Noon

The clock struck twelve. She opened her eyes and blinked hard. She shut them again, squeezed her eyelids together and a patch of greenish black with faint white eyebrow-shaped fuzz emerged. She kept them shut this time. Her throat felt constricted. She could feel the thick stench of morning breath sitting on her tongue. Her blanket was tangled between her legs and her thin white shirt stuck onto her back. It was a disgustingly humid and hot day. The air felt so thick that she was almost certain it could suspend a brick. They were on the brink of fall but it seemed like the weather wanted to play summer one last time before plunging into a vortex of wind and snow.

She lay spread eagle with her face buried in the her pillow, unwilling to move. The unusual silence at noon heightened her senses. She became aware of the tip of her nose that pressed against the squishy pillow, the scratchy blanket that rested on her unshaven legs, the strands of hair that stuck onto the corners of her mouth, the sharp pain that lingered at the back of her throat…

A door slammed. She felt her heart thrust quickly against her chest in sync of the slam. The sustained silence that followed made her heartbeat fall back into its regular pace.

“What was that?”

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