What I Saw That Day
It was raining, creating a light patter on the front porch. I pulled back the sheer curtains to relish the scenery of the cold autumn day but there was a dense fog that obstructed my view. I could not see further beyond the pillars that marked the beginning of my driveway. I frowned and shut the curtains, pacing back and forth at the entrance. I glanced at the clock on the wall that read 12:25. She was late and that was highly unlike her character. The weather conditions presumably caused traffic, but how long would she keep me waiting?
I sighed and readjusted my knit beanie. Opening my bag, I scanned its contents and assured myself that I had packed everything I would need. I pulled my phone out of the side pocket and clicked it on. The clock read 12:32, taunting me at how long I’d been pacing by the door. I had neither any missed calls nor any unread messages.
The interior of the house was still and clouded with complete silence. Secretly, I was grateful that it was midday and not the dead of night. I walked to the end of the foyer and watched myself in the decorative mirror. I studied my clothing and my facial features as though I hadn’t seen my reflection before. My burgundy scarf enveloped my neck and my knit beanie masked my unkempt wavy hair. I was swallowed by thick layers of fabric that I had to search for myself like a game of Hidden Objects.
A single brown strand stuck out of my hat and drooped in front of my left eye. I tucked it away and focused on my blank expression. What was this unsettling feeling that weaved through me? I couldn’t understand how my reflection depicted me as a white slab of tile while my innards were turning.
I strode back to the entrance, my boots clicking on the dark oak flooring. It echoed throughout the home and drowned out the sound of the rain. I stopped and stood before the ornamental wall clock. My eyes closely followed the pendulum as it swung back and forth. I watched it control time and I couldn’t prevent it. The passing of time was not intended to be in the hands of man for then he would manipulate it to his liking.
I couldn’t prevent my eyes from glancing at the face of the clock. My voice quavered as I read it aloud: 12:57. My heart sank and I began to feel sudden warmth coming from within me. It was an unfamiliar feeling, an emotion I hadn’t felt very often. Why was I angry?
I was startled by a playful musical sound which I recognized to be my phone’s notification tone. I hesitated before stumbling my way to my bag. I trembled as I reached for my phone from the side pocket and proceeded to click it on. There was a message from her:
Look through the window that peers out onto the front porch. Emily, you’re next.
I tossed the phone across the floor and as further away from me as I could. The sound of the rain and the ticking clock pounded in my head. I battled with my thoughts, deciding whether to follow the instructions of the message or not. On the one hand, I could ignore it and unpack my bag, proceeding with the remaining portion of my day routinely. On the other hand, what would happen if I ignored the message?
I stood up, defying my wobbly limbs. The curtain shook with my shuddering body as I took hold of it. I pulled it back slowly and scanned my porch. There was a bulky object sprawled out on the floor and a liquid oozed out from underneath it. I gasped and fell back when I recognized that it was her.