Distorted Sight.


1. Mind Games.

I lay in bed, mind blank and my body numb. I can feel a slight pulling of my skin as it is torn from my flesh - am I doing that? I don't know. The pulling at my ear is constant and stops when I break free of my trance long enough to see that my nails are covered in blood. Somewhere in my mind I feel anxiety, but not enough to swim from the fog that clogs up my brain and dampens my senses. I resume the picking.

Through the curtains, the noise of a bark travels, sending waves of purple twisting over the ceiling, lulling me into a false sense of security. I snap out of it. It can't have been a dog. I roll over and out of bed, my fingernail scratching slightly across the bedside table. I hear the noise and I freeze, bringing my other hand to touch the table, and again, and again, and again. I reach twenty touches. Twenty is good. Twenty is neutral. Twenty is a solid number.

My legs wobble when I bring my full weight onto them. How long has it been since I stood last? Stumbling over to the door, I check the lock, touch the key, push it as far locked as it can go. That's better. Safe. The dog-thing can't get me now. Or can it? I spin around and haul a tattered armchair over to the door. It slips and drags a bit across the floor. Green sparks come from the legs. I bend down and touch the wooden floorboards. A dog can't get past a locked door and a heavy armchair. No.

Sluggishly, my legs propel me back to the bed, but lock when a floorboard creaks. Was that me? It can't have been. I'm small; that was a big creak. Is the dog-thing in here? How did it get in? I fling myself onto the bed, wrapping the duvet around me. I need to think of a plan. My fingers crawl up to my scalp and start tugging at hairs. No! Not now, I need to think first. The hand seems to be isolated from conscious thought and continues to pull.

How long will it be until the dog-thing gets me? Tears fill my eyes. I don't want it to get me. I don't want to die. The tugging becomes more insistent as my panic heightens. I need to get somewhere it can't get me. The windowsill. If it lunges, I'll just move out of the way. Yes. Good idea. I've begun to pick my neck now, the brief stinging giving me release from the fear. A car's engine starts far below on the road. Black crawls under my bed. That must have been the dog-thing. Children laugh. Orange pulses by the lamp. The car engine gets louder. The black shoots towards me.

Must get away.

I lean back and lose my balance. The car pulls away and the black vanishes.

It's too late though.

I'm falling.

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