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Red Winged Black Bird on a fence post in a field.

Morty 3

2004-04-27

Category: prose
Read Part One Here Read Part Two Here

Glass crashed in the kitchen.

His heart seized with fear. Every muscle in his body clinched. Breathing stopped. His eyes turned to look at toward the kitchen door.

In the dim light he saw a plate roll on the linoleum floor of the kitchen. It rolled in a lazy circle near the doorway; leaning precariously. As it moved closer to the floor, the radius of the curve pulled sharper and its speed increased. Tighter and tighter into smaller circles as it sped into its complete fall. With a last violent shutter, the plate wobbled into stillness on the floor. All motion stopped.

He gasped for air then held his breath against being heard. His eyelids blinked as fast as they could. The eyes still dry, he blinked a couple more times.

No new sounds came from the kitchen. No shadows moved.

He forced his heart to slow. Concentration brought his breath under control. Sweat ran down his forehead. Sweat ran off him everywhere. His belly filled with acid. Trembling filled his hands.

The faint moonlight from the kitchen fought against the purple spots that filled his vision. The room around him seemed darker. He glanced behind him and saw nothing but he silhouettes of furniture. Shadows hid everything else. His throat and mouth were dry, but he tried to swallow any way. It didn't help. Blinking a few more times didn't help his dry eyes either. It didn't matter; it was time to do something.

He filled his lungs slowly and deeply, then exhaled as softly as he could. When his body felt oxygenated, he pushed off the floor with his hands. In a low crawl, he made his way quietly to the kitchen door.

Staying well behind the doorjamb, he listened. Nothing. No sound came through that door, no dripping faucet, no scurry of little bugs, no flap of the curtain in the window. He tried to look at the reflections on the chrome trim on the refrigerator. Long, thin distortions gave no detail about the room. He had no choice.

With a few more calming breaths, he pushed slowly forward. His head passed the woodwork around the kitchen door then moved far enough that he could see inside. He was in the kitchen.


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