My instinct was to run. I wasn't sure whether the blood was from my own forehead or from someone else. Neither possibility was something I wanted to contemplate. I knew that I had slept very soundly, much more so than usual and I had no recall of injuring myself. I ran my fingertips across my brow. It was smooth, oily with the heat. I could feel the triangular dent from when I had fallen off the garden swing when I was four. When I raised my eyebrows, I could feel the creases in the shape of a bird in flight and at that moment, I wished that I could fly. I could feel no discomfort; no bruising or rawness. My skin was intact.
Reluctantly, and with the delicate silence of a slow-motioned picture, I cast my eyes back to the scene of my slumber. The pillow was blotted with blood. It was fresh. I took a deep breath. The muscles working my eyes may as well have been having to raise an elephant off the ground as I steeled myself for a glimpse of the origin of the blood. I decided to do it gradually; first locking on the base of the trunk, my vision mentally climbing over the gnarled bark and severed branches on the way up.