I took Chevy and Astrid to my parents’ house. I left for a while, and when I came back, my dad said "There’s been an accident. One of the kittens is dead."
"Which one?" I whispered.
I broke into a soundless, tearless scream, a silent sob full of devastation and anguish.
And there was Astrid, except she didn’t look like Astrid. She looked like their orange brother, who I shall now call the Grim.
I awoke, thinking this had been real. Then I reached out and found Chevy on the other pillow. I petted her and was relieved.
At the earliest moment I could remember in an epic utopia/nightmare, I was floating along in a cloud with some friends.
We were talking. It was pleasant. But it was time to land. I found myself shot out of the cloud, hurtling feet first toward the earth.
Apprehensive about landing too hard, I watched a speedometer that appeared at the right side of my vision, like in a video game.
I landed in a wooded area. Whereas it had been a bright, beautiful day in the cloud and while falling through the sky, now it was darkest night, and I was alone.
Something evil lurked nearby, I knew. I could not see it, but when looking up at the star-filled sky, I could monitor its location in the stars.
As it grew nearer to me, I fled to a cabin.
From the windows, and now it was dusk, I watched activity in another cabin across the way.
The cats appeared. Though afraid of opening the door, I did so to call them inside.
In came four cats – Chevy and Astrid, as small kittens, and two other cats. I knew one of these I had adopted before Chevy, but I could not remember its name, and I felt very guilty for that.
I continued to watch the other cabin, where I was certain unspeakable evil was about to take place.
Though Buffy Summers, as in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, was suddenly present, that other evil summoned her spirit to another plane.
She fell unconscious to the ground, while our friends (also suddenly present) and I watched events unfold as if projected on a screen in front of us.
His name was the Butcher, and he had always stalked Buffy and her family.
We saw how Buffy’s parents met – in a disco in the 70s. Though Buffy is white, they were inexplicably black. We saw the Butcher’s gang come for Buffy’s father – killing him in a disco – for her mother and finally, for Buffy herself in a supermarket.
The reason the Butcher sought Buffy, he showed us, was because he was looking for her face. When he saw her father’s face and then her mother’s face, he put pictures of a half of each together and it looked like Buffy’s face.
This odd picture hung over Buffy as the Butcher set to work. She was unconscious and only a head and shoulders attached to electrodes. Her eyes were sewn shut.
Buffy’s friends – the Scoobies – and I rallied together to try to save her.
Willow flew to the Butcher’s cabin while Cordelia showed the Butcher that she had power of attorney over Buffy and therefore was the only person authorized to make medical decisions regarding Buffy and her organs.
When the Scoobies finally arrived, the Butcher had removed most of Buffy’s parts and had them laying out on a towel.
The Butcher’s girlfriend entered, as did her lover. The Butcher ordered his monkeys to attack the cheating girlfriend. Xander stepped in to try to save her, but Willow pointed out that he needed to rescue Buffy, as the monkeys were also trying to eat her parts.
"Save her before nothing is left but fries!" Willow said.
The thought of monkeys eating Buffy’s innards – and the concept that some of her innards might be French fries – was finally the disgusting catalyst for awaking me.
I realized there never had been another cat, which is why I couldn’t remember its name, and I felt much better. I found Chevy and gave her a hug.