I shouldn’t have wandered so far from the dig site. I knew the sands were unforgiving and that I could easily become one of the many lost to them. There are precautionary tales that are told at these sites to warn you of the dangers. I knew better, but I could have sworn I saw something or someone.
I found a bench nearby and sat down, letting the air waft over me. We were a distance from the ocean, but I could almost feel the Atlantic calling to me. It was both confusing and warming. Like a lover I had never known, beckoning me home.
Once my muscles loosened up, I leaned back and closed my eyes, letting the water lift my legs and carry me around. With my head half-submerged, all I could hear was my own breathing and the gentle trickle of water bouncing every surface around. I loved floating like this. It made me feel like I was part of the water. Like seafoam on a gentle wave. Seafoam!
I dive over the counter to escape whatever these things are. My medication must be failing. The prescription amount must not be right. I am having another break from reality. I land on my face as the room begins to fill with more and more of these phantoms. All of them yell things at me, their voices overlapping. I look under the counter to find a gaunt-faced boy staring at me.
There was no order, no balance to what was happening. It was chaotic and wrong…unbalanced.
I glanced back at Nakia, and she looked dipped in gold, with wings sprouting behind her in front of an office building of reflecting glass. She was majestic, and for a moment, I didn’t hate or envy her. I adored her, my sister.
I had a plan to get out of this hell. It was ripped from my grasp, sending me into helplessness when my locker was discovered. I slipped into the locker room as I had done so many times before and opened my corner locker. I gasped in horror to find it empty.
I should be terrified that the man will use the gun that is currently shoved in my back to kill me. I’m not. A still calmness flows over me and time seems to stand still. I don’t know how, but I know exactly what to do.
I settled into the plush chair as Bromley poured me a glass of wine. Moonlight glinted off the silverware, grabbing my attention. I looked up to see a clear sky with a full moon. The view tugged at my heartstrings. I felt a strange pull towards it, almost as if I was falling in love with the moon!
“Look, I’ve been your doctor for a good number of years, and I know it wasn’t easy finding your twin brother’s body. The way that Henry took his own life was such a shame. I am really sorry, Tom, but you have got to stay on your meds. Any problems you call me day or night, understand?”
I watched as I stepped away from her, looking out amongst the crowd. It was there I saw the most breathtaking woman across the ballroom. She had jet black hair and the warmest brown eyes. She looked troubled, sad even. I instantly felt a pang in my chest. I wanted to go to her, console her, but my feet wouldn’t move.
He knew about my trust issues. He knew the pain, and he knew all about the trauma of before. He had my trust. He had shown me another way, a way to unleash the woman in me. I felt him shift on top of me, and my thoughts were back in the moment.
Wait. Two hands, with five fingers each. Two arms… Two legs and two feet? The sheet covering my lower limbs raised and bumped unevenly, showing the lack of symmetry beneath my torso. I threw the covers back, wanting to know what was wrong with my leg.
I hold it in my mind again that image of that woman, representing the downfall of the patriarchy, the very symbol in my mind of the status quo coming crashing down. Long black hair falling down her back, and a serpent around her shoulders as she laughs. The Ruin.
The past few days, I had struggled to hit my daily word count. The story seemed elusive, unwilling to come to life. But today, for some reason, I didn’t seem to have that problem. My fingers flew across the keyboard as the battle raged on the screen. Swords clashed, blood spilled, men died. When I finally took a break, I noticed it was late afternoon.
That grabbed his attention like a hook. And like a proper catch, he was pulled into my orbit. He blinked. “Dammit, devil woman. No.” He shook himself out of it, giving one of my breasts a squeeze and kissing my forehead before rushing toward the door.