Excerpt from my short story

Ouroboros: a circular symbol depicting a snake, or less
commonly a dragon, swallowing its tail, as an emblem of wholeness or infinity; “One
is the All and All is the One”

Image by: Fuyuko Matsui

A few days later my parents were gone on one of my mother’s excursions and the housekeepers left for the weekend so I took the opportunity to return to her hiding place. With me, I brought a wheelbarrow, cotton gloves, and boots from the gardening shed. I didn’t want the dirt to stain me.

Not once did I not think of her. The excitement rushed through my veins and my heart began to speed like the fluttering heart of a humming bird as I drew myself closer to her.  I ran and found her
arm sprouted from the ground and arched over like a weeping river birch tree. Her index finger was nibbled away. I kissed it in regret. “I apologize.” I whispered through the ground.

I uncovered her soiled body. The dirt beneath her fingernails and the mud that stained her lips irked me: an annoyance crawled underneath my skin because I wasn’t sure if I found it humbling or rather dirty. Mother wouldn’t be happy though. If mother saw her I’m sure she would be disgusted by her filth so I rinsed her with the hose and managed to get her up to my room. I turned on the bath and dropped rosemary into the water. I crawled in with my clothes and tugged her body in with me. I bathed her and dressed her in one of my white silk dresses. Once she was clean something felt wrong. I realized that I liked her covered in muck. Why was that? Either way I had to leave her spotless for the sake of my mother. I tucked her neatly in my closet. I sat her upright and folded her arms across her lap. I spent my breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the closet accompanying my only friend and spent my free time lying beneath the
canopy of colorful clothes with her. I couldn’t tear myself away.

Behind the grey clouds the waning moon peeked through and the sky was starless. I cracked open my window above my bed and let the warmness seep in and the flower printed wallpaper seemed to melt into deranged portraits. I tiptoed into my nightgown, and shut the closet door behind me.

“Goodnight.” I whispered to the woman hiding in the closet.

I slipped beneath my sheets and closed my eyes. Something shuffled behind the closed door and my eyes fluttered open. I kept still, waiting for another sound, but nothing. It could have been my imagination so I ignored it and waited for my dreams to pull me into another realm, but there it was again. That sound. The second time the rustling noise was followed by a groan. I jumped from my bed and threw the door open and I found the woman in the same position I had placed her. It must have been
my imagination. I was about to shut the door behind me, but I had realized she was wearing a black dress. I didn’t own a black dress. I looked at her again and I found her smiling at me and her green eyes poured into my soul.

I screamed hoping that someone would hear me, but soon I realized that my screams were voiceless. Unheard. Black pythons sprouted from her midnight hair. Were there 5? 10? It did not matter: all I knew was that I couldn’t escape from their coil round my ankles. They assisted the dead woman to rise from her forced position.

“Do not be frightened Evalyne.” She whispered as she took my hand gently with her cold broken fingers. The drowned toad leapt from her mouth as she spoke and it hopped away. The snakes slithered and wrapped themselves around my arms and the dead woman opened my mouth and kissed me. From her mouth one of her pythons had left its old home to a new one. I could feel scales on the palette of my tongue and it slid down my throat to find a cavern to sleep…

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