I dreamed of kicking bears in their blood-stained teeth as they chased me up to the top of tall trees.
And I dreamed of fighting children armed with aluminum bats and covering their visages with riot gear masks.
Then I dreamed I saw a gargantuan arm in the distance and I knew I was no longer dreaming.
I walked towards the giant appendage and saw another arm waving to me from afar.
I knew I wasn’t imagining things.
Then I blinked and saw arms stretching from treetop to treetop.
I saw hands grasping at me and yelling words in a signed language.
I witnessed arms springing forth from my arms and I knew that they couldn’t be from any another arms but mine.
I knew the new arms were attached to my old arms, my own weak and weary arms.
I wanted to shake my own hands, pat myself upon my own back, climb up the trees like a monkey spider, but as I tried to leave the ground I felt something pull against my leg and I toppled.
With a great effort I picked myself up and looked down to see arms had sprouted from my legs and were carrying me over the edge of a ragged cliff.
I knew that I was dying then, dying in my own arms.
The arms propelling me over the cliff were the arms that I never knew I had and that I had recovered in my dreaming.
Yet I knew I wasn’t in my dreaming.
I knew that I was falling.
I could feel all my arms flailing, hopelessly treading air.
I felt my new arms break and splinter from my body as I hit the ground below.
There were so many arms upon the dirt that I grabbed one and lifted it up to my eyes.
In the web of its hand, between thumb and forefingers were bloody teeth and a dark, hungry mouth, like a bear’s.
I thought about kicking the arm in its bloody teeth, but felt that wouldn’t help, so I thought instead to hold tight as the arm lifted me in the air like a bundle of helium balloons.
The world turned again and I looked toward the sky.
In the passing clouds, I saw my mother’s face.
She had fangs and a smile and around her head danced cherubs dressed in riot gear.
“I tried to tell you about dreams,” cloud-mother said.
“Yes,” I said. “Sometimes I remember.”
“And sometimes,” she sighed, “sometimes you forget.