The thunder strikes. I smile as the sweet explosion lights my taste buds on fire. The soft pattering of rain grows stronger, pricking my skin like little needles.

I see a face in the corner of my eye. I turn around to see who has come to greet me. Nobody's there. I see him again for a fraction of a second, waving, smiling. I turn again and he evades my sight. I learn to live with my new friend, watching me always. The face in the wall.

My head begins to hurt; the light is far too loud. My ears bleed profusely from the sound, turning my sheets a reeking, putrid scent of red. Writhing on my bed, I try to lift the red and put it somewhere, anywhere else. When I touch it, the sour taste in my mouth is almost too much to bear. I go ahead anyways, it will all be over soon. I put my hands in. It is deeper than expected. I smell the face in the wall laughing at me. He breathes down my neck to distract me. As I scoop out the blood with my bare fleshy hands, the skin wears away, revealing muscle and bone. The tickling sensation sounds more complex than a symphony of one thousand Mozarts. I laugh hysterically as my skin erodes. The pain smells like flowers on a rainy day. I scoop and scoop. When I take out one scoop two more replace it. Soon, my room is filled with blood. The red odor is no longer nauseating. I sink back down to the floor. I inhale deeply, my blood fills my lungs. I can see clearly now.

The face in the wall is no longer afraid of me. He is a clown. Garishly clad in multicolored makeup, the sight of him is so loud I fall to my knees, clutching my ears. Then I see them. The face shows me his hands, they rise from the ceiling and drop from the ground. As they clutch my legs their bone-crushing grip takes the form of tiny stars dropping from the ground to the ceiling. I reach out to grab one, but fail to realize their scent is much too dull. The dull odor slices my fingers to ribbons, causing me to giggle uncontrollably. The hands are pulling my body parts in opposite directions and the clown's mouth opens wide, revealing sharp teeth that taste like a tropical fruit of some kind. I am now a genius.

The teeth draw me slowly toward the mouth. Death is near. I am now grinning widely. Suddenly, I am so happy that I begin to tear up and fear wells up inside me. The fear feels like a warm embrace by Mother. I begin to cry black tears. The tears become shadowy clouds that taste like the spicy aroma of snow. The cold black cloud enters my lungs, burning them like a blizzard in the summer. I choke and breathe deeply, I hear the shadows circling my torso. I salivate at the burst of flavor as they merge with the clown in the wall's mouth and pull me toward its fangs. I am God. I am in control of all, as the hands pull me apart, against my will. As my body separates, my skeleton melts and drips up, toward the floor. It is molten metal. My skeleton forms sharp shards that are jagged. When touched, they sound like numbness. My organs, which have left my body long ago are now bouncing in every which direction, bombarding my remains before splattering, reconstituting themselves, and continuing in their shrill, piercing tone. Very slowly, the clown's jaws snap shut. The speed is so delicious it is unbearable. I start to scream softly as green as possible, but it is too late. The blackness surrounds me. I vomit.

I reach into my pocket. I feel around a little. It's not there anymore. That means I probably took it. I look to her and say, "Yeah, it's no fun to take a trip alone."

My eyes twinkle and she hold my hand. We both laugh and walk outside.

"Are you alright?" she asks.

"Perfectly fine," I reply, "Except I'd kill for some fries and a burger right about now."

"Yeah," she says, "I just asked because we were talking and you seemed a little out of it."

"Maybe we're all always out of it a little and I was just coming back to reality for a little while," I tell her.

"Yeah, maybe you're right."