Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Trigger Event: The Girl Next Door, 299 words

Three times in your childhood and adolescence, you had nightmares of flashing lights and a sense of falling, and each morning after that you woke up in the neighbor’s corn field in just your underwear, just after the sun rose. You had a few scrapes and scratches on your arms and torso each time this happened, but your feet were always in perfect shape, without even a speck of dirt on them. You were always in the exact same place each time, and had to walk back across the field to where it met your and your neighbor’s back yards.

The third time, your neighbor’s daughter was up early and playing with her dog in their back yard when you came out of the corn field. She didn’t say much about it, mostly just gave you weird looks while she helped you clean and bandage your feet, which had gotten cut up and dirty from the walk back. You never really talked about it again.

Eventually, you both went off to different colleges. The summer after your second year, you went home again and it happened a fourth time: the flashing lights, the sense of plummeting from a great height… And more. Your neighbor’s daughter was there as well, dancing naked with a group of small, gray-skinned, elfin-looking little creatures under a brilliant white light floating in the night sky, all of them in a circle around you. As she danced, she turned into one of them, and one of them turned into her.

The next thing you remember is waking up in your underwear in the corn field again, just after sunrise. Your neighbor’s daughter was waiting in the back yard this time as well, with a small first aid kit and an expectant look on her face.

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