“You are so full of shit, Mona.”

Ramona had decided to tell her brother about her dream. It, perhaps, wasn’t the best idea she’d ever had.

“Oh, just fuck off.”

They were sitting in an old bus walking distance from their home. It had been used for conversations for years.

“Well – where do you want me to start?” He counted off statements on his fingers. “It was a dream. No, I don’t think you’re some super-powered time-traveller sending messages back for you to hear, now. You? With pink hair? Oh, and did I mention? It was a dream.”

It would be the last time it would be used that way. The glowered at each other.

“Why is it so hard for you to be nice? I don’t know what it’s meant to mean! That’s why I talked to you about it.”

“It’s meant to mean that. You. Were. Dreaming.”

There was more glowering.

“Well – suppose it was a lucid dream?”

Steven thought about that. It was a possibility except…

“You weren’t in control.”

“What?”

“You said yourself this ‘other Ramona,’” he made air quotes. Ramona didn’t think she could hate him more at this point. “She lead the conversation. She was telling you things.”

“But things I asked about!” Ramona protested.

“Things you think you asked about. It was a dream, Mona. How can you be sure about anything?”

Ramona sighed. “Ok. Maybe. Maybe I was just dreaming. But what about that stuff I know nothing about? What about the Tup..the tul.. The spirit things.”

Steven growled. “They’re called Tulpas! And you could have learned about them anywhere.”

“How? We didn’t know what they were properly called until you looked them up.” She nodded at his phone.

Steven’s mouth opened. Closed. Opened again.

He looked confused and Ramona, sensing a small victory, pressed him. “Hmm. Tell me that. How did I know that?”

“I…I don’t know.”

“But if the option is you remembered it from somewhere, or you overheard someone talk about it, of you looked it up, and forgot it OR you told yourself about it from the future, you know where I’m going to be looking.”

“Why is it so hard for you to believe me?”

“Oh – I believe you. I believe you had a dream, that was weird. And that’s it.”

Ramona was crestfallen. She had no idea who to talk to about her dream now. Or if she even wanted to talk to someone about it. Maybe it was just a dream.

“Just…” There was resignation in Ramona’s voice. “Just get lost, Steven. Leave me alone.”

Steven got up. “Sorry, sis. It’s just-”

“Just go.”

Ramona sat, not even thinking, for a long time.

This, amongst other ways, is how ideas die.

In silence.

***

Today’s photo was supplied by Lisa

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