It's time for another WEP Challenge! A big shout out to Yolanda Renee and Denise Covey for making all this possible!
I couldn't resist using constellations as my inspiration, and I guess Halloween leaked in as well, because this tale turned out pretty dark. So I guess I used both themes at the end of the day.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy this decidedly sad and twisted tale.
Gazing into the Abyss
The chill of the evening has permeated my skin, reaching down to the bone. I’m not wearing a jacket, because I hadn’t planned on being outside for this long. It figures, though. My life seldom goes according to plan. It only makes sense that I’ve found myself in this situation.
The scent of burning leaves reaches my nostrils, but I can’t move enough to see where the fire is at. Not that it matters all that much. I focus instead on the stars above me. The big dipper is enormous. I imagine it turning upside down and pouring out the Milky Way that currently stands out so clearly above me. Far from city lights, far from any hint of civilization whatsoever, I can see more of the universe than I’ve ever seen before.
How long was I in the car that brought me here? And where is “here” anyway?
Next I find Orion. Do you even have a clue how it feels to be hunted, Orion? Would you even care?
“Enjoying the view?” The voice is more chilling than the crisp October air.
I’m enjoying it as much as I can given the circumstances, which isn’t all that much. On a clear, moonless night like this, I’d typically pull out my telescope and look at the stars with my best friend Matt.
Matt. I’m never going to see you again, am I?
“Let me guess. You’re speechless? You should be? There are no words that will make your betrayal okay.” A fuzzy face moved into my field of vision. Chester.
My betrayal? I start to laugh at the audacity of it all, but my laugh turns into a choked cry as pain flares in my gut.
“You hurt me, Melissa,” Chester said, his voice hard. “You have no idea how badly. I love you. Don’t you realize that?”
I can’t focus on him. My vision is starting to blur, and he’s pacing now. I could never explain how much worse he’s hurt me. And to think I actually felt bad for hurting him. I didn’t make the decision to break off our relationship lightly. The feelings that were once there began to fade ages ago, at least on my end. I also didn’t intend to fall in love with Matt. Things like that just happen sometimes. While Chester is quick to anger and overly critical, Matt is gentle. He listens. I try to picture his warm brown eyes and easy smile.
I’m sorry, Matt. I’m sorry I can’t come back home. I’m sorry that I’m going to die out here, and I’m sorry my death with erase the smile that I love so much. I knew Chester would take it hard, but I never imagined he would go this far. The blood staining my white T-shirt proves I was wrong.
My eyes can scarcely make out the Pleiades. The seven sisters. They managed to outrun Orion for seven years before the chase was immortalized in the stars. If only I could have run as fast as they did. If only I had more time. I wasted so many hours worrying about silly things that didn’t really matter. If I had a chance to do it all again, I could do it so much better.
“He’ll never have you, Melissa. No one will. There won’t be anything left of you by morning. He’ll never know what happened to you. How does that make you feel?”
That has to be a rhetorical question. I’m far beyond the ability to talk. He can probably read the answer in my eyes, anyway.
With a cold smile, Chester steps away for the final time. “Good-bye, Melissa.”
The sound of dry grass crunching beneath his feet is nearly drowned out by the crackling of the fire. It must be closer now. I can see something bright in the periphery of my vision.
Most of the stars are too faint for my tired eyes to distinguish now, but I still spot the familiar shape of Cassiopeia. The queen on her throne. I don’t suppose you could lend me a hand, could you? No? I didn’t think so. I doubt you’d even care about what’s happening to me right now, but I’d rather you be the last thing I ever see. Not Chester. He doesn’t deserve to be the last person I think of before my life ends.
Or I can pretend Matt is here, and we’re lying on a blanket as we gaze at the stars. I may be so cold and weak that I can no longer shiver, but that delusion almost makes me feel normal for a moment. I clutch it tight, holding it firmly in my mind. I can’t stand the thought of letting it go.
The heat of the fire soon licks my feet. The shroud of smoke now obscures my view of the sky. Rather than lamenting this fact, I pretend I’m one of those stars. I’ll soon burn as bright as they do. How many people can say that? Maybe one day someone will write out my story in the constellations, rendering me immortal.
Word Count: 854