She was alone on the dock, her hair dancing on the night wind like the licks of a torch, and just as red. Her hands were in the water, moving feverishly.
I came closer – lurking, aroused.
The shroud clung to her like a thin layer of flesh, accentuating the curves of her body. She was pale with a splattering of freckles upon her forearms. I watched them writhe in the lake like white serpents fighting over a disembodied heart.
She turned, silhouetting herself in the moonlight. Looking past me into the darkness beyond, the stars made her eyes glow like a lost kitten’s. She opened her mouth, wide, and at first a sound like a steam whistle came. It was loud and shrill, and it got worse. The noise became a hellish cacophony – as if a thousand babies were being torn apart inside of my skull. My eardrums popped and my hands clasped at my head.
I fell to my knees, hearing her shriek become operatic. I could feel the weight of the sorrow that shuddered out of her lungs. It was as mournful as it was deafening, and twice as terrifying, for as I watched her arms I realized now that they were not spotted with freckles, but with blood.
Her hands came out of the water to reveal the clothes she’d been washing. They were the same ones that I had on right now, and try as she might, the blood just wouldn’t come out.