The Darkness

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Seven

She needed a drink of water.

She'd upended her waste-paper basket on top of the eye and weighed it down with a heavy dictionary. Since then, she'd been sitting slumped against the wall, staring. She could hear the eye scurrying about among the crumpled bits of paper, seeking a way out. Her hands and feet were like ice and her eyelids felt like sandpaper and her body begged for the sleep her brain wouldn't give. She needed a drink of water.

She walked out of her room and to the bathroom, flicking on all the light switches she could find. In the bathroom, she took her rinsing cup from the stand above the washbasin, removed the toothbrush, filled the cup, drank, and immediately spat the water back out. Warm and acrid, like the taste in one's mouth after swallowing during a nosebleed. Undrinkable.

She wiped her mouth and looked at her face in the mirror. Behind her, in the reflection of the bathroom, the door slowly opened, and there was darkness behind.

She gasped and spun round, clinging to the porcelain edge behind her. The door was still open a wide crack, just as she'd left it, and the hallway light was on as before.

She turned back to the mirror, and stared at the open door with the darkness behind. Something stirred in the darkness.

She grabbed hold of the bathroom folding chair and smashed the mirror to pieces. As the shards fell, they revealed a perfect oval patch of black.

She tore the empty frame off the wall, and then there was her white bathroom wallpaper. She turned to the empty frame on the tiled floor, and within it was only darkness.

She ran and slammed the door behind her.

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