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  • Writer's pictureHaru Ru

Midnight After


Past the stroke of midnight, precisely 17 minutes gone.

As we departed from the cinema, an extraordinary occurrence seized us, out of thin air, as a bottle descended from the heavens. The manner of its arrival perplexed us greatly, leaving us bewildered as to its origin and purpose. With a perfect landing, it settled before our very eyes. It was Emily who retrieved it—a bottle of champagne, to be precise, a 2008 Cristal. Inside, a spectacle awaited our gaze: golden specks danced amidst a silver strand of hair. Upon closer inspection, it resembled a celestial galaxy, with a gleaming black void positioned at its core, relentlessly drawing dust in from one end and expelling it from the other in a ceaseless whirl. Emily and I surveyed our surroundings, suddenly realizing we were alone on that street—no breeze, no sound, no motion—devoid of all things. In a clamor, Emily implored, "Let us retreat! Let us retreat!" And so, we embarked upon a frenzied dash down the road.

Before our abode's entrance, an immense triangular cardboard structure lay upon the ground, its hue a vibrant crimson. Hesitation seized us momentarily, yet we possessed no alternative but to venture inside. As we tentatively pressed forward, the box assumed a translucent quality. "Behold, there lies a hound within!" I exclaimed. Indeed, it was a puppy adorned in pristine white fur, boasting an extraordinary count of nine luxuriant, elongated tails—a white Golden, one might presume. Adjacent to the pup, a trove of human bones lay strewn about, comprising a handful of skulls, accompanied by a glass vessel and various papers. The glass contained a liquid resembling cranberry juice, half-filled, its dimensions akin to my hand. The papers comprised a foreign-language newspaper, unintelligible to our comprehension. The canine established eye contact with us, but ere we could react, all illumination was promptly engulfed into the bottle, affording me a fleeting glimpse of the pup's transformation into a colossal lion, before succumbing to an abyss of sheer darkness.

Vision eluded me, sounds evaded my senses, and Emily's whereabouts remained unknown. Attempting to vocalize my distress proved futile, as my words receded, swallowed within my throat. A peculiar sensation then overcame me—a relentless surge within my veins, hastening with unbridled velocity, violently coursing through my entire being, from my fingertips to my toes. In vain, I traversed the area, seeking Emily's assistance, but alas, she eluded me or perhaps I simply could not find her. It appeared as if my body grew exceedingly hot, scorching my organs, and liquefying my very form. I recall the loss of my left limb, followed by my right arm, rendering me incapable of running any longer. I resorted to crawling, relentlessly dragging myself forward. Pain ceased to register. The vaporization of my scarlet blood cells became apparent, as each passing second made breathing increasingly arduous. My lungs, I deduced, had been decimated.

No longer did I possess legs, arms, fingers, nor even a solitary strand of hair, yet "I" endured. Yes, the essence of "Me" remained. Reduced to mere particles, I found myself drawn into the confines of that bottle, consumed by its inescapable pull.

I know not the duration—perhaps a mere ten seconds, perchance eons—time eludes me, slipping through my grasp. Nevertheless, the presence of the lion lingers, ever observant, even in this very moment, as I converse with you.

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