Kara had dreamt of the little girl before. Always running away, running away from her, hair as dark as her own, skin as pale. She often wondered if she was just dreaming of herself. The hair was certainly the same, past her shoulders and a little out of control. Even the way it swished and swayed in the wind was the same. Her hair was still like that sometimes. In the dream the little girl was running away from her, sometimes in the city, sometimes through the forest path. Little feet crunching over gravel and kicking little stones up as she went.
She carried a lantern that was always lit, the sun shined but the little flame flickered all the while.
She never turned around, never turned to look at Kara. She just kept going towards a bright red door at the end of the path, light spilling out from the gaps beneath the door bright even in the daylight.
The girl never reached the door.
Never reached the door.
Always running, skip, skip, run, skip.
Kara never questioned it. Was just an observer to this all. She woke and forgot about it until the next time.
Now it seemed to go on forever. Running and running. Just watching the little girl in the red polka dots. Skirts swinging back and forth, back and forth, over and over. She never reached the door and the forest floor never changing under her little feet even as the gravel path was kicked aside under the white soles of her shoes.
It never ended.
She woke up covered in sweat again, eyes barely opening but mind coming back. Every muscle weighed too much, pulling at the tendons, the joints when she tried. She could wiggle her toes, her fingers, her eyebrows – but nothing else. She couldn’t scream, couldn’t speak, couldn’t call out for help.
No one came.
No one turned on a light, opened the curtains, lifted the thick quilt from her sweltering body.
No one came.
Week Four of the 52 Week Fiction Image Blog Contest.