Living Alone (Flash Fiction)

Bob gargled the mouthwash and sent small specks onto the mirror. He brought his head forward, gave the surface a quick wipe, and spat into the sink. The energy-efficient light bulb flickered and hummed its monotone buzz. Bob’s eyes hung with weariness under the harsh light. His skin prickled as an icy draft flowed down his dark and empty hallway. He stared at to the mirror, waiting.

His face reflected back to him against the pitch black backdrop. A frayed and dingy blue hand towel hung from the rack beside the open door. The silence was permanent, save for the incessant electric buzz. Bob’s skin crawled across his body like water trying to escape a pool, lapping and splashing at the edges. A deep chill set into his bones. He sucked the cold air into his lungs and held it there.

She passed by like the phantom she was. The light flickered again. Her young head was slung lifelessly to the left, showing the brutal bend where the rope snapped her neck. Her arms drifted beside her in an invisible breeze. The lace nightgown trailing behind her shimmered a silvery-white. Her vaporous hair floated as if she were plunged under a deep sea. She passed in the direction of his room, as she always did. She took no notice of Bob, as it always was. The silence around him was eternal, as it always would be.

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