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Charlene

The whale wears a mask tied behind its dorsal hump with string.  When it speaks, the mouth’s mask moves; Charlene can see its jaw does not.

“Your dreams are dangerous,” it’s saying.

“Because,” says Charlene, “I want to change the world?”

“Because they are metastasizing.”

“That word is for cancer.” Charlene feels a certain pride for distinguishing contexts, in a dream.  Wait, this is a dream?

“Sometimes things go wrong here.  Sometimes they multiply.”  It kicks its tail nervously.  “I have to leave.  Please tell the doctor.  She’ll believe you if–”

Charlene wakes, bladder taut.  Urgency competes with memory, and wins.

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