MANDI SUMMERS


Montana / Law Student 
Self isolation, working from my mother’s home. My husband is still working in Oregon, my brother lives in this town, still working, and Miranda and Max are locked down in the Bay Area.

My father died last month, and now the whole world is falling apart.



𓅔


I am dancing with my husband in a kitchen. It’s not a kitchen I’ve seen before, but in my dream, it is ours. We are not dancing beautifully, just swaying across the room, back and forth, having fun. My best friend Miranda comes in and tells me it’s her and Max’s third anniversary (in reality, they’ve been together 18 months). I go into the next room with her, past walk-in fridges like in a restaurant. There are two bunk beds. Miranda says I need to teach her to dance; I laugh and say, “Oh you saw that? We weren’t doing anything special.” My brother is asleep on a dog bed with our family dog. We all lay down, even though the sun is up. Miranda wakes me up a short while later and says there’s something I should see. We go down a hall and turn a corner. There are built-in shelves, waist high. On each shelf, a raccoon or a skunk is asleep. Miranda goes back to the room. I am overcome with how cute these skunks are, and I take a picture. It’s too dark in the hall so I turn on my flash. This wakes up on skunk, which scares me. There’s an emergency exit there, so I figure I’ll make amends by letting it outside. It’s then that I see a floor-level window has been smashed out, and that’s how the animals have been getting in and out. My gesture is lost on the skunk. I retreat back down the hall, the skunk slowly following me. I’m scared. Everyone is asleep when I get back. I climb into my top bunk, thinking the skunk can’t reach me there. But when the skunk gets in the room, it starts climbing the ladder. I scream and run. The skunk keeps following me, slowly but surely. I run down another hall, toward the guest bedroom I know is there. I run into the room and slam the door and lock it. It’s the guest bedroom from the home my parents no longer live in. I lay down on top of the comforter, exhausted. Soon, I hear scratching at the door. I look over and see a black paw slide under the door, reaching for me. It’s bleeding and groping around desperately. I’m scared but know I’m safe. I drift to sleep and wake up to a white cat on my stomach. It says, “I did you a favor and opened the door for some air.” My blood runs cold, and I start awake.


(18/3/2020)