ripped down from their hardware. They looked like cheap Renaissance Faire armor hanging from the bird’s neck, forming a breastplate of wide white aluminum slats.
All of us were frozen in terror as the bird looked around the room, taking it in, looking for prey. Its visual survey of the room ended with the bed, with us. I don’t know which of us it had selected to be its first victim, but it reared its great and horrible head back to peck a morsel out of the oyster shell of the bed.
That was when I’d had enough. I decided to use the only weapon I had handy. I sprang from the bed, throwing myself, teeth barred, at the throat of the monster. I latched on, grinding as hard as I could, ignoring the dry, bitter taste of the feathers as they touched my tongue and tickled my tonsils. I ground until I felt the blood start to flow. The sweet, hot blood of my enemy.
I was no student of anatomy, but I knew that I had the jugular. I felt the pump pump pump of the blood being pumped pumped pumped by the heart. I screamed my victory between my clenched jaws, but I wasn’t going to let go. The bird would not feast on us. We would feast on the bird, this night.
I ignored My Servant Woman. Could she not see that I was busy killing the hell out of this bird? Why was she annoying me during My Heroic Time?
“Do dogs dream?,” Mike asked.
“Of course dogs dream, you moron,” I wanted to say to him, but I could not afford to let go of the ravenous, but fading bird.
“Yes, Bethel dreams all of the time, and she’s having a big one, right now,” said My Servant Woman. “Bethel, honey, wake up.”
I opened my eyes, and the room was intact, again. No broken window, no trashed blinds. Just a bunch of people in bed with me, and that damned cat. My jaws ached and I spat out the corner of the pillow. A little down dribbled out where I’d ripped the fabric. It had been a dream, after all. Just like some damned bad TV show. I snuggled up closer to My Servant Woman and went back to sleep.