Spirals to Nowhere

Darkness is her friend. Isolation is her enemy. Water drips with the methodic ticking of a metronome, the steady rhythm echoing in her ears. She tries to scream, but the sounds are gone. They hide in her throat, slipping long flesh-caked claws into the ridges of her voice box.

Shifting waves – from an imaginary wind – reflect escape. The window to home. She peers down into murky shadows, sees herself in bed.

The lake holds her back. Drowning is a family curse.

She skirts the edges of the lake, her toes digging into clammy, dead sand. A wriggling blob slips across her toes. Silent creatures move on. She paces, her flighty footsteps switching from nimble to dense. The patterns on the sand imply a multitude of life. There is no life here. Just a miasma of death.

I can’t. I can’t. Her mind is racing. Her legs are pacing. There’s no end to the madness.

A rustle in the trees, soft and haunting. Keys rattle in the distance. A woosh of wind. A thud. She crashes into liquid death.

Jangling keys buzz in her ears. “Didn’t you sleep well, dear?”

She looks to the left. Instead of her mother, she sees the creature from the lake.


Copyright © 2015 by Emily Clayton
Originally appeared on Flash!Friday:

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