To my horror, I’d lost her. On each floor, by the stairs, under the bed; she was missing. She, a tiny human baby in its larval form, without any defining features, without bones or muscle, smaller than my palm. I was taking care of my niece in this dream and set her down for a moment, and then either the wind or chance blew and carried her away, over the railing beside me. Frantically, I ran down the stairs — three sets of them — checking for her meticulously at each level, but there she wasn’t.

In time, she appeared from nowhere, a girl that had no insect-like qualities, a girl that looked everything like a beautiful young woman. And it was at this point, in this confusion, that I woke up uncertainly. My pillow still under my head, my love still by my side. My niece, still nowhere.