Prompted at Sunday Scribblings: Weird
We couldn’t stay at Glen’s place anymore; he and Eve were leaving Long Beach along with everybody else. Sean had some friends who had a venetian blinds business up in Compton, and we ended up in the huge warehouse, sleeping on an old mattress in a dark alcove. Bill and Donna said they loved having us there. They’d had several break-ins and their insurance company would reduce the premium that had skyrocketed because of the robberies if they had a night watchman. Bill gave Sean a gun to keep on hand, just in case.
The trouble was, the warehouse gave us the creeps. The radio would come on by itself and the lights would turn themselves on and off. Sean dealt with it by starting in on the drinking as soon as Bill and Donna closed up and left for the night. I was pregnant and threw up every time I had a drink, so I couldn’t drown out my awareness. I lay on the mattress next to my passed-out boyfriend as the same song played over and over on the radio, “Brandy, you’re a fine girl, what a good wife you would be.” I drifted into a dream. A girl in a white dress was being strangled, her eyes bulging and bloodshot and her face going all purple. I jerked awake, gasping as if I’d been the one being choked. A man was standing in the shadows beyond the foot of the bed. I couldn’t see his face. “That was your sister, Cecille,” he whispered.
I couldn’t contain the horror of it–it felt like I was being torn apart and I started sobbing, my face in my hands, until I realized–“I don’t have a sister named Cecille!” I yelled, and the shadowy figure winked out as if it had never been.
I kept having bad dreams. When I slept, the warehouse became a sweatshop where people from Haiti were brought to be worked in the stifling heat until they collapsed. At least one of them was still here and would let me know where he was; somewhere in that warehouse there was always a cold pocket of menace. Sean drank himself unconscious every night, leaving me alone with whatever was lurking there, and I left him and the venetian blinds warehouse to join some friends in Seattle.