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.. (2)

 The woman in purple kept pushing herself off and away from the invisible grayness – and it hurt to do it, every time.  But there was no other choice.

EMMA ALBRECHT

“Nobody here cares about it.”
“Well, I do.”
“We shouldn’t even be having this conversation.”
“It can end as soon as you want.”

The woman in purple kept pushing herself off and away from the invisible grayness – and it hurt to do it, every time.  But there was no other choice. There was a sense of deep urgency in her mind about it – that there was nothing so vital as keeping herself away from those grey edges. She felt like – if she let the walls hold her fast – she’d be … consumed. It was a feeling, and nothing more. She had no evidence to support it – beyond the way the many points looked so much like teeth. But, that sensation felt as true as anything she’d ever experienced in her phantom second-life. The not-quite-walls that were also not-quite-nothingness that were still so painful – they were everywhere, jutting out at impossible angles that hurt her to even become aware of them. The very impression of the things wounded her. And, there were things taking shape in the darker corners of the grey. Her teacher, Casper Ada, had scoffed at her suggestion that the points were teeth; but, he also hadn’t done a particularly good job of explaining those shapes or why they happened or what they were all about, really. The detective suspected he didn’t really know what they were, or why they could be found here where someone’s dreams might otherwise be. His too-brief advisements about people like Emma Albrecht was more about the behavior of the place – the way that the shadows would reach out toward her, blurring the line between sharp points and darkness and memory. He was right about that. It was happening. But no amount of knowledge helped with the pain; the echo-shapes still hurt the detective when they touched her.  And, they were touching her. And, some of them cut very deep.

“She’s at peace now.”
“I don’t want her to be at peace!  I want her here!”

“Each mask tells a story. The books collect those stories together.”
“How long have you been — …?”
“Curating? A long time.”

“If it works – we can be together!”

Click here to continue reading the story

Published inpart 2

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