The first few moments were the closest to oblivion I’ve ever been in my life. It was cold, the type of cold that would make your skin burn, except I didn’t have any skin. I didn’t have a body, only a mind, and yet I was able to hear the sound of my own breathing— at least I told myself it was my own. The darkness began to fade out and I became aware of my physical body.
I found myself in a room I did not recognize yet I knew it was my own, and while I could not see the rest of the house, I knew it was a big house. My room is painted a dark, muted blue with white trimming. There is a mid-sized mahogany dresser right next to the door across from me, while I sit on my full sized bed with the same muted colored sheets. Behind me is a window that I never look out of— all I know is the ocean is behind its glass seal and I should never look out. I don’t leave my room, mother doesn’t let me, but sometimes she’ll leave the door open for me while she’s away. Across from me my dark wood door is open and I see the same muted blue color with white trimming surrounding the house walls. The staircase is a few feet to the right of my door, and the wood is stained with the same kind of mahogany. The house is silent, there are no creaks, no steps, and no squeaking of the beds. I never leave my bed.
Time passes and mother paces past my door, back and forth, back and forth. She’s tall with a cartoonishly slim upper body with wide hips and skinny legs. She wears a dark, victorian-like dress with a white frilly shirt peeking from under it. She is barefoot. I do not dare to look past her shoulders but I felt the urge to creep my eyes past her pale, frail neck only to feel my heart beat faster, harder. A faceless head with a straight, jet-black bob now has its attention on me, making it equivalent to eye contact. The silence grows thicker and all I am able to hear is the heavy breathing of my mother.
Mother looks different now— more human. Her face presently features small dark eyes, a narrow nose, and thin, pink lips. Her hair is deep brown, long and wet like her white dress. She sits on the right corner of my bed, soaking the sheets as she stares past me to the open window. The window was to never be opened. I notice her eyes are red from salty tears as she stares at me with quivering lips, making noiseless cries. Mother lifts her left hand to her face, placing first her index finger into her mouth, ripping it off her pale hands with her rotting teeth. The finger drops onto my muted sheets and I am paralyzed. My body is warm and shaky as I watch mother rip finger by finger off her left hand, leaving only the middle.
Without a thought, my scratchy voice is the first sound to pierce the silence of the house.
Mother, did you do it again?”
Silence. Dead silence. My eyes are locked with my mother’s as her lips drip black liquid and her hands are held up. Slowly, she points past me to the open window with her singular finger, fear penetrating her gaze. Mother’s deafening scream fills the house, shaking the foundation of the silent home. She stands and runs to the dresser in my room and turns into the mother I’ve known before, faceless, tall, dark and reeks of mildew. Behind me are more screams from the waves, sounding like children. I am still until mother runs towards me.
My body launches itself forward toward the door, dodging my mother's murderous embrace. For the first time I have left my room, having no thought but survival. I run for the stairs, making it halfway until mother appears before me. Her screams grow to sound more monstrous along with banging in the walls. My body stops and turns back up the stairs before my brain can comprehend what is going on. As I run back to my room, mother stops me in the doorway, attacking me with her fists sinking in what feels like claws. Staring at my now faceless mother, my arms are stretched out in front of me pointed at her, my body moving on its own. I see myself now, from the outside as if I’ve astral projected out of fear. I am only a consciousness now just like in the beginning and I watch my body chant words I do not know at her and her attacks grow weak, hurting less. I look into my eyes and see nothing but a whitecast over my once brown eyes. The noise starts to fade and the house grows silent again as one last scream echoes through the muted walls of the house. It is dead silent as I watch the scene crumble into nothing but darkness, leaving me in the void yet again. In the distance I hear a familiar motherly voice calling to me.
“Wake up. Wake up,” whispers Mother.
I wander through the icey darkness following the soft words but I can’t find my way to the echoing voice of my Mother.
About the Author
Ariel (she/her) is a latinx second generation American writer. As a witchcraft practitioner and spiritualist she focuses on diving into the world of the occult and sharing their stories. Along with that, she enjoys writing personal essays and short story fiction. Ariel is a certified bookworm, tree-hugger, and anime lover.