H L Dixon lives and writes in Liverpool. She has a BA in English Literature and is currently studying for an MA in creative writing. She is an FE lecturer and has a penchant for the uncanny.
It’s quiet. The curtains are drawn, preventing intense sunlight from entering the room.
A series of tiny blows accost my temples as I attempt to survey my surroundings. The unfamiliar room is basic and bathed in a beige hue. Realising I am as bare as a new-born, I reach for a blanket and as I do, my hand brushes the skin on my legs, it is oven hot. A fever runs through me, it assaults my nervous system like an imperceptible assassin.
My phone sits on a table next to the bed. Finding it dead, I gaze into the empty glass unable to recognise the face that stares back. The reflection before me contorts from ogre to angel as I watch fascinated, dazed. Coming to my senses I throw the phone across the room. What the hell was that? I whisper, trying to lift myself off the bed, the sheets wet with hot sweat.
The meagre light from the curtain makes me nervous, it reminds me of avoiding cracks on pavements as a child. My eyes are drawn to a dull ache in my wrist where a gnarled wound sits like a gorge, surrounded by unblemished flesh. Dread twists my gut.
It’s then that I notice her, sitting in the shadows of the room. Pale, long, legs, ending in a pair of red stilettoes
“Who are you?” I ask from the edge of the bed, my heart attempting to break free from its cage.
“I’m your guardian Angel.” Unable to see her face, I sense she is smirking. My own musk mixed with something unsettling pervades my senses and I am suddenly party to oddments of conversation streets away. Vertiginous with confusion, I feel like I will faint, but I fight it.
“Where am I? I need to go home, I’m ill.” Pleading, God knows why. I can just get up, get my clothes on, and go, can’t I? But something in the peripheral of my memory tells me this isn’t the case.
“I saved you.” She says this slowly, each word gravid, and I catch a glimpse of her mouth, two soft pillows hiding enamel daggers. The wound on my wrist begins to itch.
And it comes back like pieces of a puzzle. Losing my friends at a bar. Drunken disorientation. My body hitting the freezing water of the canal. That mouth.
“What is the rule about saving someone’s life? I think I am responsible for you now.” That sinister tone, covered in chocolate.
She leans forward in her chair a little and I catch a glimpse of her face, pale and angular, before it disappears into the darkness again.
“You are not ill, boy; you are a caterpillar.” Her voice like quicksilver.
“What are you talking about? Who the hell are you?” I am wailing, my skin is prickling, every part of my body feels like a stranger to me.
And she watches, silently, as I become a butterfly.