I’ve been having the same dream every night since I was ten years old. Like all dreams, it drifted off the longer I was awake, but each night when it started again I was struck with intense deja vu as I found myself in the same world. By the time I was fifteen, I started a journal to scribble down my memories and impressions of the dream in the morning, before they faded away. In this manner I can recollect most the details even when I’m wide awake. I always start out in a flat, open desert with a dull orange sun lighting it up. Surrounding me are thousands and thousands of human skeletons, all intact. They are half-submerged in the crusty sand; the only patch of ground that isn’t occupied by bones is where I’m standing. The skeletons are colored- some are deep blue, others are dark red, others are the shiniest yellow or the lushest green. Each one is monochrome and evenly shaded. The effect is like a grisly kaleidoscope, a panorama of festive colors clashing and blending as far as the eye can see. Some have dozens too many ribs, or not enough eyeholes in the skull, or elongated thigh bones. Some instinct tells me the bones hidden under the sand are even more mutated. In the dream, as I stand and stare at the ocean of colorful bones, I become aware of a presence, something moving among the still and macabre crowd. It closes in towards me, flitting from pile to pile, slinking from spine to spine. Some instinct breaks me out in a freezing sweat as the thing gets closer. I can never see it properly; it may be shaped like a man, though skinnier and sharper somehow. He has natural camouflage, for he himself is every color of the rainbow and more besides. Surrounded by the vibrantly colored skeletons, he disappears when not in motion. His name becomes known to me by dream-logic as he prowls closer. The Rainbow Man is coming for me. I am to be the newest addition to his desert of bones. The dream ends the same way every time, with the Rainbow Man darting in to seize my skin and tear it off; the last thing I see before I wake up are my own bones. Sometimes they’re coral pink, sometimes they’re royal purple... ————————————— I’m thirty five now. Right at that age where you stop saying “my left knee and my right knee” and start saying “my good knee and my bad knee”. The patient room is cold and smells like chemicals. I hate sitting here, shivering nervously, picturing a wide open desert under an orange sun in my head. Listening in as the doctors argue in furious whispers outside the door about how the tests are impossible, that the machine must be broken, that bones couldn’t be shaped like that... I don’t think my bones are white anymore.