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I stumble through the front door at 8 a.m., coughing harshly and fast approaching delirium.

It’s dim, silver-lined by a forgotten sun rising. Flu medicine goes down like candy, and I welcome the reprieve. I leave behind a rising hot flash and escape into the warping, technicolor landscape of a fever dream.

It’s a fantastical, terrible world. Nuclear fallout renders the world a mass of contaminated colors; vivid orange and green wash over desert sands, a melting kaleidoscope. A radio stutters, static a ghost, flickering deep red as if the world will cut out at any moment.

Two people rise, brought together, plagued by a past that oozes red, pooling at their feet, tracing a losing warpath for miles. Paving the road ahead in bloody circles, trapped in a daytripping fishbowl. Kept sane by each other. Choosing forever forward, armed with a smile. They are desert lightning, clean rain, steel. For all their circling red, they found each other. Peace.

The cold sweat might be fever, might be the loneliness. A dream.

I check for notifications in strangled sunlight, but I am alone.

Strange, I think. I don’t usually dream. Maybe I just have to be delirious.

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