Wren climbed into her bed, sighing with contentment at the familiarity that contrasted to the rest of the day. Relief flooded through her, an emotion she hadn't had the luxury of associating herself with in the past couple of weeks, as she finally concluded that soon it would all be over, the dread she had felt prior to this day would all have been for no cause, because if she was supposed to die today then there was little to no chance that her death would occur in the remaining 42 minutes of the day, providing her theory was correct of course, but no-one was going to get killed in the comfort of their own house...a heavily guarded, remote and secure house at least. She chuckled, still unsure and nervous, her eyes landed on the curtains, and she stared at them in deep thought.

The curtains were thick red velvet that hung in generous folds around the mullioned windows and were lined with thick cotton the deepest shade of plum. When they were closed the room was cast into an instant darkness, even on the brightest days. In winter they stood guard against the biting cold, making even the coldest of winter nights cosy and warm.

She groaned, the 41 minutes of wait remaining seeming unbearable. In the dark room there were shapes in monochrome of course the daylight could bring brilliant fuchsia or a rich scarlet, but for now it could be portrayed as a scene from a black and white movie. The silhouettes were already less discernible than they were only a short while before.

Only 40 minutes left in this desolate cell of a bedroom. It consisted of a small single bed, looking like a snow drift, so white and feathery and high it was; a tiny wash-stand with an old-fashioned bowl and pitcher of green and white stone-ware, and over it an old-fashioned bowl and pitcher of green and white stone, and over it a rusted bronze gilt mirror; a small splint-bottomed chair and a large braided rug of red woollen rags.

The new protocol was unnecessarily sending the whole country into turmoil and I hated it all. She hated how it got to her, slowly forcing her to do what they wanted and that with everything they were shown, she believed it and now she was sat in this dark room waiting for it all to happen. Again, the dread crept over her like an icy chill, numbing her brain, like the sort of ice that takes an eternity to thaw out. In her comatose state, her mind offered her only one thought, and it wasn’t a consolidation or a comfort. It will happen today. There is no avoiding it. It finally dawned on her what the phrase deer caught in headlights meant. At the current moment, the only thing she could compare to was a cow, a cow being herded into a truck for the slaughter house, only the cow didn’t know where it’s going and she did. My mind drifted off to my last summer in middle school, how I couldn’t pull the trigger of the gun I had pointing between the two eyes of that sheep in the slaughter house. The advice my grandfather gave me still clear in my head.

“Pull the trigger whilst you can, because one day it’ll be you’ll be on the other side of that gun”

At least we can agree on one thing.

I jolted up at the slight pattering of rain on the corrugated roof, it started with its serenade on the walls, accompanied by the steady drumming on the window. Through the window she watched as the rain soaked the soil and painted a layer of gloss on each individual leaf.

With the rain, came the doors that knocked, the wind that wanted nothing more than to announce its arrival, to scream, “I’m here.” And so it went on, the grass outside flattening in waves, bowing down to the gusts that blew across the land. It blew through the house with a powerful passion, entering through the gaps in the walls or through the bottom of the uneven doors, scattering old documents as if they were the leaves of fall and banging the doors in a chaotic drum beat – the marching band of one without fingers or hands.

35 minutes left.

The whole world had probably just been ridiculed by an app that supposedly tells you your death date. She chuckled lowly, her itching eyelids slowly closing, as she struggled to fight the sleep away, the consistency of the rain lulling me to sleep.

She dreamt of the initial start of the whole game she was pulled into:

Two days earlier…

“Oh come on, let’s just try it, there’s no harm in just trying it,” Nate continued to whine. Wren glanced at Ally, raising her eyebrows in a questioning way, awaiting her approval before agreeing to Nate’s absurd suggestion, she nodded, and Wren gulped and then agreed with Nate.

Wren awoke to the sound of birds chirping, which she dismissed as the cause of the noise interrupting her sleep. She opened her eyes, her sight still bleary, to the sight of hundreds of baby Wren birds at the very least, but how was this even possible?

She glanced at the clock.

60 seconds. 

October 22, 2019 12:32

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