As I slept, a tiny chiton crawled into my ear and told me her secrets and desires. She had been watching for months as I searched her tide pools, collecting bones of lost loved ones, and had taken a liking to me. She felt safe around my body and wanted me to take her and family across our golden state to the desert so they could all die together in the baked and honest earth. For to die is to live. She wanted to feel the sun slowly dry her flesh into stiff rubber and invite hawks and ravens to eat her meat. After their communal death I was to paint the family’s bones so they can live together, forever, in their purest form. I found her proposition beautiful and as a message from the Painting Gods. And if I’ve learned anything from my short time on earth, it is that you never question the Painting Gods.