Trigger warning: murder, mental illness, drowning
I sigh with content as I watch the sunrise, filling the darkness of the world with its light. The fiery red slowly turns into orange, then a bright yellow.
The rays hit my body, and the sudden warmth makes me shiver. I close my eyes, and my long, black hair spreads out on the grassy hill below me. Lifting my head, I look forward groggily.
I study the sun’s reflection in the lake, a blend of colors making art.
“The view is nice, isn’t it?” Alice giggles beside me. I squeeze her cheeks, wrapping my arms around her tiny body. “Aurora!” she cries.
Ignoring her comment, I speak. “You never grow up, do you? You’re still the same after all these years.”
She rolls her eyes. “I’m seven! What do you expect? I won’t be as old as your seventy-year-old body!”
I mock a gasp. “I’m actually seventeen!”
She tsks. “Same thing in my eyes.”
Flicking her forehead, I grin. “The same eyes that basically don’t work anymore?” She groans in response, too tired to respond.
We stay quiet in comfortable silence, watching the sun slowly rise. I notice that Alice’s skin becomes brighter, more alive, as the sun travels farther across our sky.
We don’t move. We eat a sandwich, although I’m unsure about where it came from.
My eyebrows furrow. “Where did you get that?”
She smiles mischievously. “I prepared it ahead of time,” she explains.
Alice said she prepared it, but it looked like she created it out of thin air. But that’s my sister; always prepared, always ready. Unlike her body, her brain is huge, constantly thinking ahead of time.
I sit up, leaning over to kiss her forehead. She makes a disgusted face but I don’t care. I love my sister, I would never let her be in harm’s way.
“Aurora...?” she calls, pulling me out of my thoughts.
“Yes?” I answer, tilting my head.
“Can we hug?” She pouts, giving me puppy eyes. I beam, she is never one for affection.
I scoot over and hug her, feeling her ribs. I notice that she’s skinnier than usual, but I don’t worry- I’m sure she can take care of herself.
She slowly dozes off, her little snores making my heart fill with an immense amount of love.
It’s the middle of the day but I don’t care. Snuggling into her, I am lulled into a deep sleep.
“Aurora!” somebody is shaking me awake. I groan, rubbing my eyes. Lazily sitting up, I look at my little sister.
“Yes, Alice?” I’m now fully awake.
She points forward, beaming. “Look! The lake!”
“What about it?” I ask, curious about her sudden excitement.
“It must be warm right now!”
I peer at the water. She’s right; it does seem warm right now. Nodding at her, we run forward. Wobbling down the hill, we take a seat on the dock and peel off our socks. We didn’t bring shoes in the first place, I don’t need to worry about those. I do wonder what happened to them, though.
Sitting beside each other, we dip our feet in. The water ripples, and the sudden rush of water between my toes tickles.
We sit peacefully, watching as the sun slowly makes its exit. The sky darkens and the water is no longer comforting. Despite the lack of warmth, we stay seated, hands intertwined.
The sun sets, and another light rises. The moon.
I watch as the moon reflects off the lake, no longer aware of the cold. It caught my breath— the beauty of the moon could not be captured by mere words.
It rose, higher and higher. The sun, forgotten, had taken all the warmth and comfort of my world away. I look to my left.
Alice is gone.
My mind clouds with confusion, yet no fear. I look around, knowing that something wasn’t right.
Getting up, my dripping feet are blasted with wind. I ignore my freezing toes.
“Alice?” I call, my voice echoing. No response.
I look around once again. A memory hits me, and wild laughter escapes my body.
“She’s dead!” I laugh, slapping my knee.
“Because I killed her!”
I smile calmly and sit down again. This time, I cross my legs so that my feet don’t get wet.
She had disappeared with the moon.
A memory plays in my head.
“Aurora! Aurora!” Somebody is screaming my name frantically. We were on the dock, my thoughts foggy.
In a surge of anger, I grab their neck, my vision blurry and red with fury. I throw the tiny body into the lake, and my vision clears in time to see flying arms. Splashes of water land on me as I hear a wail.
“Aurora!” Alice is screaming, trying to stay afloat. Her eyes beg me to save her, begging for me to jump in and rescue her.
“Please! I don’t know how to swim!” She flails her arms and desperately tries to kick her legs. I sigh, rolling my eyes. Duh.
Her legs and arms stop fighting the unpreventable, excitement enveloping my body. Her screams are no longer clear, her mouth gurgling.
I watch as her body sinks to the bottom, her lifeless eyes staring into my soul.
I walk away, shameless.
But I come back. I have nowhere else to go, anyway. Something in me cracks. “What did I just do?” I murmur repetitively to myself, the situation surreal. “What did I just do?!” I plop down on the dock and pull at my hair in disbelief. “No, no, no!” I scream. My eyes are wide open, staring at her. Her eyes are still open.
“Never in harm’s way! I’d never let her be in harm’s way!” I’m screeching, chest raising and lowering rapidly. I’m pulling out clumps of hair, trying to make myself hurt somewhere besides my heart.
I swear she just turned her head towards me. I swear I just saw her blink-
Hands are grabbing at me, the memory dissipating. What’s happening? What did I do this time? People are surrounding me but my eyes can’t focus, my heart is beating crazily.
I hear a man sigh. “We found her.”
Adrenaline pumps and I kick my legs, screaming in defiance as they hold me down. They push me on my back so that I lay on the rough wood.
I tire and I stop moving. Panting, I lay on the ground. I look up at the moon with a blank expression.
A man hovers over me, blocking my view. He murmurs to the other people, who appear to be doctors.
I can’t hear anything, only the sound of howling wind. I see that he stabs me with a needle, and although I don’t feel anything, my vision is quickly darkening.
A sudden wave of serendipity washes over me, calming my nerves. I smile happily and the doctors look confused.
The last words I hear are “bipolar disorder” and “hallucinations,” although I don’t understand what they mean by that. My eyelids threaten to close but I force them to stay open. But I can’t continue to fight.
I’ll see you tomorrow night, Alice.
I love you.
I stare at the moon’s reflection in the lake as the world turns completely dark.