Her eyes are clamped tight. She daren’t open them because when she does, it means she’ll be back in the land of the living, and although the fox and the fairground are long gone, she doesn’t want to give them up. Not just yet, anyhow. Opening them will also mean having to confront the source of the smell. Sniffing the air, it seems to be growing by the second, nibbling at her senses the way a rat nibbles on trash. At first, there had only been the merest suggestion of it, but now it was pawing at her like the desperate hands of a starving tramp. Although the hot air blasting from the heater is enough to singe the hairs on her arms, the looming smell gives her the shivers as if she were stuck outside with all the stray cats and madmen. She can still hear them over the wind and rain, yet while the storm and those caught in it are howling, the apartment is dead silent. The last remaining cookie she stole is now a melted mess in her lap. When she finally plucks up the courage to open her eyes, the brown pile of goo on her nightie makes it look like she’s shit herself. There’s no muffled laughter trying to escape her mouth, though. Her throat is squeezed tight; as tight as her eyes had been. The smell is making her feel drowsy, and the stronger it grows, the tighter its grip on her until she’s unable to shake off its advances any longer.
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