Wordsprint, 11/9

Maddlyn pulled the covers up to her face and let the tears come. They came every night now, even on good days. The solitude and the dark brought them out, the emptiness impossible to ignore. She cried for Tim, a thousand miles away in his new life. She cried for the weak, and all the horrible stories she saw in the news every day. She cried for her mom, growing frailer by the day as ALS robbed her body of decades of vitality but left her mind intact. But mostly she cried because she didn’t know what else to do. The world was so wrong, and she didn’t know how to make it right.

Her dreams that night were of a child alone in an early-spring rainstorm. The little girl was dressed in clothing much too thin for the weather, and she shivered as the west wind howled through the trees. She was running, bare feet making wet slapping sounds in the mud, and she was terrified.

Whatever she was running from was hidden in the trees, but was close, much too close for the young girl to pause and consider her situation, even for a moment. So she ran. Maddlyn could hear the girl’s heartbeat echoing in her ears, and feel the goose bumps cascading over her skin.

The dream ended before the girl was caught, but there was no doubt in Maddlyn’s mind that she wouldn’t escape. When the world was after you, it caught you. She pushed the button on her phone, silencing the alarm that had drawn her out of the other reality, and stared at the sunlight reflecting onto her ceiling.

The tears came early that day.

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