Malik dreamed that a tiger was chasing him. He had dreamed the sprint through his neighborhood with the tiger closing in since he was a kid. In the first part of the dream, he watched himself run, cheeks flapping, arms pumping, like it was a movie of someone else. When he tore past the liquor store, he was suddenly back in his body, the tiger's breath puffing hot on his calves. No one was around in this dream, no one leaning against the storefront, no one at the bus stop, no one playing ball in the park. He ran toward the water tower at the end of the street because a vague memory told him it was how he had escaped before. He slid under the bent-up fence and kicked up grass as he dove for the leg of the tower. At this point, when he knew the tiger was just about to pounce, he usually woke up, his heart ballistic against his ribs. This time, though, the tiger had him by the leg, tugging as Malik clung to the flaking paint. He stared up the tower to the sky, praying for mercy, and he thought he heard the animal speak to him. He opened his eyes and saw the whiteness of his apartment ceiling. "Hey, Frenchy!"