She felt cold. She felt cold and maybe a little damp.

Most definitely damp.

She began to open her eyes.

Do you know that awkwardly comforting feeling when you first wake up, when your eyelids are the heaviest not simply because of sleep, but also because of that fine layer of goop keeping your eyes pried together? She always liked that feeling, that almost disgusting sound of forcing your eyes open, yet today she didn’t feel it, they didn’t open.

She tried and she tried to will her eyes open, to exert any and all physical force into the act of fluttering even one eye open, yet all she saw was darkness.

Reasonably so, she was convinced she was dreaming. She was waiting for the movie to play on the screens of her eyelids, for something terrifying or silly or sexy to pop up out of her subconscious and spin a tale for her.

No. Just darkness.

This was unsettling. It was suffocatingly silent.

Words began forming on her lips, which is where they stayed, because yet again, her lips would not part.

Her mouth felt dry and her skin began to crawl.

She could feel the gentle, warm breaths of her lover beside her, so she reached out to grab him.

His skin was warm and smooth and unmoving, yet she could not see it and she could not speak to him to wake him. She realized her body was moving of its own accord just then, her arms caressing her lover like she would after a particularly drunken date night.

His thigh was warm, her hand fitting in the crook of his legs perfectly as she searched for more warmth. He was breathing heavier, and her hands were searching harder.

Then, as if it were the easiest thing to do, she sat bolt upright. Her eyes would still not pry open, her mouth still smoothly shut.

Her hands came back to her, she touched herself, her legs, her thighs, her stomach.

She felt to be all there. On the other hand, she felt to be not there at all.

Panic set in as her feet took her beyond the grasp of her bed frame, past the threshold to her bedroom, past the hallway she knew had to be pitch black at this time.

She didn’t run into anything, she wasn’t sure if she would stop even if she did.

The feeling of moving without seeing, without saying anything, was almost ghostly.

As if cued from another world the screen projector in her brain popped on and started playing a film on her eyelids, just as she was hoping for in bed.

When the image focused in it was a fond memory of an older house, her grandmother’s house. There was a young version of herself standing there, a child with her eyes closed. She was ripping away at something on the floor in front of her, she was in a rage.

The movements her younger body was making were rigid, too quick, frightening.

As she moved closer toward herself she felt her legs moving down the hall again. She bent down to help herself up, to see what had her so enraged, just to find the face was not her own.

The face was not anyone’s at all. There was nothing. A Coraline Button-Eyed-Black note fell upon the face she expected to be seen as a mirror image, and she felt a fear stronger than ever before.

Her lips desperately worked to part, to let a scream escape, to beg for help from anyone, to do anything she herself wanted to do.

In a flutter of both denial and fear she began to run, both her younger legs and her older legs, and in what seemed like a second she was laying in her bed again, her lover’s arm draped around her with a warmth she thought she’d die without feeling again.

-D.R Breshears


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