Saturday, March 16, 2013

"Count the Faces in the Dark"

You lay at night, and you stare into the darkness around your bed. And, for once, you see their faces.

One, your mother. She was smiling at you from up on high, but now she’s grinning widely at you and you don’t know what to do.

Two, your best friend, gone since childhood. You heard he died, but couldn't look at the body. In hindsight, the cuts are minor.

Three, your college sweetheart. You never could find her. You didn't even know she’d died. Maybe she didn't.

Four, your wife. You turn to check that she's still next to you, but you’re not in your bed any more. Your bed is against the far wall, and it lies empty. There isn't a single crease on the sheets.

Fifth, your boyhood hero, the plastic face of a nameless action figure which you tried to forget in the shame of teenagerdom. It stares at you with perverse, static glee, and you notice that the walls are wrong.

Sixth, a childhood crush. You don’t even remember her name. She’s older now, but equally appealing. You stagger away from her and find the distance to the door is growing.

Seventh, your own. You stare at your own terror and confusion, all wreathed in darkness, and you feel long fingers, ones which aren't wholly there, reach through your skin and tug at your insides.

As you come apart, the shadows look on with neutral expressions.

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