8.

“You have wakened not out of sleep, but into a prior dream, and that dream lies within another, and so on, to infinity, which is the number of grains of sand. The path that you are to take is endless, and you will die before you have truly awakened.”― Jorge Luis Borges

With no brain, fade away. Gone. She stepped in and watched herself go, naked and rippling into the thousand machinations; the dawn light. A perfect fractal. A perfect golden ratio, nautilus mathematics, that’s how natural her death and re-birth was.  She watched from the other side and bore testament to her own flowering. She slipped into the mirror, black cracks and all, and went. It was a rather quiet event.  No one saw it happen.  And she knew no one would believe her. So she told no one. Real as the blood stains on the carpet, real as the alarm clock, and real as the Old Japanese Fisherman Dragging Net painting her grandmother gave her that hung in her living room to this day.

At first, maybe to subdue the fear, it was likened to the entrance of a fancy hotel: big open rooms with Victorian décor and mood lighting that makes you feel like you deserve it. It was there to sex you up; it was there to make you feel pleasured, make it worth your while.  Amidst it all, there was the luxury of the infamous hippopotamus mouth, letting you saunter by, stepping on his molars, excruciatingly holding his jaw open for you. She tasted them all equally and kept walking.

And then she was born.

The pool was really a dark and tiny little thing, with brown and yellow churning waters that kept splashing her, making her uncomfortable. No moon sky.

Time to go, they said. Surely there was a way out.  Into the dark, warm and stale water that was like hurricane seas christened red from mud that has slid from mountains miles away. It all mixed together in sharky momentum.

The fan was circulating and she could see blind. And she could feel in her heart and then things sped up. Shirley gasped, she grabbed the sides of the pool but they were slipping away from her, too slippery with blood to catch. The womb, inside the womb she was being placed and being shoved down into this unpeaceful place. She felt uncomfortable. She felt unsatisfactory to go down there. Roses danced and fell in and rotted at supersonic speed. She was delirious. She was fainting and falling into the world. Stars danced cha cha as the sun rose and out popped little pink and forlorn Shirley Mercy Pastel.  The sky was dark and brilliant in its light and all was surrounded by swirling, vibrant colors.