Saturday, May 18, 2013

Another excerpt from Goodbye Sunshine

Here is another excerpt from my short story, Goodbye Sunshine. The full version is here

I didn’t sleep, but I wasn’t awake either. I had no idea how much time had passed. Something crawled around inside the wall. I opened my eyes. I could make the electrical outlets in the darkness, but it was more like knowing they were there than actually seeing them.

The memory of the night before returned. In a moment of panic, I pushed against my neck, applying enough pressure to stop the bleeding. There was no pain. My skin felt moist from sweat, but the thick, congealed blood that should have been there was gone. I couldn’t even find the hole in my throat. I reached for the gash in my lip. It wasn’t even chapped.

I stirred from the bed. My heart pounded, threatening to burst forth.  I could feel the blood run through every artery in my body. I sat up slowly. Pain lanced every muscle, but the more I moved, the more the pain dissipated. The room was dark, but I knew where everything was. I couldn’t see the door, and yet I knew exactly where it was.

I heard nothing in the next room. Everything seemed brighter. Two of the young girls from the night before lay on the couch, wrapped in each other’s arms. They faced each other with their heads resting on a single cushion. Everyone else was gone.

I stepped toward them. They didn’t move. I couldn’t see their chests rise or fall with their breathing. I put a hand on the shoulder of one of them and shook her gently. She slid toward me and I caught her before she hit the floor. She looked up at me blankly. Just under her ear, I saw the inside of her throat where it had been torn open.

I jumped back, releasing her. She collapsed to the floor in a heap. The one next to her on the couch continued to stare at where the girl used to be, her eyes just as dead, and her throat ripped open at the same spot. I saw not a single bloodstain.

I charged for the door. I don’t make it two steps. Five or six pairs of hands came out of nowhere, wrapping themselves around me. They held me in place as I tried to push them away. I screamed so loud they had to have heard me in downtown. A hand went across my mouth, stifling me. They lifted me in the air and carefully set me down in a chair across from the two dead girls where I could see them clearly. They released me one by one. The one holding her hand over my mouth released me last. She whispered in my ear.

“Stop, child. You sound foolish.”

The others snickered, but she silenced them with a gesture. The girl moved around to the front of the overstuffed chair, and her eyes locked on me. I had seen her last night. She still wore capris with small shoes and a skin-tight shirt with no bra. She pushed aside a lock of her brown hair. She couldn’t have been more than sixteen. She was pretty, but nothing like Clara.

“The sun’s coming up.” She said “sun” like a curse. There are no windows in the basement, but I know she’s right. I can feel it.

She ran her hand across my forehead. “Yes, you feel it, don’t you?” She patted me on the cheek. “Rest now. Rest for tonight.”

I mumbled something at her. It took too much energy to work my tongue. I leaned forward in the chair, my arms hanging off the sides of the stuffed armrests. I wanted to sleep, but I couldn’t. I tried to stay awake, but I couldn’t do that either.

“Yes.” She stroked my cheek with the back of her hand. “Don’t sleep. Rest.”

I go into a daze, not moving, not sleeping, but not awake either. I’m aware of everything. I sensed them dragging the bodies out of the room. I could feel the rest curling up in different parts of the room. I knew I should be terrified, but I just didn’t care.  Soon, I sensed nothing as the coma overtook me.

Read more here.