Tuesday, July 14, 2015


 Darci violently erupted from her thrashing slumber.  She gasped as she took in the quickly fleeting images of horror that plagued her rest, the sound that wrenched her from its clutches, and the strange room that she was now in.  The most prevalent matter was the random musical notes emanating from behind the bolted window.  A queer tone that perplexed her with every jaunty vibration.  As the visions from the night terror slipped from her mind, the realization of where she was took its place.  She was sitting upright on her queen size mattress, glistening with the combination of soft moonlight and fresh perspiration that pooled in her cleavage.  She paused and took in the moment of rampant clarity.  Darci was in the bedroom of her new home.

 Although still foreign to her, she felt a warm rush of comfort after identifying the darkened boudoir.  The odd tune demanded her attention, again.  Her eyes darted to the window as if the sound was her own name being sung.  Wind chimes.  The very same large pipe wind chimes that she strung up two days ago after moving in to her new one-bedroom house.  She sighed, relieved to be free of both the forgotten nightmare and the ignorance of her own location.  She glanced at the clock which beamed at her with a hard blue, almost snide, “3:46am”.

 “Oh, you've gotta be fuckin' kidding me”, Darci hissed through a glaze of sticky night saliva.  She reached out to the time and clicked the alarm button.  It was set to go off forty-four minutes later.  She relinquished an audible breath, afoul with resignation, and turned the alarm off.  “I might as well get up”, she begrudgingly admitted to herself.  “I need a shower, anyway”, she tugged at the thin, soaked top that was clinging to her breasts, exposing her nipples with a transparent wetness.  The wind chimes seemed to agree with her as it belted out another rendition of its childlike made-up song.

 In one swift motion, Darci flung the floral print sheet off her damp body, swiveled her legs over the side of the bed, and hopped down to a chilled hardwood floor beneath.  Her bare feet momentarily protested the harsh cold and then adjusted accordingly to the temperature.  She considered turning on a light, but instead opted to avoid the pain associated with forcing her eyes to focus anew on a drastic change of contrast.  The chimes continued their score of the events.

 Darci shambled out of the dim bedroom through its open door and into the black hallway that led to the kitchen.  She used her limited memory of the terrain and her open palms to map the straightforward route.  The stove-light lit area on the other side was beckoning her encouragingly with the promise of fresh coffee.  She began to hurry her shuffle with delicious thoughts of the day's first mug of murky brew.  The twinkling tune in the background narrated every quickened step.  As she rounded the corner into the kitchen, she felt the force of a hundred hammers down on her littlest right toe, stubbing it against the beige drywall.  She immediately dropped to the floor and tightly clutched her whole foot in her hands.

 “AHHHH, gah, mother, faaahhh!  Shit shit shiiiiit!!!”, Darci wailed and rocked in place, controlling the pain with a sea of expletives.  From her bedroom, the chimes seemed to swell exponentially, almost mocking her, with deep clangs and high-pitched tings.  She clenched her jaw and relinquished what little power over the pain she thought she had.  As she moved her hand, she first made sure that the toe was still attached.  It was there, silently glaring at her for her betrayal.  She then made sure it wasn't seriously damaged by gently wiggling it around with her fingertip.  It didn't seem broken, but the immense amount of pain should have justified a pool of blood, or at the very least some sort of immediate bruising.  She was almost disappointed that there were no such visible signs of physical trauma.  Darci let a whimper escape as she stood up and continued towards the coffeepot.  She grabbed the carafe, stepped to the sink, placed the pot in the basin, and turned the cold water valve.  She stood motionless as the wind chimes belted their rhapsody over the sound of the running tap.

 Darci glanced up and stared out of the tiny window that overlooked her small backyard where she had planted three new saplings.  Even though technically morning, it was particularly dark and calm.  She took in her new view and reflected on the fact that she would never have to deal with another roommate ever again.  Stranger after stranger, taking advantage of her and her goodwill.  She was beyond ecstatic to finally live all by herself.  The wind chimes piped up again as if to say, “Hey!  Don't forget about me!”

 The song shook her from thought as her eyes focused on one of the saplings.  It was standing so still and vulnerable out in the inky openness.  She thought about building a little fence to surround each of the baby trees to barricade them from certain premature death at the hands of an overzealous yard worker.  Darci broke from the mental home improvement session and peered out into the night once more.  Time stopped as she had a horrible realization; the saplings were still.

  With a labored breath, she rushed her eyes around the scenery; the bushes, the full-grown trees, the bird bath water, the tacky rainbow-colored pinwheel.  They were all motionless.  No signs of disturbance from even the slightest of air currents.  The night was dead.  She felt a billiard ball form in the middle of her throat that would not vacate despite her valiant efforts.  Her heart was galloping laps around in her chest.  The water was overflowing from the coffee pot and noisily evacuating down the drain.  The wind chimes were having a ferocious musical tantrum against the bedroom window.  Darci slowly turned her head to face the opening of the hallway.  She parted her dry lips just enough to sharply inhale sufficient air to speak, but before she could utter a word, she heard the bedroom window shatter and the wind chimes abruptly halt.

  She instantly froze in a panicked state, unable to unbolt her quivering legs from the kitchen tile.  Terror and disbelief ravaged her mind, rendering it absent of logical actions and thought.  A clumsy thump hit the bedroom floor followed by the sickening sound of broken glass grinding under a heavy boot...

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