They Are Real

She sat cradling her mug of tea. From time to time she would lower her face to it, close her eyes and inhale the fragrant steam.

This was the tenth night in a row she had awakened screaming at precisely 2:10 am, the tenth morning after she had lain awake with the visions she would not disclose to me.

“I’m ready to tell you about it.” Her voice was a whisper. I leaned closer. She cringed as though I’d raised a fist.

“Sorry,” I said.

“It’s okay. I’m nervous. These things I keep seeing…”

“They seemed real?”

“No. They are real.”


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    • J Hardy Carroll

      Initially I was picturing the world after most of humanity had gone (sort of like The Stand) but there’s no way to convey that in 100 words. Besides, King already did a superlative job with it, so there’s not much I could add.

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