Frankie walked through the forest and had never seen anything to beautiful. There was a slight mist that rose slowly off the ground and as the sun rose with it the mist disappeared. The trees were alive with colorful birds; vibrant blue jays flew through the trees calling to one another and cardinals the color of fresh blood flitted from branch to branch tittering. The songs of birds unseen became louder and louder, more shrill, and then the sound became so great that Frankie had to cover her ears from it.
Frankie heard a twig snap and knew there was a bear behind her. She didn’t look back but started walking faster. The ground was uneven and Frankie tripped and nearly fell. She looked back and the bear was close, so close she could hear it breath. Frankie ran and the sound of the bear’s breath was a huge sound, not as loud as the screaming of the birds but a vast sound, as if the trees echoed it, as if the ground heaved up from it and the sky rained down with the sheer volume of the sound of the bear’s life. Frankie stumbled again and the bear was so close now Frankie could feel the wind as it swiped at her, trying to knock her down, and finally, Frankie fell hard, face first onto the ground. She felt her lips split open and the bear took one of her feet into its mouth. She kicked it away and got up to ran but fell again and gain the bear tried to bit one of her feet, and again she kicked it away. It was toying with her. The fear now was electric as she realized the bear was not trying to kill her but to wear her out and to tire her. Frankie ran, energized by fear, but there was another bear, and then another, and another, and another. There were dozens of bears, then hundreds, and then as Frankie ran she looked back and the forest was emptying out ever bear that had ever lived and they were chasing her and Frankie fell again, and this time she felt the stab of pain in her leg as one of the bears bit down to the bone.
Frankie screamed, clawed, hammered the bear with her fists and kicked at it, but it tore the flesh from her bones. The bear’s mouth was huge, so huge that when it bit down on her stomach she felt her organs compress, felt her entire body being squeezed and with one motion the bear tore her open and her intestines spilled out, streaming hot and bloody. The other bears came in and fed on her, stripped the meat from her bones, fighting one another to get to her and Frankie fought them, screamed, and screamed, but the bears feasted.
Frankie crawled now, no muscles on her legs, and her right arm was nearly severed. The bears milled around her as if she no longer matter, as if there was no enough left of her to interest them. There was a lake between the trees and they allowed her to crawl toward it. Hours passed and finally she could see the water and there was the floating platform that was in Red Sucker Lake, and there was their equipment there and it looked as if the band had just taken a break Frankie tried to stand, tried to reach the water, and when she finally stood up she fell forward into the water and it felt like acid in her wounds. She flailed at the water, tried to swim, dog paddled and almost drowned but made it to the platform at last. Frankie pulled herself onto the platform and looked up at the clear night sky; the sun was gone. The Milky Way exploded over the water and Frankie struggled to her feet again, pain dripping from her body like water.
“I would kill everyone to keep you alone,” she sang and her voice thundered around the water and it was as big as the night, “I would burn everything to call you my home, I would bury you alive to see your eyes close, I would do anything to keep you alone.”
Frankie woke up screaming.