“Is it magic how you just appeared out of nowhere?” She asked, smiling broadly. She had always liked magic.
“I have been waiting for you to pull me out of the box that you put me in,” he said.
“I don’t remember putting you there,” she said.
“Well, it was a long time ago.”
“Why would I put you there?” She asked.
“For when you needed me,” he replied.
“Do I need you now?” she asked, confused.
“Why would I need you. Who are you?” She asked looking him up and down.
He could’ve been a magician or he could’ve been the devil himself with his shady demeanor. His clothes were well tailored and slick. He had a skinny, black mustache and black hair that was greased to his head. His facial features were sharp and his eyes penetrating. Handsome, yet dangerous.
He watched her face as her confusion grew into a small wave of panic then he laughed and said, “It’s alright. I won’t hurt you.”
“What do you want from me?” she asked.
“I’ve come to take you home.”
“But I already am home,” she said then suddenly remembered. “Oh wait, that’s right, I went to the bar. I’m on my way home.” She was dazed. “Where am I?”
“You’re right here,” he said with a hand gesture that slowly revealed the setting to her. The fog was lifting and she was in a place of hazy emptiness. She couldn’t see anything. It looked like a large room with black walls.
Her eyes widened and fear settled in. She looked at him. Nothing made sense. He was supposed to be wearing a hooded judge’s robe not a magician’s cape.
He held out his hand to her.
“No wait, I know who you are. Take me back. I don’t want to go with you, take me back. Please take me back.” She realized that there were no tears when she cried. Only a deep pain. A pain that she hadn’t felt since she was a little girl. It felt like being alone.
She looked at his outstretched arm. It was unnaturally long.
“But where will you take me?” she asked.
“Wherever you want.”
“I want to go back,” she said sadly. The longing to see her life again felt like a freshly cut rope that was dangling from her insides.
“I can take you, but you can only look. You can’t touch.”
She nodded and he took her hand. His grip was strong and cold.
They were instantly back at the highway just minutes away from her house. She saw the dead dog smeared across the highway and remembered swerving to avoid hitting him.
Her car was upside down and the front tire was missing. She noticed that it had rolled across the lanes and landed in a mound of grass.
She was drawn to the tangled lump on the ground next to the car. The paramedics were moving slowly away from it.
“C’mon try! Don’t give up, please,” she cried.
She went down to her mangled body and wanted to cradle it.
“No touching,” he reminded her.
She was mesmerized by her own blue eyes. They were open and it appeared as if her dead gaze was looking back at her. But she knew that they weren’t because there was nothing in there anymore. She was transfixed. She could have stared at her shell of a body forever.
He gently pulled her away.
“It’s only magic,” he said drawing her attention back to him. “Now they see you. Now they don’t.”
And she knew it was as quick as that.
“This is where it happens,” he said. “I’ve lived in your black box, now you get to live in mine.”
The thought of his coffin box terrified her. She didn’t like magic anymore.
Kerry McPherson lives in Portland, Oregon with her wife and two cats. She tends to distill her words to the point. A sharp one. Flash fiction is the perfect fit for her. You can see some more of her shorts on her website kerrymcpherson.com.