Overcast conditions have robbed me of my starry night sky. Instead, every field is full of fireflies. The stars have come down to visit me tonight.

Down by the river a frog chirps. The night is warm and humid. I breathe deeply and inhale the summer scent.

A constellation of fireflies orbits my body. Their lights flash blue-white in a private zodiac of warning.

The sky to the east pulses as lightning splits the air into fractions. The storm upriver, too far away to hear.

A firefly has settled on my thigh. Its tiny bulb flashes up at me. Another one lands on my cheek. I brush it away.

The bug hovers in front of my face, winks twice and flies straight into my mouth. I choke and swallow.

The firefly lodges in my stomach. Within seconds, I can feel luminescence seep like a sickness out of my pores. I fall on my knees.

I consider using the light to send a distress signal. But there is no one to receive it. I collapse and find myself lying on my back on the grass, my mouth opening and closing.

I look up into the darkness and see glowing streaks. The fireflies trace blurred pathways high above me.

They flicker off and on like ideas, neurons in a bad brain.

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