Sunday, October 18, 2015
Amber Olivier awakened in a cold sweat, the bitter taste of blood in her mouth and her head throbbing. The nightmare that had launched her into consciousness turned quickly to fear when she opened her eyes to pitch black. She reached to the right to turn on the lamp on her nightstand, but her hand bumped into something solid just inches from her body. She pushed herself up, but her head struck something above her and she winced and dropped back to a lying position.
She reached to her left and above her, but everywhere, her hands touched a solid structure covered with satin. Her heart pounded so hard that it echoed in her head, almost drowning out the sounds of her rapid breathing. She kicked her feet up and out, but they met with the same resistance as her hands.
Where was she? How did she get here?
Forcing the panic back a tiny bit, she focused her frantic mind to recall the last thing it had recorded, but everything was a blur. She remembered putting on her favorite blue blouse…the party! She was going to a party at the university. Bits of the event rolled through her mind. A big green vase. Crab dip. Dancing with someone. She couldn’t see his face.
She’d asked for the one with no alcohol but the last thing she remembered was downing the rest of her plastic cup and throwing it in the trash can near the hedges.
Were her sorority sisters playing a joke on her? Had they locked her in a closet? No, that couldn’t be. She was lying down. So something else. Were they standing around, waiting to see how long she’d last before yelling? Well, they were going to be really happy because she had no intention of staying quietly in whatever structure this was.
She banged on the top of the enclosure she was in, but the cushioned fabric only created a dull thud. Striking the sides of the structure with her hands and the bottom with her feet didn’t increase the noise level. So she screamed. Screamed so loudly that her throat burned and she started to gag. Screamed until she didn’t have a breath of air left in her.
When she stopped, she drew in a breath so quickly that it made her chest hurt. And she listened. She listened for any sign that her sorority sisters were standing outside this box, waiting to let her out and laugh at her, even though she didn’t want to believe they could be that mean.
And that’s when it hit her…the rectangular box, the satin padded sides.
It was a coffin.
She started screaming again.