Bloody Mary

The hallway, it is spinning.

I am moving, be pushed forward down the hall. My sister and her friend are laughing, and I am laughing, too, however, I am afraid. I am moving forward against my will, and I am laughing, I am laughing, and I am then shoved into the bathroom and my sister reaches up and flips out the light.

The door is closing; it is quick but for me it is slow, slow, an eerie eternity, and, I am sealed in the dark.

“No, wait!” my little voice cries. I run forward and grab the door handle, but they are holding it closed. I tug and tug but I am only a child, and I am still but a wisp, closer to a nothing than a being. I press myself against the cool wood, I hear them through the door.

They say, “Okay, now go to the mirror and say Bloody Mary into it three times.”

My heart thumps. It is so dark, too dark. I stretch up and reach for the light-switch.

They say, “Don’t you touch that light switch! Something bad will happen! Go to the mirror, and say Bloody Mary. Go on, do it!”

I can hear my breathing so vividly. How is it the dark makes all the unseeable so clear? I want to be brave, I want to be strong; I clutch my pillow, and take a step away from the door, and towards the mirror.

They say, “Come on! Do it!”

I take another step.

They say, “Come on! Don’t be a wimp!”

They say, “Do it!”

They say, “Do it! Call for Bloody Mary!”

The light from the window is slipping through the shutters, all is becoming brighter, and somehow, the dim, well—it is more frightening than the very dark. I am looking up, holding my pillow protector close. I can see my face, low in the bottom of the mirror. It looks haunting, hollow, and I am going to do it. I am going to say the words. I open my mouth, and the darkness sweeps in.

“…Bloody Mary.”

My voice is solid, my body is trembling. Something is caught, in my throat. I can feel her, I can feel Bloody Mary nearing. She is coming. My mouth I have left open, my breath rattles.

“Blod – Bloody Mary.”

I say her name again. My sister and her friend have gone quiet. I am pounding, throbbing like an overfilled blood vessel. This drum is sounding in my ears, it is getting louder, I hear nothing but the drum; sharp and whining and pulsating about me. I see the mirror shifting, my face is changing. It is becoming darker again, and every particle, every atom is twitching fast, and I can not see anything that does not appear to be a wicked thing coming, a wicked thing moving towards me. I am sweating into my pillow, I am so afraid, but I will say the words, even though I know that she is nearing, she is coming for me. I must face her, I must face her head on.

I am waiting in a silence now. This silence speaks in ways. This silence spills and I am shaking.

“…Blood -”

My sister and her friend explode through the door, screeching wildly with all the light and sound and world rampaging in, and I scream so loud, scream with ten hundred lungs, scream with cords I never knew I had and fall backward against the washtub, heart racing like a herd of stallions along the Assateague shore. My sister and her friend are laughing.

“Got you!” they shout.

Everything that was once here has left. I laugh, and giggle as they both tickle me and we three run off back down the hall. The bathroom is still dark, and I turn for just a moment, to look behind.

There, Bloody Mary is looking at me, through the dark.

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