An Unwelcome Surprise By Susanne Leist
Lights sparkle like stars on the walls.
Spots of color guide my journey.
Past closed doors, I walk, my head lowered, my steps slow.
I feel my way along the walls, the lights warm beneath my fingertips.
A cold wind hits the back of my neck.
I turn to the dark corridor before me.
Dark shadows twist into shapes, and an arm beckons to me.
Heart pounding in a tempo matching my chattering teeth, I stand frozen against the wall.
A knob hits me in the back.
My arm reaches behind, and I twist the knob.
I step back into the room.
The door shuts in my face.
I turn around.
Water flows beneath my feet.
An azure sky surrounds me.
I walk forward. The scene fades to black.
A brisk cold wind replaces the warmth.
In the distance walks a woman wearing a yellow raincoat and black rubber boots.
She approaches me with an ax in one hand and a black garbage bag in the other.
I back against the door, jiggling the knob.
She stands before me and smiles.
I lift my eyes to eyes shimmering blood red.
“Would you like to fill this bag for me?”
She raises the empty black bag.
I swallow the lump in my throat and shake my head.
Dots of lights shoot before my eyes.
The room swims.
I shut my eyes and fall to the ground.