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The Pink Bed
Anita Cheng, 13, Coquitlam
I was flying again.
Soaring over the snow-speckled trees, merely emerald green dots below me, with a sinking feeling in my stomach.
Somehow, I knew that something was terribly wrong. I could feel it, that suffocating dread, blocking me from the wonderful sensations of this journey across the mountains.
I flew up the side of a mountain, and when I came to the peak, I saw a small house sitting on top of the next hill. Without thinking, I glided down the mountain, then up again, to the simple, bare house.
I landed lightly by the open door, the back of it facing me. The ground was soft with fresh, powdery snow as I moved around it and stepped into the room.
It was warm inside.
It smelled strangely like home, but there was something about it that I couldn’t trust. There was no lighting except for the small bright fire blazing in the fireplace to the side. Again, it looked rather bare, missing in any decoration.
Then I saw him. A craven-looking boy with just enough curly hair to cover his head, standing awkwardly in the dark corner by the fire. He looked up when I entered. The fearful expression on his face surprised me, as if I didn’t expect it, but I did.
The fear suddenly dawned on me full and clear, like my fate written out word for word.
The boy, who had struck me as so ordinary just a moment ago, now raised a tremulous hand and pointed to his left, to the scene that I had been dreading this whole time. I couldn’t stop myself as I followed his gaze.
The lurid bedsheets dazzled me, unexpectedly bright in the unforgiving dark.
The pink blanket hung over the sides of the bed, almost touching the floor, spread out neatly, completely flat without a single wrinkle to be seen. So flat, that the bed would have seemed unoccupied at first glance, if not for the head on the pillow, the empty eye sockets staring straight at me…
I woke with a start, my heart hammering uncontrollably.
Back in my own bed, I thought. The image of the bodiless head still burned in my thoughts. I couldn’t help feeling relieved that it wasn’t me, me as that head.
I lay in my bed, the bright pink bedsheets neatly surrounding me, smelling cozily of home.
Then I opened my eyes. No, I thought, it can’t be. I raised my head and looked down at my body in the bed.
Or, looked down at where my body should have been. The bed was flat, the bedsheets neatly spread out. There was a fire blazing in the fireplace next to me, and a strange boy standing in the corner.
I glanced at the open door and saw a foot stepping into the room…