The air around her was still and icy. The second her foot touched the floor, leaving the warm cocoon of blankets that had been keeping her safe, a cold shock ran up her body. She wrapped her arms around her naked torso and shuffled her way through the dark to the bathroom down the hall.
It was the worst time of night. Everyone else was asleep, their brains quiet and turned off. Not hers though. Hers was always up and running. Especially at night when the monsters came out to play.
She splashed warm water over her face, trying to drown out the cruel images that played out in her mind only moments before. The blood. The gore. Sometimes it was safer to be awake.
As her eyes adjusted to the bright lights overhead the pounding in her skull started. She stared in the mirror, willing the pain to go away. The tired, hollow eyes that stared back served as an unsettling reminder of each endless night that came before.
She hated what she saw, but she didn’t bother to turn away. The image was with her no matter where she went: The dark circles, the stretch marks, the scars, the bones that didn’t jut out quite enough, the thighs that touched too much. It was as terrifying as the actual nightmares.
The voices started. They were quiet enough that only she could hear, but screaming loudly to compete with the growling of her stomach and the drumbeat in her head.
“Fat,” they spat at her. “Stupid.” “Ugly.” “Weak.” “Gross.” “Useless.”
She turned the faucet on and splashed her face a second time. Then a third. Soon, she was sloshing water all over herself and the floor. No matter how hard she tried she couldn’t drown the voices out.
“Worthless.” “Unloveable.” They hissed.
She was so desperate to make them stop that she didn’t see the hand. The long, skeletal fingers that slowly reached their way out of the mirror. It looked surprisingly like her own hand.
Her reflection rippled like the gentle waves of a pond as the hand crept its way out of the mirror and wrapped itself around her pretty white neck. It gripped tighter and tighter, until her vision blackened and the voices grew louder.
She woke with a jolt and sat up straight in bed, hands clutching at her throat. The air around her was still and icy. The second her foot touched the floor, leaving the warm cocoon of blankets that had been keeping her safe, a cold shock ran up her body. She wrapped her arms around her naked torso and shuffled her way through the dark to the bathroom down the hall.
It was the worst time of night.