I've been regularly joining in at Kat Avila'a Fiction Trials to play a story writing challenge. Check out this week's offerings, then come back to play on the Flash Fiction Train. Here's my offering...
Rita glared at her reflection in the mirror. She looked awful. The cold wasn’t budging and it was just a miracle she made it through the conference call. Thankfully Laura had been on her game and kept the conversation grounded.
A yawn, interrupted by a new bout of coughing brought Rita back to the perusal of her image. Her eyes were bloodshot and puffy. Her nose reddened and tender from the continuous application of tissues. With a sigh she pulled the bottle from the medicine cabinet.
As much as she needed to dampen her symptoms and get a good night’s sleep, Rita was hesitant to dose herself again. The dreams induced by the vile liquid were becoming harder to shake off. The most recent dream had conjured a name for the mystery man. At the thought, Rita’s lips tingled at the memory.
“No.” She spoke to the mirror, “I'm not going to do it!”
She replaced the bottle and shuffled out of the bathroom. Her slippers scuffed the carpet, the small noise causing her head to pound. She dropped onto the couch grabbing the knitted throw from the back. She wrapped herself in its warmth. As long as she stayed upright she kept the drainage from choking her. She closed her eyes and drifted into an unsettled doze.
“You're back! I didn’t think I would see you so soon.” He reached to stroke her cheek.
Rita pulled back, “Who are you? Why do you haunt my sleep?”
His eyes filled with hurt, “I’m Walter. I’ve always been here for you.”
“Not always. Only if I use that gawd-awful cold medicine.” Rita narrowed her eyes, “which I did not take tonight!”
“No, I’m always here, Rita. You just don’t remember…”
“Oh, I’d remember, just like I remembered last night’s dream.”
Walter sighed, “It’s not a dream to me, Rita.”
“Really? Then, I think it’s time you explain why that is!”