Word Prompt: Tick
Dialogue Flex: “Come on, check it out!”
Using the provided snippet of dialogue, explore what comes to mind, be it a scene, a thought, or something else.
There was darkness, complete darkness. Her eyes hurt from staring into the black, but she knew that these were the calm moments. The true terror was still moments away. That’s not to say that the transition period was not challenging. She was utterly, painfully alone and it was in these moments that she thought of her husband. Was he being punished somewhere else? Alone in his own personal hell for eternity?
Suddenly there was a bright light that made the air around her crackle and her skin burn. Her nausea passed and she opened her eyes. She was curled up on soft grass, warm sunshine filtered through perfectly green leaves as a light breeze ruffled them back and forth. The soothing sound of the stream in the distance and birds chirping should have been comforting, but everything was wrong. The sun did not warm her skin, the grass beneath her was soft only in her memories.
Everything in the Garden was toxic and scary. Everything except for the fruit that had condemned her in the first place. At first she had not understood what was happening to her. She knew that once they had been expelled from the Garden their lives would change, she understood that they would suffer pain, grow old, and die.
The first time she woke up here after her death she rejoiced. He must have forgiven them for their trespasses against him. And then, thirsty and craving the sweet water of the stream, she cupped the clear liquid in her young-again hands and drank deeply. It wasn’t until the second gulp that she realized the water was burning her, scalding hot down her throat and in her stomach. She had wretched and coughed, her mouth raw and her body shaking for hours beside the stream.
Trying to eat fruit from the garden was no better, the bitter and ashy taste left her silently sobbing in pain. It was then that she had seen him, the creature with the beady yellow and black eyes. It’s thin, quick tongue tasting the air between smug lips.
This time she sat, waiting. Her legs crossed as she leaned against a tree. If she could make it through and not succumb to her hunger, if she could hold out one more day – just one more tick of the eternal clock – this time then maybe it would be different. If this was her penance, then she would succeed. Who knew how many more chances she would get?
It was on the eve of her sixth day that she heard it, the soft parting of grass that was almost indistinguishable if you didn’t know what you were listening for.
“Sssso you’re back I sssee,” the hissing voice was dark and enticing. Everything she had remembered it being and more.
She turned her face down to look at him, her body weak from hunger and thirst, “What do you want?” The question was unnecessary, but she had to admit it was nice to have a reason to use her voice.
“I’ve come to offer you what you need, foolisssh woman.” He coiled his silvery green body up and even when he was still he appeared to move. The light played off of his skin as it filtered through the leaves and he seemed to glitter like he was made of water. “You need to eat.”
Her fingers dug into the soft earth and felt the grass burn against her palms. She clenched and unclenched her jaw, a nervous tick she had developed after falling though this reality so may times. It had started when, after her first night in the garden, she realized she could not find her husband though he had been dead long before her.
“I don’t need it.” Her voice was strained, but she meant what she said. She did not need another cycle through, she needed to be released.
“Come on, check it out!” He prodded, eyes gleaming. “What could the harm be? Just a tiny bite to get you through.”
If she had been able to cry, she would have. Although her body was young, her spirit was ancient and tired. The repetition too much.
“Well,” he started, uncoiling his body, “You know where to find me.”
She listened as he slithered off, disappearing through the grass and bushes. As she strained to hear his retreat, she knew he was right. She knew where to find him. She always broke down in the end. Going through another cycle was better than her fear of the unknown. What would happen if she died in the garden? Or worse – what if she wouldn’t die?
The sun set slowly, beautiful colors overtaking the sky as she shivered and settled in for another long, sleepless night.
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WitFit prompts can be found at The Writers’ Collective website by following this link: http://www.writers-collective.com/witfit/.