Tonight, while I am sleeping, I will scare myself to death–appearing ghostlike from the wormhole in the foyer–slipping inside my bedroom and trading two sticks of Juicy Fruit and a tercet drawn in blue for a crisp brick of Nazi gold, date-stamped 1981.

I am in hell on the other side of time.  I am a machine, government-built and governed enslaved, flesh-stamped with the patent of my birth.  My wife is a dishwasher in a distant camp–the only real parallel between my worlds.  Here, I am the cure–of what, they never disclose–and I have six physicals a day to ensure my reliability.  My testicles have been fondled more by strange white men than by my own pudgy hands.

I haven’t caught me yet, though the sudden shopping spree on nanny-cam teddy bears suggests I’m close.  It could also be the paranoia of being a slave, nervous tics more noticeable than I’ve ever seen–the twitching of full-on madness–ready to discover the cure of the discontent in one bolt of lightning.

Tonight, while I am sleeping, I will scare myself to death–like an angel descending from the stucco–merciful and merciless–and only for one man, myself.

I only want the gold.