Liluye was peacefully meditating, as usual, when she had a vision:
She was smaller, fluffy, and walked on four legs. She was alone in colorless woods; tree trunks were gray and their leaves parchment. There were two deep chasms set into an old tree stump in front of her, each only as big around as a sword’s hilt. The druid could tell that these holes were deeper than the ocean.
tiny electrical flames inside hollow sockets
the jack-o’-lantern’s wicked gaze.
Something sparkled inside the sockets, tin bits in a ‘coon trap. Liluye wanted to know what it was.
Why not? She was curious. Shrewdly she examined the stump for signs of danger; nothing. It was just a plain old dead stump. In a bizarrely human gesture, the blonde raccoon shrugged flippantly.
She reached her little paws down into each hole there to grab the sparkling lights inside.
PULSING LIKE DEAD RIVERS ON THE
OUTSIDE OF A AT MAGGOT
SO HOT ITS PIGMENT HAS BEN LOST
TO SICK WHITENESS POURS OUT OF THE
IP IN THE UNDERBELLY
OF A STAG
The searing hot bits of metal that her tiny fists clasped burned her. Liluye tried to jerk her paws out of the holes. But she was stuck! There was no escape. Her hands were melting.
Liluye blinked awake from her trance, silent and breathing heavily.