Body in my Bed
by Susan Anwin
Every time I get home, there's a naked body in the bed. It's always
the same body: female, 30's, just lying there, pale in the early
morning gloom. There's nothing even remotely erotic in it, it's just a
bag of flesh really, a little bit sad, if anything. I'm not sure if
it's dead or not (it doesn't respond to my prodding), but at least it
doesn't smell. I don't know whom to contact about it. Trying to use the
phone here seems like a bad idea altogether. Whenever I try to call
someone all kinds of weird stuff happens. Last time I tried a stinky
black goo started to ooze from the receiver. My life is weird enough as
is; a random body in my bed isn't gonna phase me. At least it's
something I can rely on, something that's always there every time I
step through the door. Everything else is a jumble of unconnected
fragments, a whirlwind of images and impressions, voices and faces. I
can never prepare for what the night may bring. There was this one time
my entire flat turned into a maze and I was hell bent to find someone,
racing up and down wide stairs, scuttling along marble paneled
corridors, opening into spacious rooms and parlors, running until I
could not run anymore, as the pantry I opened into was a dead end.
There was a wardrobe at the back wall, it's carved wood darkened by
time. Without thinking I tore up its door. Beyond it there was nothing,
just the wind howling in the void, sucking me in before I could hold on
I wasn't alone falling in that darkness; there was a young woman,
her blonde hair streaming behind her like a flag. Misshapen trees
swished past me twirling, waving their branches. There was a toilet
with four open-mouthed nestlings in a swallow’s nest in the bowl.
I don't know when all this started, or how I got into this
surrealistic purgatory, or why, but at least it's never boring. I'll
give it that.
It was nearing the end of the last of that night's REM phases, and a
couple of minutes later Emily stretched and opened her eyes in the early
© 2018 Susan Anwin
Susan Anwin was born and raised in Budapest, Hungary.
Her flash-fiction "Talk of Armadale trees" was featured in the
anthology My Favourite Place, published by the
Scottish Book Trust in 2012. Her short stories "Fog-People", "Eddie's
Lousy Saturday", "You'll die as fish", "People of the Green Cloud",
"Dragonfly-man", "Daddy is Driving the Car", "Soul for Sale", "Dark
Sister" and "The Man Who Broke Time" were published by Aphelion
in 2016 and 2017.
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