She heard barking in the distance, but the ants in her head rose their cries in a crescendo until they clouded her mind and marched into her eyes. She saw nothing but tiny feet- blurred lines scuttling across the horizon against colours of twilight. Their urgency echoed in the walls; they moved quickly, spreading through her body like a fever. A nagging thought surfaced amidst the noise like the ebb and flow of the foamy sea cradling the sandy surface of her mind, the shape of an idea just slightly out of grasp. She ought to get closer to see it clearly, but she was so tired. So very tired.
Charlie didn’t know what to make of the figure in front of him. He sniffed at it, eager to categorise the smells the only way he knew how– things he loved to eat, and things he might consider eating if he were desperate enough. This one smelt like something in-between, like it couldn’t decide whether it appealed to his olfactory senses or not. It looked human, yet it didn’t act like one. Humans were supposed to feed and pamper him, and were there to provide Crazy Time, when he carried on his lifelong barrage against the kitchen door for daring to squeak in protest every time it opened (time had proven his side the champion, though he wasn’t sure victory would forever remain in his favour). This one was did nothing. Not even when he barked at it. Curious, he circled the figure, mind churning at the possibilities of what it might entail, on whether it was an omen to foretell his fall against his next battle with the kitchen door.
She felt a rush of air enter her lungs. Words. She was looking at words. She didn’t know what the symbols were, but they formed a string of resonation with her being. The noise in her head roared deafeningly as their meanings sought to fill every pore of her body, before escaping with each breath she exhaled. She reached out to retrieve them, feeling a pang of loss as one by one they disappeared into nothingness. But, she realised, she was still alive.
And then she woke up.
The dog looked at her in askance- Churros, she thought was the name, even though she couldn’t fathom why anyone would name their dog that. She patted it absently and went to fetch a glass of water.
The kitchen door leaned heavily on its hinges as it opened.