Conflictionism




I had expected a boring education and unfavorable jobs ever since I was young. Work is exhausting, but binge watching my shows and drinking shouldn’t be this bad. Emillea Sonal picked up the bottle of wine and checked the label.


She sipped directly from the bottle and scanned the liquid that had spilled from her broken glass. It was the same red wine she had been drinking for years, but the pure-white child was a stranger in more ways than one.


The young girl was hopping in the puddle of red wine with her sandals. She smiled and laughed, yet the only sounds that could be heard were the splashes she created with her little feet.


Emillea set the wine bottle on her coffee table and waved to the girl, and said, “Hi, this is my house. Are you lost?” The girl waved back and walked over with her raised hand. Then Emillea stepped back before touching the girl’s hand. Warmthpulsed fromthe child’s porcelain skin, and it raced through Emillea’s arm.


This isn’t a child. It’s not even human. Emillea retracted her hand and walked to the other side of the living room. She stared at her reflection on her display case. Her face was clean and filled with youth—there was almost no difference between her now and her high school photos, yet she was a woman who had crossed into her thirties.


Is this a trick? It’s not my friend’s child. Could this be a neighbor? Emillea jumped back when the girl skipped to her side. The girl phased her hand through the display glass and grabbed the warrior princess doll inside the case. Then the ghost pulled on the doll, but the toy couldn’t go through the glass, and the girl kept trying to take it.


Although Emillea could’ve run away, she sighed and opened the display case door. The girl removed the doll from the case and hugged the doll, and smiled. Before Emillea could relax, the girl coughed, and a vile smog erupted from her mouth.


Foul smoke rose to the ceiling and condensed into a semi-translucent thunder cloud. Pairs of clawed hands and feet protruded from the dark edges. A rotting face with tangled long hair popped out from the center, and the entire cloud landed on the floor. The long nose and fingers resembled that of an old witch, but it stood taller than Emillea and it could easily make any man look short in comparison.


“Ugly and stupid. Wasteful wretch…” said the witch as its claws hovered over Emillea’s face. Emillea couldn’t move and her eyes were about to be plucked out, but the witch froze in place.


The ghost child was tugging on the smog that shrouded the witches. Although the witch tried to brush the child with her foot, the child continued to hold on and it waved the doll around.

Then the witch swung her claws and launched the child across the living room. Emillea dashed to the stairs and climbed, yet she felt something grab her ankle. The child was latched onto Emillea—it felt like her leg was trapped within a cold and lifeless statue.


Despite the fact that the ghost was weighing her down, Emillea dragged the child with her and locked them inside the safety of her bed room.


Where’s my phone? Emillea searched her pockets and her dresser. The phone was nowhere to be found. She swore when she stubbed her toe against the ghost that still clung to her leg. As she tried to pull the child off, the witch’s cursing grew louder.


There was no where to run. Emillea searched her closet for a weapon. After she dumped half of the closet’s contents onto the floor, the only items that could be used as weapons were a hair dryer and a nail clipper. She grabbed the hair dryer and raised it above her head to smash the ghost.


Even though she could feel the stony grasp on her leg, the ghost wasn’t there. The ghost was sitting on top of the bed and hugging the doll. Emillea approached the ghost and was ready to attack. When she swung the hair dryer, the ghost stared at her with tear-filled eyes and it cradled the doll’s beheaded body.


Shit! Emillea dropped the hair dryer. This ghost wasn’t a creature trying to harm her, yet she wanted to batter and blame it for the wrongs that haunted her. The child couldn’t be held responsible for the things it couldn’t control. She stepped closer to the child and grabbed a tissue to wipe its tears.


The child settled for a second as Emillea dabbed its face, but the child’s eyes and mouth gushed with shining liquid. The witch had used its claws to impale and raise the child into the air. Although the child didn’t scream or beg, its eyes echoed the fear as liquid pearls poured from its face and chest as the witch drank and bathed in the ghostly essence.


Cracks ran across the child’s porcelain body. Its limbs crumbled and fell off until its entire body wilted and collapsed into a pile of stones.


“Filthy children. They eat beauty…” The witch screeched and its smog dissipated—unveiling its malnourished frame. It had consumed the child, yet the liquid pearls boiled the witch’s skin and gargled its breath. Molten mercury gave the witch a deforming body and the melting slag that slogged from it dissolved the floor.


Emillea couldn’t move till the witch reached for her. A drop of flesh burned Emillea’s hand, and she leaped away into the bathroom. The witch followed, but it had lost its speed with the weight of its form. Then Emillea locked the door and jumped into the shower. She closed the curtain and turned on the shower. No one would be able to save her.


While she sat in the tub with her knees curled into her chest, the cold water prickled her skin and sent fire through her nerves. As the water grew hotter, the pores and bumps on her skin became petrified as if scabs had bubbled within her skin.


Rough patches crawled and the smooth parts clung to each other, but everything that touched skin oozed with adrenaline. It was a pleasant sensation, but she couldn’t uplift herself from the unreasonable happenings.


Her parents cared for no one. The friendships she treasured were hollow trinkets. Every crush was a taken love. Life was bountiful, but she meandered from ideal innocence to bitter resolutions.


This is my journey. Unremarkable and unfulfilled. Emillea chuckled and stood from the tub. She threw open the curtain when the door sizzled and fell apart. The molten creature no longer resembled a witch, rather it looked like a human coated with a silver mirror. It was a toxic being with a passive destructive nature, and yet Emillea no longer cared.


Even though it was death, Emillea jumped into the being and embraced her fate. Unspeakable emotions and torrents of regret dissolved her body. Her mind found solace within the end.

~~~

A glass of wine sat in Emillea’s hands, and the television was looping through her favorite show. She looked around and found the stain on her carpet and was relieved. Then she ran upstairs and immediately packed her suit case.


The debris and burned spots on the floor were disconcerting, but she knew what she had to do.


Everything she wanted was outside of the things she had found. It wasn’t a pointless dream. The revelation was an awakening of her disturbances.


She packed her necessities and left her apartment.


Delusions sometimes made the unknown easier to understand.

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