A small moment in Elise’s past (January Submission)

She sleeps, her black locks flowing across the pillow. She dreams, the image cast behind her closed lids are that of daily waking, walking through the corridors of her university feeling the sense of solitude, without fear. The affluence of her parents put her here to learn botony, a far stretch away from the anatomy she was learning at home. She knew that they looked down on her studies, thinking she was a headcase when she drug home a freshly dead dog corpse only to cut it open and inspect it’s insides. They banished her, hoping this ‘place’ would make her a decent human being. How she dreams of solitude again.

‘Bam!’ The sound against her window pain startling her from her dream, shaking her awake and out of bed. A smear of fresh blood dripping down the other side of the yellowed glass. She steps toward the window, unlatches it, and looks out, down to the ground. In the moonlight she sees a small body, bird perhaps? Bat? Something that flies, she knew. Excited, she rushes down the marble steps of her school and out the large creaking wooden barricade of doors. Once in place under her third floor bedroom window, she searches, unable to find the body. Was it a dream?

She returns, emptyhearted to her bedroom and closes the door softly behind her. She looks at the window again, open and as clean and as it normally is. With disappointment, she looks out, studying the sky, the stars almost blinding in the dark backdrop. She looks at the trees, their shadowy sillouettes reaching up like veins in the winter air. Along the treeline she notices something, tall and dark, with a white…face? A man, leaning against a tree, looking at the school.

She quickly closes the window and jumps under the safety of her bedcovers, heart pounding. Did he see her? Why was he there? She forces her eyes closed and waits for dawn, welcoming any sound of life within the halls.

For nights, her sleep is restless. She always checked outside before putting herself in bed. When she did manage to dream, nightmares of a white blurred face haunted her. Sometimes she would wake up and see this orb of white in the window, only to scream and fall out of bed, waking herself from the waking dream. None of the other girls saw him, she would know. They’d whisper about it. The only thing they whisper about is her. And boys.

Finally, one evening, she was angry, angry with herself for being such a mouse. She again followed her ritual by looking out of the window before bed, but this time, she stayed awake. Sitting at the window, looking out, watching the shades of night turn from brown, to dark blue, and finally to black. And that’s when she spotted it, the form, coming out of the woods and taking his perch against the tree. He looked at the school, and not up at her. She was angry that her nights were infected by his presence, and decided to take action, to ask him what the hell he was doing. In her nightrobes she stormed out, barefeet padding down the hall and down the cold marble staircase. She slams her hands into the doors, throwing them open. As she marched towards the figure in the shadows, he retreats into the forest. "Oh, no you don’t!" she mumbles, in her native tongue. Taking full charge, she runs in after him, constantly turning her head and eyes, looking for that splash of white skin in the pitch blackness. Before she could get too far, she feels a stinging pierce in the side of her neck, as all thought and feeling gradually fade away into the darkness.

She awakes, alone and dirty, on the leaf covered floor of the forest. "Oh no! I’ve got to get back!" she says to herself as she scrambles up and makes a run for the school. She trips and stumbles for the washroom, already occupied with one of the early risers. They look at her as if they’ve witnessed a ghost. "What?!" she asks them angrily. They’ve never been kind to her, always had something smart to say. She looks into the washbasin to see how much of a mess she is, but finds that her reflection isn’t looking back. She only sees the girl’s wide eyes in the pool, noticing the same thing. Elise turns to her and…

Blood, everywhere. Other girls crowd around the entryway, crying and gasping, while a few run down the halls calling for help. Elise knew what just happened, and couldn’t believe it herself. What should she do? Where should she go?

So she decides to run, the group parting for her, afraid to not let her pass, unwanting of her presence any longer. She runs, not knowing who or what she’s become, or what she is supposed to do.

She turns towards the darkness, enveloped by the grasp of death, the only comfort she could find. Years of studying the science of Necromancy, of seeing fresh spirits trying to find their way, of reprogramming lungs and hearts to function. She wants answers. She needs to know. She needs to find him, somehow, to ask him "Why?". And she figures the only ones who’d know who he was and where to find him were already dead.

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