Trembling as the glowing logs hypnotise her like a magician’s sleight of hand, the pieces of cookie in her lap melt like wax. As they slowly drip down her thighs, the discarded bag the cookies came in curls at the corners as the heat blasting out of the heater shows no sign of diminishing, and as the window rattles in the billowing wind and lashing rain, little Gretchen stares open-mouthed at nothing. She’s aware of what’s happening, and yet the more she loses herself in the glow of the logs, the less control she has over the events that are to unfold. Amid the howling of the storm, she knows she’s in the room sat before the heater and that her mother is sleeping, and her father still absent, and yet somehow, she’s aware that she’s no longer there. Feeling as if she’s being stretched like a piece of gum stuck to the bottom of a shoe, she lets out a quiet gasp. In the blink of an eye, the world is turned inside out, and just like that, she finds herself on the other side of the window—floating many feet above the puddly ground below. The rain hits her face so hard it feels like a thousand tiny knives stabbing at her flesh. Far from hurting, though, it might as well be a thousand tiny kisses, for each one makes her heart flutter like the wings of butterflies flapping in celebration at finally dancing free of their cocoons. Peering through the window, she sees herself hunched over as if in the act of praying. Perhaps she is? To whom, she’s not sure. She’s only small after all.
X and I: A Novel and A Journal for Damned Lovers on Amazon UK
X and I: A Novel and A Journal for Damned Lovers on Amazon US
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