Red

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This post was originally published through Patreon on Janurary 17, 2018.

Red. The color floods Amanda’s vision, a blinding solar flare in the dark, and she lifts a hand to shield her eyes as a familiar creature advances. She was seven the last time she saw him. The same blinding glow had preceded him, and at the time, she’d cried.

“Go away,” she shouted, pulling the covers over her head like a shawl. “You’re not real.” She spent the next twenty years believing she was right.

But she is not afraid when he approaches her again, nor when he inclines his head and offers her a shriveled hand by way of greeting, nor when he examines the birthmark on her wrist, a dark patch of mottled, mossy black.

“You are destined for great things,” he told her long ago. “Dangerous things, perhaps, but great.”

What he meant he never explained, nor did she have the courage to ask. Now, she thinks she’ll find out.

“You came back to me.” Her eyes have begun to adjust to the light, and she lets her hand fall limp at her side. “I didn’t think you were real, but you came back to me.”

A slow, sad smile spreads across parched lips. “I hoped it wouldn’t be necessary. I wanted you to enjoy your human life for a while longer. But our world needs you now, and I can’t keep my kind waiting anymore.”

She nods. On some level, hasn’t she expected this? On the surface, perhaps, it was easy to dismiss his existence as fantasy. But in her heart? The truth is, she’s always known she was meant for something more.

She clasps his hand in her own, her ruby tears glistening in the crimson light, and says that she is ready.

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Author: Jeff Coleman

Jeff Coleman is a writer who finds himself drawn to the dark and the mysterious, and to all the extraordinary things that regularly hide in the shadow of ordinary life.

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