It's sunny outside, you notice. You look out the window and see a tree, the naked branches swaying gently in the wind. A crow lands on a branch with a rustle. (click:"crow")[
The crow is carrying something shiny]
The skin on your arms starts to melt. You don't feel any pain.
(click:"shiny")[The crow drops the [[shiny object|shiny]] and flies away with a cry.]
You look more closely at the object through the window. It's a (click:"sphere")[small white ]sphere(click:"white")[, and it reflects light oddly, like it is covered in oil].
Your arms and hands no longer have skin. Your muscles start to melt as well.
(click:"oil")[You can't see any more detail unless you get [[closer|closer]]]
You go outside. The air is chilly; you can tell because you see the haze of your breath. You search the ground for the sphere. (click:"search")[ You spot it in the grass.](click:"spot")[
It's a pearl.
Your hands drip liquid flesh. You can see your bones peeking through the curtains of muscle.]
(click:"hands")[[[You pick up the pearl|pearl]]]
You examine the pearl closely. It's about the size of a marble, larger than any pearl you've seen on a necklace or earring. (click:"necklace")[
Your mother had a pearl necklace. You were fascinated with it as a child. You would hold it, feel the weight and texture. You would put it on your neck, feel its coolness against your skin. You even put part of it in your mouth once, though she yelled at you after.
You asked your mother where pearls came from. She told you about divers prying open clams to discover treasure. She told you that every pearl started with a seed. The seed could be a piece of sand, a small rock, even a bit of shell. Anything could be a pearl with enough luck and patience.
(click:"skin")[Your hands are just bone. Your arms are falling apart too. Your shoulders have a liquid sheen on them. Soon it will move to your [[chest|chest]].]
After briefly wondering what a crow was doing with a pearl, you toss it back on the ground and go inside.
Later, you have a drink and read a book. The next day you can't remember what you read.