Another continuation of the pieces from the past few days. If you missed it, yesterday’s portion is located here:
I’ve already made sure that my front door is locked, but my hand hesitates as I close my bedroom door. Shaking my head at my own foolishness, I go ahead and lock it. I’m sure the flimsy lock on my bedroom door won’t stop anybody – hell, I could probably pick it, given a hairpin and a few minutes, but it makes me feel a little better as I tuck myself under the covers and try to fall asleep, assisted, more than a little bit, by those friendly blue pills.
There’s a certain feeling that you get, even in the middle of a fever dream, when your mother sits down on the bed beside you. Her hands might not actually reduce your fever or relieve your cough, but there’s still a comfort that comes when she lays cool fingers against your forehead.
I feel my forehead burning up in my dream, but there’s still a relief. I don’t see her face but I feel her, a slight weight pressing the mattress down beside me, fingers stroking my hair away from my heated face, tucking it gently behind my ear.
Until I open my eyes and realize that it isn’t a dream.
The weight depressing the bed beside me isn’t my mother and the hand isn’t stroking hair away from my face.
That hand is planted solidly across my mouth, although I’m so terrified, I couldn’t scream if I wanted to.
The features on the black figure’s face are indistinguishable in the darkness of my bedroom, but even seated, it towers over me.
“Did calling the police make you feel better?”
I can’t see the face, but I can hear the smile in his voice.
The voice is pitched slightly above a whisper, gravelly and androgynous… Not that it matters if it’s a man or a woman. Either could kill me with equal ease in this prone position.
Gender equality becomes less of my concern as the person reaches their other hand towards my throat. This is when my lungs seem to activate of their own accord – out of self-preservation, I suppose – I started kicking and squealing with all my might, shoving as hard as I can. I’d bite the hand covering my mouth if I could.
But none of it does any good. The figure simply leans back, pressing me to the bed with his body weight, hand pressing against my nose and mouth until I start grow lightheaded from lack of air.
With almost casual ease, he reaches a hand toward my neck and I feel a sharp, digging pull and a painful, pinching snap as the clasp of my necklace breaks.
The pressure on my nose and mouth hasn’t eased and the world is growing dim around the edges. In the near-darkness, I see the sparkle of my odd little charm dangling against the black palm of a glove. And then the darkness curls in around me.
My brain gasps for air and I can’t see anything at all, falling into a space far blacker than the night around me.