Shimmer #47 – “Broken Toys” (Part 6)

Next I knew there was a dimly lit room with pastel red walls and gold trim.

The arms dragged my feet inside and closed the door before. They placed me down on a four poster bed; the curtains were riddled with dust.

My stomach churned, still rolling with the blow that landed in the dark. A girl with blonde hair and green eyes leaned over me, fretted with teeth biting her lip, and lifted my head.

“Hey, are you alright?” she pressed. “Sorry, we didn’t mean… we thought you were-”

“I’m fine.”

My gut told another story.

Another of the girls opened the door a sliver and peeked through. She lingered like a statue, senses sharp and eager for the smallest move to trip them. Our fumbling pricked her ears and inspired a scoff, but she turned back to her watch without a word.

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Shimmer #46 – “Broken Toys” (Part 5)

My eyelids pried like old tape. Kicking from inside my skull pushed me through the haze. Every muscle whined as I rolled and planted my palm into the rug. The room was more dust than air and smelled like an attic.

I coughed and pressed against the ache until I was on my knees. From there I could barely make out the shapes against the dark. I reached out, ran my hand along fabric and pulled back the cobwebs.

“Ugh. Eww. What the hell?”

A sliver of amber spiked from the corner of the room, leading to the crack under a door. I pulled myself to my feet, nursed the thumping in my head, and hesitated when the floorboards creaked.

Where was I?

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Shimmer #45 – “Broken Toys” (Part 4)

My eyes were as much on my phone as they were on the street. I had to have typed the same message a dozen times without hitting send; probably drained half the battery with it.

“hay t. 4give me 4 bein a jerk???”

To send or not to send; that was the question. I mean, it wasn’t like I had anything to apologize for, did I?

An hour past midnight and a chill set under my skin. How long had I been walking?

The lines for the clubs had been replaced by the cue for taxis. Men smiling and reeking of alcohol leaned toward me as I passed them by.

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Shimmer #44 – “Broken Toys” (Part 3)

“Are you alright?” she asked for the millionth time.

“I wasn’t okay the last time you asked, and I probably won’t be okay the next time you ask.”

We sat in silence as I pulled my knees to my chest and stared at the dashboard. A town block had come and gone before Tanya opened her mouth again.

“You know your Mom’s an ass#$%&, right?” she said.

Instead of feeling validated I exhaled and buried my head. Knees made a hard perch, but at least I didn’t have to face the world.

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Shimmer #43 – “Broken Toys” (Part 2)

“I told you to stay out of my room!”

The Mom-creature rolled her eyes, pursed her lips and perched the bridge of her nose against her fingers. What was she trying to say; that she was disappointed in me, or that she didn’t want to start another fight?

Stacks of clothing landed into the suitcase, enough to last a week, along with pair after pair of shoes. They had to take up the most space, and I still hadn’t packed the vitals; make-up, toiletries, school books. It was bad enough that I had to leave my computer at home.

“Would you please be reasonable for one minute,” she pleaded. “You’re blowing this way out of proportion.”

I stopped, flailed my arms and squawked at her. “You came into my room without my permission! While I wasn’t here! Do you have any idea how violated I feel right now?”

“Justin, please stop acting like it’s the end of the world.”

“And stop calling me that! My name is Kaira! Kai-ra! Okay!?”

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Shimmer #42 – “Broken Toys” (Part 1)

The ice in her lungs pulled her breathing tight and cut it into gasps. For every two beats of her shoes on the ground her heart took five; the surge of adrenaline emptied her of any thought other than survival.

Cars shuffled by as she tore down the strip and waved her arms to catch their notice. No taxis, no police, no good Samaritans caught sight of her; that, or they figured she was somebody else’s problem.

Engulfed in a whirlwind of panic the woman threw herself into the open traffic, stopping short of the navy sports car that ran inches from her death. Horns blared, and she started again across the lanes.

She screamed at the passersby in a wreck of tears. “Help me! Please, somebody!” None could hear her, let alone see on the roadside obscured by shadow.

Her pursuer clicked as it closed in on her, and the woman struggled for an escape. Was she the only one who could see? Maybe she was; or maybe the drivers were smart enough to keep moving in spite of her.

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