It was early hours of the morning when a stir of movement finally occurred. A creeping draft pricked her skin; recoiling under her flimsy shawl made no difference to the cool feeling of unease teasing her senses.

The sun laid heavy on the horizon, fighting against the thick haze that still owned the streets, casting a blue hued light through her windows. Distant barking and ambulance sirens broke the eerie silence of her room, magnifying the stark reality of her isolated shell.

Her breath faltered as a melodic memory of her childhood chimed from her phone. Glancing at the screen she subdued it to silence. Her past was supposed to protect her from this moment; her subconscious mocked her by looping the rhythmic reminder in her mind.

Looking down, she could see the evidence of her suffering scattered at her feet, clear for all to see. Moistening her dry lips, she closed her eyes and for a moment tried to escape the truth but she couldn’t breathe, her lungs tightened.

In panic she inhaled deeply through her mouth, pain reverberating down her throat and across her face, enveloping her senses, taunting her weakness.

Suddenly tears laced her tired eyes, as the breaths came quicker, causing her heart to race.

When would this end?

When would she be free of this demon consuming her soul?

The radiators clinked. Her heart stopped. Inhaling sharply, she closed her eyes, waiting for the moment. Her hands lifted, reaching into the darkness to the soft ethereal whiteness that lay before her.

Clasping tightly, not letting go, pulling another klennex from the carton, she sneezed, sniffed and grumbled as she shifted back under her blanket –

“I bloomin’ hate colds.”

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