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Nothing about the dream is whimsical or gentle; certainly nothing about it is what one would call dreamy. Roul flickers from place to place, architectures from childhood with celebrities and dead uncles imposed on them.

It’s not a lucid dream, but it goes on for so long that at length Raoul assembles his moments of self-awareness into a slow and turbid stream of thought.

He remembers the diagnosis, the treatments. He remembers his lungs failing.

So this is the afterlife: a dream from which there is no waking. No gentleness, no whimsy, no sulfur, no choir.

Raoul hopes to forget.