Filed under: Main Artery, Whimsy.
[Come In, by Katie Tower, 2010]
The room was dark. It was too dark to see the covers; too dark to sleep.
“You ever notice your ears twitch when something unexpected happens?”
“You know, like when a loud bang makes your face just sort of jerk real tight. It’s weird.”
She was silent. It made the darkness insecure. He began to wonder if he wasn’t the weird one.
“You mean that’s never happened to you?”
“Maybe it’s my glasses. Could the weight of the frames make my ears more sensitive?”
He was concerned now. His ears were forgotten. The thought entered his head that the bed was empty beside him. She was gone; she had left a tape recorder in her place. Voice activated, it spat out a series of one-word answers in response to his noise. The theory must be tested.
“Am I bonkers?”
“Answer the question.”
His mind tripped through the dark. Was he asleep or was this real? There was something wrong with him. It was too dark. He couldn’t breath. Was his heart beating? He couldn’t hear it.
“Am I dying?”
It was too much for him. He flung himself across the bed and throttled the mattress. It was empty. He was alone. He bunched the covers around him, knotting them into restraints. This was death; his self-imposed prison of darkness and paranoia.
A blinding light appeared through the door.
“You’re bonkers,” she said and left the room.
The door slammed. His ears didn’t flinch.