Sorry for such a late post, guys. Arlyn was on writing duty today, but ran into a couple of glitches with his account (which we are in the process of fixing). Rest assured you’ll get to see some of his work soon! For today, I’m covering, so please enjoy!
The door swung shut behind her with the force of the entire world, the single deadbolt lock sliding home was a lightning bolt tearing through her heart, igniting a roaring fear that echoed through her veins. She shivered, but only once. The chill in the nighttime air couldn’t begin to compare with the ice slowly freezing her from the inside out.
The road was abandoned, the night as quiet as nature gets at one o’clock in the morning. It was a deep silence punctuated only by the groaning of trees protesting some invisible nighttime breeze and the scurrying of unnamed creatures among the leafy brush. And it was black, the kind of darkness that makes everything seem so small and large at the same time, where she felt weightless and chained down, the breath stolen from her lungs but the sheer eternity of it all.
She shivered again, but not because of the cold. Her mind was spinning, grabbing at all the loose threads, thinking of everything and nothing in an overwhelming blur, her breaths coming in frosty pants as she wrapped her arms around herself, timid in the face of this new world. She noted dully that her shoe was untied, such a mundane thing to notice in the face of this catastrophe, but her mind latched on to it, desperate to find something familiar, some sense of normality in the strangeness around her.
All she knew was walking. For once in her young life, her mind was completely blank, shut into some unknown corner as it struggled to process what was happening to her, her mouth moving as she chanted some silent mantra under breath. She wasn’t even sure what she was saying. Numbly, placing one foot in front of another was all she knew. It was a slow walk, a haggard walk, the walk of a prisoner to the gallows, the feeling of death pressing upon her on all sides. But maybe that was just the darkness.
Look up, some still small voice within her whispered, cutting through the silence. She paused for a moment before glancing upward, her mouth falling open and her eyes sparkling. The sky, unlike anything she had ever seen before glittered with a thousand diamonds in raw, uncut beauty while blue and purple tinged the night sky to create a beautiful background, a soft velvet fit for a queen. In an instant, she was floating, flying, swimming among the soft darkness, dipping her fingers among the stars and dancing in their glow.
Take some, the voice murmured and she took a pinch of this beauty, tucking it away in her soul like one tucks away seashells from the sand laden beach. Light raked her eyes, as she flinched, the blackness returning. It pressed upon her again, consuming everything of beauty in its path as nameless monsters leered unseen, threatening to suffocate her, until she reached deep within herself, finding that little bit of diamond dust. The headlights illuminated her prone figure standing motionlessly in the center of the road, a harsh engine of a truck drowning out the silence.
“Get in.” The command was low, almost harsh as the world spun around her and the ground beneath her feet bucked and rolled like ocean waves. She wanted to shout, scream, anything to get the words past the blockage suddenly growing in her throat. She felt hot tears burn behind her eyes as she bit her lip, barely noticing the metallic tang of blood.
“No,” she said softly, her lungs constricted as that word escaped with a whisper of air.
“What did you say?”
“No,” she said again, this time, making sure she was heard. She could almost feel the words tumbling about in her throat, eagerly shoving their way in line to emerge. “You kicked me out,” she began, her voice low but rapidly growing in volume. “You kicked me out to face the world by myself and maybe I’ve decided that I like it out here.”
“What are you going to do?” the owner of the truck snarled, a mocking laugh emerging from the seat. “You have no money, no food. Walking all alone on the highway? You’ll be picked up for sure.” She trembled as the truth of his words hit her, her body resigning itself with a visible slump as the light of rebellion vanished from her eyes. Then came the whisper, so quiet, the barest puff of breath blowing on the dying spark inside her that spread to the stardust which exploded into a supernova of power. It flowed through her limbs like the warmth of seeing a long lost friend, clearing her throat, her heart, and her mind in one decisive blow. She straightened, her hair waving softly in the nighttime wind as she took on a look of confident otherworldliness.
“I’ll take my chances out here,” she spat, “than with the likes of you.” And with that, she was gone. The sky took her in, the stars swirling around her in grandiose display as the darkness enveloped her in a way that no longer seemed frightening, but instead, warm. The kind of peaceful sleep that she had longed for all her life. She slumbered there, among the stars, as they slowly winked out, giving way to the rising sun, as the earth was born anew.
“Girl found dead, police investigating cause,” declared the headlines in the newspaper, swirling around in the empty wind as the rain fell from a starless sky in endless, drenching sheets.