With its black velvet artist stripes, the orange-gold of the tiger was a proud sight despite the backdrop of its iron crate. Its golden eyes shone brightly with a longing for the wild that resonated with me.
I stop reading, frowning at the one name that is scratched out. Like they didn’t want her to be remembered. I scratch at the paper before it hits me. A flood of images pour into my mind all at once. A man with curly blonde hair. Twins. A young girl with blonde hair that looks a lot like the man. These images smash around my brain, blood dripping from my nose.
I let out a groan, pulling the pillow over my head, drowning out the birds from outside. The woman from my dreams with jet black hair was still haunting me. I needed to know who she was. There was something familiar about her, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. She could be just a figment of my imagination. People dreamt of strangers all the time.
I locked my gaze with his, and the hunger and need in his eyes so matched my own that it shoved me over the edge. I slid my hand from beneath his and placed it against his chest. Then, never breaking eye contact, I pushed him back onto the bed.
One by one, I laid the lilies at the eternal resting places of my friends and comrades in arms. I only spoke in my head, not yet comfortable with letting Kimmika hear what I had to say.
I’m sorry. I miss you all. We were supposed to save the world together. How the hell am I supposed to do this alone?
It’s the subconscious thoughts swirling around your brain that don’t really have a place in everyday conversation. You can’t just discuss your personal philosophies or how much you detest raisins so openly. You can’t even really plan for conversations like this. They just kind of pop up unexpectedly. I think that’s why she stops working on her story, because we have an opportunity to unleash our gooey underbellies, and they don’t often see the light of day.
“As I sit here, I feel lost at sea, unsure of my next move. Whatever that move will be, I can assure you that it will be based on my utmost respect for what the human race can be and the power of the truth. Thank you.”
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.
The water droplets fell free from my nose and chin, and I opened my eyes slowly to stare down at my reflection. I looked paler than usual. A black tear dripped from the corner of my eye. I blinked. Perhaps my eyes were blurry? I rubbed them, then continued to stare. But my reflection only worsened.
I have taken some other food as well, for it is not the done thing to simply have a large plate of bacon. It is better to have other food, even if it is to remain uneaten. Choosing only one foodstuff and consuming it to the exclusion of all else makes people uncomfortable. In my thousands of years among the mortals, I have mastered some small points such as this.
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.