She closed the book and watched as it turned to dust. It would always be this way. Her depression deepened as what was left of her muscles tensed against the coming rage.
Who were they to put this curse upon her?
“I’ve lived a good life, you bastards!” She screamed into the blackness to no one in particular. Could they hear her?
She pushed away from the table, as it aged and began to fray. Each fiber of wood came off as a tiny flake of dandruff. It collapsed as she went through the door.
There were shapes moving around her. The ghosts of time moved too quickly to be seen. Some had color, but nothing else. No faces. No form. Just bursts of energy going nowhere in particular.
The ghosts stopped. Moments later, the floors above began to sag as she approached the front door. “Not another cave-in, for Christsake!” She got to the door just in time-the house collapsed soundlessly behind her. Since the ghosts had come, everything was soundless.
The flashing light outside, the one that drove her mad, had not ceased. Nor would it, she knew that. It was a strobe light on the grandest of scales. Bright as day, dark as night. Ad infinitum. The trees at the end of the driveway changed colors as she approached the street. But she was no longer in a yard, and the driveway was just a path. Both trees fell then vanished in front of her. She pushed through the weeds only to find that the street had turned into a highway, but was already in disrepair. Weeds turned to trees as their roots ripped snake-like through the pavement.
And so it continued. “Nothing to do but think,” she said again to no one in particular. She hadn’t seen a soul since the ghosts came. She couldn’t read. She couldn’t sit in a house. She couldn’t listen to a babbling brook or the wind in the trees.
Crossing the path that had been a highway, she recognized the form of a guardrail as it rusted away in front of her. It disappeared to reveal a drop of several hundred feet. Without hesitation, she stepped off, expecting death while simultaneously knowing it would never occur. Rather than a harrowing fall, she floated gently to the bottom and stood on the banks of a river. It expanded and shrank in the strobe, like a panting beast. She walked into the flow, not feeling any current at all and unable to even get wet. As her head went under the water, she discovered that she couldn’t hold her breath because, well, she wasn’t breathing…
That’s when it all came back. She had been named Lilith. Her parents had loved her very much. She was a teenager, a fat little girl that never got asked out and never had many friends. A thousand family members could not love away the loneliness she felt. Selfishly, she had convinced herself that nobody paid attention, nobody cared.
She had taken pills. The sudden realization that she was no longer Lilith made her cold for the first time. She wanted her misery back. She wanted to look into a mirror and see her pudgy cheeks, her zits, the mousy hair that never did what she wanted. As the level of water in her river began to fall, her head and shoulders re-emerged into the air and all she wanted was for her Daddy to hug her again.