It was a long time before he came upstairs. She was already under the covers, with them bunched tightly under chin, her face hidden.  She felt him sit on the edge of the bed beside her, felt his hand on her shoulder.  She cringed.  “I told you, I just worry. I want you to be safe. I don’t want you to leave me.”

He meant death. He didn’t want her to die and leave him alone. He had no idea how close he was to the reality that she could leave him anyway. It hit her hard, that reality. Hard enough to steal her breath. She’d not thought in those terms, either.  It had never been an option, not while she was locked inside this house with no friends who didn’t come through the screen of her computer or phone as yellow smiley faces.

She thought he needed to know. Needed to know that the enemy he faced wasn’t a horse. It wasn’t death. The enemy he faced unknowingly had opalescent fangs and seductive yellow eyes. It prowled for flesh. And each time denied, it grew angrier, larger, stronger.

~Stella (a working title)

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