SCREAMS!!! Contest Entry. ~500 Words. Third Baby Story.
|"Honey? Have you seen my-"
Umberto Balducci, runs down the stairs holding his car keys high in the air.
"Hmm, thank you."
He leans down and kisses his wife, Melissa, on the forehead.
"I love you, so much."
"I love you too."
Her chuckle becomes a sensuous guffaw; she yanks on his tie, closes her eyes and passionately kisses him.
She opens her eyes, and he's gone.
Everything in the room starts reeling away from her, withdrawing further as her withered mind attempts to contort back into yet another twisted familial fantasy.
Fabricated realities are just so much more pleasant to her now than where she's ended up.
A place where the walls are painfully white, where she feels each spring jab into her back on the single bed under her cardboard-thin mattress, where the other eccentric loonies run amok while apathetic orderlies lean against huge columns coated in old, chipped paint, just waiting to get home and spend their paychecks, and that's not mentioning the stuck-up nurses who only work there to play wicked commandant to the feeble-minded inmates.
Melissa fearfully slams her eyelids open and stares forward, where she sees her naked self staring back at her; could this be another delusion?
She nervously moves her hand and the doppelganger does the same; she sighs, grateful that it's just her reflection.
Her gaze slowly shifts down to a big dirty mysterious ring-shaped mark on her bare stomach, and she wonders about when the last time she showered was.
During her hallucinatory episodes, her body still moves along mindlessly which means that when her lucidity returns she isn't sure what she's done, or where she's been.
The feel of the tepid water running down her shoulder-blades sends slight tingling sensations shooting up her spine; her mind wanders back to Umberto, her handsome dream husband, as she slowly scrubs the filth from her body.
He's become a common feature in her fantasies; the children look different, have different names, the house is completely alien, although every time without fail, Umberto's there.
"Honey! Are you there? Ooh, you're showering? Want some company?"
Though she knows he isn't real, she still swoons a little at the sound of his voice.
She bites her bottom lip and nods to nobody.
A salty taste fills her mouth and the scent of burning wax fills the air; she feels someone's breath blow against her ear and a dense ball of dread drops into her heart.
"I'm sorry. She leaves me no choice."
A familiar voice rings out in her head before she's once again taken by the darkness.
Melissa opens her eyes, she is in a different hospital room; in front of her lies a woman whose face is heavily bandaged.
The pair's eyes meet.
Immediately she recognizes the voice as belonging to her childhood friend, Karen.
"How did you know? Did you hear? She's back."
Otherworldly memories resurface instantly, including why she committed herself.
The friends weep.