It was very fitting, she thought. October inspired fear, and she was, indeed, afraid.
The first day, she had been worrying about school, her future, her parents, and life in general. Then, she saw it; falling serenely from the sky. It floated down like soft, shimmering peals of laughter. It brought beauty to the world in little clusters.
The next few days, she saw it turn up more and more frequently. It made sense, though, because it wouldn’t just disappear. Things don’t disappear, that would be illogical. It was small, insignificant, but it made her smile whenever she saw it.
She tried to point it out to her friends, the little sparkles of happiness in a world of stress and anger. But they couldn’t see it. It did not reveal itself to them. She was fine with that-it would be her secret, her constant in the ever changing society. It had chosen her, and she embraced it. She must be special, otherwise, why would it choose her?
She realized it could be a model for the spread of disease; originating in one place, and diffusing outward, ever moving, ever travelling. It was getting everywhere, and seemed to be increasing in number.
She had a math test on exponential growth and decay. Math was usually her best subject, but she failed this test. She had kept seeing it everywhere, winking in and out of existence, and it had enraptured her, preventing her from thinking about her test questions.
She was starting to become uneasy about it. Everywhere she turned, it was there. She didn’t know why it was there, but its ethereal glimmer was starting to seem more sinister. And it wasn’t just that, her surroundings seemed to have taken a darker turn. Shadows lurking in the corners of streets, an overcast, muted quality to the sky, even when it was blue, it was like someone had taken her life and painted over it with translucent gray paint.
She was in a laboratory, studying it like it was a bacteria culture, doubling in population every minute. She had to calculate how many there were at the point in time when she reached an answer. Every time she finished her calculations, it doubled again, and again, and again, overflowing the dish it was in, then covering the table, then floating onto the floor in its gentle way, then pooling around her ankles, racing over the floor, until the room was full, and it started going up, to her knees, her waist, her chest, her shoulders, her chin, her mouth, her nose, her eyes, until, finally, fighting for breath, she was fully immersed in the shimmering, fairy-like stuff.
She woke clawing at her throat, only to realize that she had been dreaming. But then, out of the corner of her eye, she saw a sparkle. Just one. But it was enough.
It was still everywhere. But now, it seemed to always be moving toward her, and there was always more of it than she had thought. She walked into her room one night, only to find that the entire floor was covered in it. She quickly ran for help, only stopping when she remembered no one would believe her.
It was definitely more abundant than previously. Everywhere she walked, it would be. Sometimes, it was a carpet that went where she went, other times, it was her footprint, but in front of her, as a path for her to follow. It was in all the places she frequented, and all the places she rarely went to. She once walked into class, only to find her chair was covered in it. It scared her, that she was being stalked by these pixie-like things, who were obviously trying to drive her to insanity. She tried to rid herself of it, but it would not go. Even after she showered, she would find it awaiting her on her clothes, her shoes, her hair brush, the doorknob. She tried drawing, to take her mind off of it. But the only colors that came of her colored pencils were those of her tiny pursuers, the only images flowing from her pencil, were those of her nightmare. And yet, no one else noticed it. When she tried to show them, they would look, and seeing nothing, pretend to agree, as if she were a mental asylum escapee. She tried to make them see, get them to help her, but to no avail. It had chosen her, and no one else.
It was not just surrounding her, it was inside her. She didn’t know how, but she could feel it, crawling along the sides of her stomach, her lungs, her digestive tract, taking her appetite away, and making her sick.
Her parents noticed she wasn’t eating, and asked her what was wrong, but she couldn’t tell them what it was. They wouldn’t believe her. They would just think she was crazy, like everyone else. They would get her psychiatric help, instead of take away the source of her misery. She needed to purify herself, somehow.
It was a crisp, blue morning, that October 29. She could finally peek through the gray, to see the sun rising behind. Maybe it was her imagination, but it seemed to be receding as well, drifting into the background, as if it knew she was going to get rid of it, and feared for its life. Walking to the edge of the pool, she smiled. It was early, and the pool was still closed, but she had gotten in through a back door left carelessly unlocked. There was no one around to witness her purge the evil intruders from herself, but that was okay. All that mattered was that she would know it was gone. She jumped in, basking in the cleansing feeling of the water, washing it away. When she felt her skin was clean, she opened her mouth and lungs to the sanitizing effect of the water, to carry away all that evil, gold glitter that had tormented her for months.
Her body was found an hour later by a young child, who was previously, but not anymore, excited for swimming lessons.
All rights belong to its author. It was published on e-Stories.org by demand of Jaime Yen.
Published on e-Stories.org on 11.01.2017.