Knock knock knock.
Ashley’s hands are an itchy scarlet and cracked at the knuckles and fidgeting, coarse from icy desert gales and over-washing. This unclean thing simmers underneath the skin and counts the waxing hours down to the full white face of an apathetic moon. Her eyes are lost and witching like the sidereal realms of the outer dark of the night and she is burdened with the creeping stress and blanched like some forlorn drowned bride. She had become desperate with no answers for a cure and come back to the man who’d initially refused to help. She cannot ask her family and she is alone and she’s desperate and at the bottom of the world.
The sloppy man feels bad for her that much is obvious with his firebrown puppy eyes in the early days columns of light and heavyhearted behind the grease-smudged, thick lenses of his aviators. His potbelly had answered the door from the seam before he had.
If I help, there’s no going back, he says, I make people vanish… ain’t no comin’ back from that. You’d essentially be dead.
She thinks of gone moments smiling and the afire twirl of the warm sun through the skinny, waving arms of mesquites in the morning breeze, because those are the moments that felt the most real, but she would see them again, just never here. Wouldn’t she?
Make me vanish, she says.
[ ‘Girls That Vanish At Night: New Mexico, 1986′ is the continuation of a short horror series told episodically by Samantha Lucero. To catch up on series 1, go here. ]