Sally was awakened by Rene shouting. Frogs were congregating on the window seat. A dream? But Rene’s grip was pulling her out of bed. A giant frog hurtled toward them. She tried to push it away; her hand sank into hot gummy skin. The flesh on her hand melting, she realized this was no dream.
The fiend stands in the corner. Eyes glittering, it can’t be mistaken for an amalgamation of shadows. It comes every night, robbing her sleep, her good dreams, her peace in the daytime hours. She opens her mouth to banish it, but nothing passes her lips. It makes no move. Yet. The creature stares.
“Cut your wrists,” the demon says. “You’re better off dead.” It sounds plausible. He thinks of the loneliness, of how he hates himself, how he won’t be missed. The pain rises over him like an ocean, swallowing him whole. The blood flows; he realizes his mistake as the demon leaves him. But it’s too late.
She wakes to wet dripping on her forehead. Turning on the lamp she sees the brown stain on the ceiling. Though she had gone to bed alone, she feels a stirring next to her on the bed. Her neck cranes. As her eyes meet cold black orbs, she hears her daughter’s screams down the hall.
Elsa paused for a moment to study the items in her suitcase before she spread them out on the bed. A book she had read on the plane, a plastic Walgreens bag, her iPod and accompanying iHome, her wallet (she had tossed her ID out the window of the taxi), the contents of her bankContinue reading “Transient (short story)”