Other Friend

“Just a little further,” Jon said.

Clare kept her hands close to the wall, feeling the rough stone as she followed his bobbing voice. Suddenly the walls fell away. Clare stopped.


“It’s alright,” he said.

Something dripped in the distance. A light appeared, small, faint. Others flocked around it, a swarm of insects, growing, spreading.

“What is that?”

“Don’t be afraid.”

The lights continued to grow, winking in and out as they circled each other. Gradually Clare came to realize, the lights were not something, they were part of something. It glistened, crawling over and under itself, a great mass of limbs, covered in a fine sheen.

“Jon? What is that?”

“That, that’s me.”

His voice was a whisper now, slipping right into her ear, but when she reached out all she touched was air.

“Don’t be afraid,” he whispered again, as she turned to face it, feeling that terrible presence regard her.

“It’s only me,” he said.

Part of her wanted to speak, to reassure that familiar voice, but the sight of it stole away her words. Standing was all she could manage. So she stood, facing her friend, waiting for reason to return, and tell her what to do next.

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