Friday, April 17, 2009

"Stars Within the Glass" by Karl Bjorn Erickson, Part Six

“What?” David stammered.

“What’s wrong?” the stranger inquired a second time.

“I lost my best friend,” David confessed. “She killed herself. Are you happy? On top of that, I don’t have any damn idea where I am.” David paused a moment, “how did you
know that something was wrong, and who the hell are you?”

“Hell has nothing to do with this place. My name is Metanoya. Why don’t you close
your eyes and see the truth of why you are here?”

Before David even had given it any thought, he was shutting his eyes. There was only
a darkness at first, but he seemed to be in a familiar place. The darkness lightened and shapes took form. In a terrifying instant, he realized that he was looking at Laura alone in her dormitory room. It was as if he was there in the room with her. Distant city lights twinkled outside her window. Except for the lamp on her desk, the room was dark and quiet. David wondered if he was in a nightmare. He tried to yell out to her, but he couldn’t make a sound. She looked disheveled and her eyes were puffy, like she had been crying. David suddenly caught a change in her face as she reached down and picked up a bottle of prescription pills. Her distraught features seemed to disappear altogether as they were replaced for an instant by the face of a strange man. David could make out the man’s smile for only an instant. There was no mistaking that it was an unfriendly smile, a look of absolute hatred and malevolence.

David wanted to scream, to do anything to stop what was happening, what had
happened, but he could not say a word to his friend. She put the pills back down, and
David hoped with every fiber of his being that something would change. She would be
back in his arms again, and everything would be the way it was supposed to be. Laura
stared out the window for a time, watching the city lights and listening to the sounds of the night. With a sudden determination that shocked and horrified David, she picked the prescription bottle up again and hurriedly opened it with shaking fingers. David tried to scream, to slam his fists into the wall--anything--but he couldn’t move or make a sound.

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