Thanks for reading this week’s Five Minute Friday post! The prompt this week, True, made me think of a certain moment in my See No Evil story… so that’s what I wrote about. It’s the moment that Brenna and Audrey acknowledge that they’re different than most people, that they can see things in a shadowy otherworld that sometimes collides with their own. It’s the catalyst for the rest of the story.
Warnings for language. Enjoy!
09.27.13 – True
Nobody really wants to know the truth.
The truth hurts. It’s scary. It takes happy little lives and twists them.
That’s why everyone’s become so great at denying what’s really there.
The walk across campus was uneventful. Fall was fading into winter, and the chill of the air bit at Brenna and Audrey, bundled up as they were, while they climbed the outer staircase to their hall. They moved together in silence, their shadows casting long paths before them while they trudged up the stairs.
Their room was pitch black, and out of habit Brenna reached for the switch before stepping across the threshold. Audrey tugged at her scarf, freeing flaming hair, before she began to unbutton her tweedy coat. Brenna was turning from her own closet nook when she saw it.
It was a part of the shadows that pooled in the far corner of their room. It moved.
Brenna had seen before, but while it had always given her an odd sense of disturbance, nothing had ever struck her with the malevolence that this did.
In two steps she was at their bunked beds; she didn’t remember climbing or saying a word, but as automatically as a child hiding from the bogeyman, she had her blankets up to her chin. Less than a heartbeat later, Audrey huddled with her, staring at the thing in the corner.
“What the fuck,” her roommate hissed, eyes wide with terror. Somewhere, in the cold and distant calculating part of her brain, Brenna knew she should pretend nothing was going on. That’s what she’d always done before. But no one else had ever seen with her, as Audrey certainly had. And so she heard herself saying something she’d never consciously thought before.
“Call Will. It’ll avoid him.”
“And Hetet,” Audrey said. “She’ll know what to do.”
Their tacit acknowledgement of the truth of reality marked a change in the course of their lives. Shivering while she listened to Audrey punch numbers on her phone, Brenna wished that they would just wake up… knowing that from now on, they could never do so.