Being locked in a room with a dead body is not on my bucket list.
Being locked in a room with a faceless corpse, the dim light making his exposed, bloody skull bones gleam like rubies, is definitely not on my wish list.
The scream that wants to come out turns inward, helplessness stopping it somewhere in my chest, com-forted by my heart, which only wants it to go quiet. Screaming won’t fix this. I can’t find an escape by making noise.
Reality has a way of dominating.
I look down at the dead man.
Who is very, very real.
I move gently on the chaise, taking the deepest breath I can, holding it for too long. Suspending myself in time and space feels like the only out. I can’t actually leave. Second best is closing off my air supply, shut-ting my eyelids, not moving. Freezing in place gives me an illusion to grasp, the fleeting seconds im-portant.
My hand slides under a throw pillow. The cool haven of hidden fabric makes me shiver.
A black spider, all too familiar, comes off the pillow my hand is under.
That makes me shiver even more.
I jump up, shocked by the intrusion of another living being.
The door calls out to me.
The spider crawls down one leg of the chaise, then makes its way dispassionately along the tip of the dead guy’s shoe.
In order to get to the door, I have to go around the dead body. In order to move, I have to feel the sensa-tion of his blood on my skin. When I bend my arm, the dried blood on my shoulders and neck crackles. It puckers, like child’s glue spread over skin and allowed to dry for fun. For amusement.
This is anything but amusing.