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Me, Marika, and the Midnight

By carlcervantes All Rights Reserved ©

Scifi / Drama


Alone in his apartment, Daniel is being visited by a woman who constantly vanishes and and reappears. Numbed by a broken heart and the alcohol he'd been drinking, he tries to understand what is going on. She appears during the midnight hour, and only during that hour. Afterwards, she disappears. Another midnight hour--she reappears, and then disappears. After that, another, and another, and so on. Daniel tries to hold on to her and to his sanity, piecing together the shattered memories that could explain everything.

Chapter 1

The cold midnight air kissed my exposed skin as I stood watch over the city from my apartment balcony. The lights below were fuzzy reminders of far-away life. I had chased a fantasy—a dream. But at the time, it didn’t seem to matter. I remember her eyes, the deep sparkling water of those dark pools. I remember the way lines form beside her eyes when she smiles, radiant and full of merriment like all the Christmas lights in my childhood. I remember how she whispered, how her voice would seep into my skin and embrace my dirty soul. I kept thinking to myself what I did to deserve her, and I often wondered how she could love a man like me.

Warmth rose up in my cheeks and flowed slowly from my eyes. I embraced myself; it felt like the cold had gotten the best of me. My lips were dry and shaking, and I could smell the alcohol from my own frozen breath. I had been drinking, hoping that the sweet burn of the intoxicating liquid would wash away the thorns in my core. It numbed me a bit, but it only made my memories of her more vivid.

It was then that the sweet scent of her perfume drifted into my space, as if to call my attention to a presence surrounding me. I looked around, inside my messy, dimly-lit apartment, and I could almost feel her there.

“Marika,” I called out softly into the void, hoping that the darkness would answer. “Marika, are you there?”

A feminine figure seemed to take shape, emerging like smoke from the shadows of my apartment. Slowly, I recognized her features—her lips, her cheeks, her eyes. I fell backwards, and the wall broke my fall. A cold wave moved upwards across my back, filling my head with confused waters that crashed on the shore of my consciousness. She walked closer and closer, until finally I could feel her warmth. She looked into my eyes, and I remembered how it felt when I first saw her that pleasant summer morning.

I found myself without a voice, the alcohol in my system finally hitting me in between the eyes. She held my cheek with her fingertips and I felt her warmth embrace me.

“It’s you,” I said in a whisper, afraid that I might violate our sacred space. “How—?”

She looked outside, into the living city, into the night. “We don’t have much time,” she said with a hint of emptiness in her voice. She brought her eyes back at me, and I stood still. “Daniel,” she said, and at the mention of my name, I felt my knees tremble. “Hold me.”

I embraced her fully, but before I could feel her warmth—the proof of her—Marika had vanished.

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