Day Three Hundred and Forty-Five.

11/12/14

Today’s theme: seances.

Izzy circle

izzy

4:02am
The children wake up and no one is there to sing them back to sleep

4:28am
The children self-soothe and fall, hiccuping, back into sleep

4:52
The front lawn crackles with frost

5:18
The paper doesn’t thud against the front porch

6:25am
The kitchen is empty. Dishes piled precarious like Jenga

7:09am
The car’s not in the driveway

7:34am
The train doesn’t come.

7:54am
The train doesn’t come.

8:13am
The radio’s gone static.

8:42am
Every TV channel is playing re-runs of Friends.

8:59am
The Prime Minister makes an announcement. The press room is almost empty.

9:41am
A national state of emergency is declared.

10:14am
The remaining half of special forces are deployed to search.

11:03am
The reports start to trickle in.

12:37pm
The reports are a flood.

1:06pm
The reports a deluge.

3:11pm
It is confirmed that on the outskirts of every city, town and locale the gatherings are growing.

4:17pm
Some eyewitnesses describe the scenes as raving naked women dancing covered in blood. Others declare it more of a peaceful gathering, more like a vigil.

5:32pm
They say they’re never coming back.

5:33pm
They say the changes seem so simple, so obvious.

5:34pm
They dance in wider and wider circles.

5:35pm
They sing softly.

5:36pm
They sing like it could break the sky.

*

Sarah circle

sarah

They lit the candles out of deference to cliché, and the light was thin and frightened, the way they were, the way they had been for months. The Ouija board was a shitty one from Kmart, but they cleared off the tablecloth nonetheless, and sat solemnly with their shirts buttoned up and their skirts ironed. Dad nodded, and they all placed two fingers on the planchette and looked at him, big-eyed and small-lipped. Silence settled in the cracks between them and they breathed. It was Matthew who asked, in the end. Seven years old with cheeks that looked stuffed as a hamster’s, he whispered so softly it barely shifted the candleflames, ‘Mum?’ The planchette shot over to the ‘Yes’ on the board, so fast that they laughed, accused each other of pushing it, jostled shoulders, grinned. ‘Are you okay?’ asked Abigail, and this time the pointer swung across to the I, looped down to the M, the S, the O, the R, looped, R, Y, and they all fell quiet again. Dad’s eyes were down and his forehead was shining. Matthew shifted. ‘Where are you?’ And again, the I, the M, the S-O-R-R-Y, and Dad was breathing out through his teeth so they whistled, a vein pulsing next to his ear. ‘What’s it like there?’ said Matthew and the planchette darted so fast to the I that it hurt his shoulder and he started to grizzle and Dad’s eyelashes were wettening. The second the pointer hit the Y it started again at the I and kept snaking around, faster and harder. Abigail whimpered and looked at her father and said ‘Please’ and ‘Enough’ and Matthew pulled his chubby child hand away and she followed him, and then it was just Dad, his whole hand on the wood and snot running out his nose and him pushing so hard that the ball bearings creaked, I-M-S-O-R-R-Y, I’M SORRY, I’m sorry, ImsorryImsorryImsorryImsorryImsorry.

*

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