*Out of Body*

There’ll be no going back. Not from this. He lingered, stiff and chill, but in his head he was frantically pacing, seeking an out, an escape. Plausible denial. What I don’t see and can’t accept, doesn’t exist.

Except, what he couldn’t see was him. For that fragment of a second, when he’d been strolling past, his reflex glance at the glass was all about bits in his teeth and frizzy hair…until he’d lost his image. No—that wasn’t quite right. He hadn’t found his image from the first. It hadn’t been there…hadn’t been there at all. And when reality clicked and panic set in, he feared it wasn’t the only thing he’d lost…

Steady now. Deep breaths. His throat constricted with dread, but he forced the air in and out with a wheeziness which spoke to him of all things living. Breath speak, thudding heart. He wanted to hoard his breath, thinking it his last, but he expelled it loudly instead. “Ahhhhhhh…”.

Okay, his voice spoke to his own ears—surely, he wasn’t the only one who could hear him?

Jarred from self-reflection—or the lack of it—his head twisted right and left, seeking victims. Someone to ask.

Someone to scare. It was the first trickle of acceptance, the first admission that he might be subject to something which didn’t appeal to him…at all. Death.

In the distance, someone rounded a corner. Head down, texting madly. Can you see me? George trotted that way, waving both arms madly, desperate now to be noticed. As he did, some refraction skirted his periphery, his visual field, and he turned to look—at a frantic man, arms flapping, hair standing on end, eyes wild.

Me. Reflected. Here. Grounded.

His gaze darted to that space where he’d stood before, then back to the glass, further afield. Odd angle, steering his reflection off his viewing screen? Gooseflesh glazed his limbs.

For a minute there I was…dead. Out of body.

Nearly out of my mind.

George lowered his arms, and with shaking legs, trudged on, with ne’er a backwards glance. Just to be safe he sucked in a breath so hard it hurt his chest. Life.

Life after death.

*Out of Body*


Joined January 2008

  • Artist

Artist's Description

A short from author N. D. Hansen-Hill, author of 32 SF, fantasy, horror, and paranormal suspense novels.

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