Creature of Unknown Origin


now, I shook from the cold rather than the crippling fear that crept through my bloodstream, just

like the precise elegance of the demon creature of my nightmares.

Sniffling against the crisp air, I let out a shuddering breath. I kept reminding myself to

breathe, in and out, steady. Each quaking breath was a struggle I was tired of fighting for as my

eyes traced the scars on my arms from a battle I couldn’t remember.

Spencer had told me that bad people tried to hurt me. He said they weren’t the reason for

my scars, but I wondered how he could be so sure.

Maybe I shouldn’t believe him, maybe he was one of the bad people, if not the bad person,

but I doubted the validity of my speculation.

All I could remember was him and our days here at the cabin over the last few months.

Before this, before his simple declaration that I was going to be okay, before I slipped into a state

of unconsciousness in his arms, before I woke up at the cabin, was a blank slate in my mind.

I wasn’t so sure I wanted to know more, from before he rescued me from the bad people.

I’d begun to think my memory loss was a blessing, however cruel. My lost memory presented the

chance to start over, and perhaps that was for the better. If bad people were after me, then they

couldn’t find me if even I couldn’t remember who I was.

I shivered uncontrollably. The cold’s numbness was a welcome sensation, an odd comfort

I’ve come to relish, goosebumps and all. Maybe if I was physically numb, I could become numb

to the nightmares altogether. It was wishful thinking, I realized that, but a girl could dare to dream.

The wavering shafts of moonlight shifted across the yard ever so slightly before I could no

longer fight the chattering of my teeth or rub the goosebumps from my raw arms. Only then did I

force myself inside again.

Dim light spilled out from the bedroom onto the old, worn carpet of the hallway. Once he

realized I was hovering in the doorway, Spencer glanced up from the manila file I only ever saw

him read when he thought I wasn’t around. He slipped it back into his bedside drawer as I came

over to the bed.

“Damn, sweetheart, you must be freezing.” He opened his arms to me, and I cur led up

against his chest, the covers drawn up around us. The clean scent of his soap and whatever laundry

detergent we used enveloped me almost as fiercely as Spencer’s arms did. The warmth, both the

heat that rolled off of Spencer and the warm, comforting scent I’ve come to seek out when I needed

to, eased the nightmare from my mind. “You’re like hugging a block of ice.”

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