Yesterday I released “Tap Tap Tap,” a short story. So, all this week it will be free on Kindle! Head over to Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071FDQKZW and get your copy right now. Here’s a little preview for you:
“What are you doing?” Lily screamed at her.
“What are you doing?” Helen screamed in return. Lily pulled her back away from the mirror by one arm. Helen struggled, but couldn’t get away. Suddenly Lily swung her around and pinned her against the stall door.
“Let me go!” Helen yelled.
“What the hell!” Lily yelled back into her face. Helen struggled more, but couldn’t get away. She never realized how strong Lily was. “What the hell, Helen? What are you thinking?”
“Let me go!” Helen yelled again. There was no time to explain, even if she knew how to.
“No! Damnit Helen, it could be dangerous! You’re my friend and I’m not going to lose you!” Helen stopped struggling. Lily spoke as she kept her friend pinned. “We don’t know what’s going on,” she said. “Helen it could be anything on the other side. It could be hell, literally hell, through there. Or maybe a planet without an atmosphere. Or aliens! For cryin’ out loud Helen, it could be anything.”
Helen shook her head. “No,” she said. “I saw. I saw the other side. It’s OK, let me go.”
But Lily didn’t loosen her grip. “I don’t care,” she said. “Even if it’s safe through there, I’m not letting you go. I’m not losing another friend. Please don’t go.”
Helen looked in her eyes. How could she explain to Lily? Surely Lily already thought she was crazy. It wouldn’t help to start spouting stuff about how none of this world is real, that it was just a feverish hallucination. Helen wasn’t entirely sure she understood it herself, but she remembered now hearing about things like this from her Grandmother. A person falls to a fever and never comes back, their soul lost in a world of its own creation. Eventually the fever wins, the body dies, and everything is lost.
But all the stories she ever heard always ended with death. Somehow her family and friends had found a way to open a pathway home. They’d managed to communicate with her, give her a chance to save herself. And now she was, what, blocking her own path to salvation? Was Lily anything more than a feverish dream?
Helen looked into Lily’s eyes. She saw the pain and fear Lily felt, and suddenly Helen didn’t care if Lily was real. She was real enough.