Fringe

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The chill of night licked me, constricting me into a lethal embrace. Dense air hued my cheeks a scarlet tinge, kissing the unprotected areas of skin. How stupid was I, venturing out here? Especially now, after what had happened.

I trundled through the thickets of snow, which mantled the parched January ground with a tranquil pattern. It was closer; the wood of the dilapidated fence materialized as I fought though the reluctant snow. Pausing at the fork in the road just beyond the fence, I grappled onto the loose bramble of a bush, the thin curls of my bronze hair flaying in reluctance against the brash wind.

“We can talk this over.” He suggested as he toddled into my emerald eyed gaze. “I really didn’t mean to, Emma; I was just—”

“Drunk?” I accused with a tinge of contempt. “That’s not an excuse for you anymore.”

“What? I wasn’t—what are you talking about, Emma? Babe, I wasn’t drunk!”

I eyed my boyfriend warily, a surge of devastation submerging me. “Sure.” I laughed. “And I’m not just about to break up with you.”

“You’re over thinking this, babe,” Ian warned me. “I didn’t mean to hit you! It just kind of…happened. Spur-of-the-moment, if I get what I’m getting at.”

“You’re so…” Words eluded me as I began to walk away. I wasn’t sure of my destination, just as long as I escaped him. I guess he attempted to follow me, but he was oblivious to all the trails I’d unearthed years after I’d first ventured into the forest.

Mangled by thick brambles and thistles, I finally managed my way onto the pond, rendered a frozen sheen by the chapping cold. I coddled myself in a ball, watching the intricate freefall of snow. It fringed onto me.

It was just then I saw her. Gazing back at me was the same petite blonde I saw in the mirror every time I peeked. But her eyes, cold but charismatic, the color of the desert, gazed at the world with superiority. She was petite, but an immense power poured off of her.

My twin sister still looked the same. How many years had it been since the attack, since her death? I linked the vision of my sister to pneumonia, the flu, something reasonable to the world. She wasn’t really there. She’d died: an animal attack three years prior, the product of her oblivion and desire.

“Sissy,” Liz’s gravelly purr danced through the trees as it erupted from silence. “It’s been too long.”

“You’re dead.”

“And you’re still as annoying. The basics, they’ve been covered. But thanks for the conversation starter.”

“Liz.” I pulled my voice into an undertone. “You’re dead! You can’t be here, it’s—”

“I won’t stay for long,” she procured. “I just need you to promise me something.”

“What’s that?”

“Promise me you’ll avenge me.”

My eyes, which I’d pulled into darkness, released my sight back into the world. But my sister was gone. Irately, I clambered off the pond. But just as I impeded to calm myself, the glassy sheen below my feet split.





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