27 March, 2012

close your eyes

The soft rustling of fabric. A figure with flowing robes, dark as night, rustling by. Seeking. Searching.

Amelie closed her eyes and willed herself not to look. She could fill its intense stare passing over her in the dim room. In the moment, she forgot to breathe and lay as still as her pillows until she felt the figure pass by. She hoped the facility's sensors would pick up the intruder and sound the alarm.


Amelie felt its presence fade. It was gone. She let out her breath. How come the sensors didn't pick it up? She was meant to be safe here, but now she knew. No where was safe. She couldn't stay here.

"Close your eyes and count to ten," she whispered to herself the same instructions her mother had taught her. "Stay still or you'll not fend/ the hunger that walks in the dark/ seeking Fleeters with teeth to mark."

Just in case it came back, Amelie stayed close to the floor and the dark shadows of her room walls.

One step.
Another slow step.

And on she crept until she had reached the door. Then standing behind the door, so that it would hide her if she opened it, Amelie pulled the door open and stood as still as a statue, eyes squeezed shut.

It was back.

A flutter of robes. A cold breeze trickled under the door and up Amelie's trouser legs, tickling her nose. She could not sneeze. Not now. Not here.

Doors banging and the tread of footsteps further down the hall echoed, carrying the murmur of voices.

Amelie could feel its presence. As thick and heavy as leather, turning toward the interruption. It slid away toward the noise.

An explosive sneeze.

Crouched in the same position the sneeze had left her, Amelie prayed. Eyes still tightly shut. It breezed the door aside and fluttered above her head, feeling for something closer to the ceiling. It was so close, she could feel the rippling hum of its muscles working. The stillness that sat within its arms descended about her and she could feel the fabric of its hands brushing first her hair, then her shoulders and then her legs. It was all around. Enveloping her.

The voices and footsteps came closer and Amelie could feel its indecision. It didn't know it had found her yet and it wanted to be certain of the thing it was feeling, but it didn't want the humans to see it. It's one eye was bent heavily upon her, trying to see the reflection only Skeeter and Fleeter eyes could give.

Don't drip. Don't drip. Amelie told her sweat. Don't drip. You'll give me away.

The people drawing near made up the creature's mind for it. It would come back later. It flowed up and into an air vent to hide and return later.

"Can you smell that?" asked one of the humans, sniffing the air.
"No. What?"
"That dusty, musty sort of smell."
"Oh. That. I thought it was just because the place needed some extra cleaning."
"Hmm. I'll tell Tran. Make sure it gets done. This place is older than the rest of the building."

Their voices passed by and faded. Amelie slipped out behind them, hoping It wasn't still watching. If It was here, it would eventually find her if she didn't get out quickly. The place was too small and enclosed.

The Deeker sat in the dark, dreaming of better days when Fleeters and Skeeters had been so abundant that every day was a feast. Now there was only one left and it knew it. Only one meal left before it was doomed to starve to death like all the others of its kind. A pity eating humans made it sick. There were plenty of those around.

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