Empty Cup

I live in a mist of sorts, not a literal one but a mental one. Each moment flutters by without much of a second glance, mostly because each moment doesn't make any sense. Perhaps I've gone mad in my old age and this is what it feels like. I emerge from jumbled thoughts to find my self in a new room. Dumbstruck I say, "What was I coming in here for?" 

I say this to no one since my house is empty. I'm not sure where everyone went either, the others, I don’t remember their names. Except for Sharlet, she’s as clear as a bell yet I cannot picture her. She’s my, my wife. Yes, that's it! The dark storm of thoughts takes over whisking me around my house. I'm in the tub, it’s slowly filling with hot water, creeping over my aching bones. Well, at least it’s comfortable and I don’t question how I got here. I start to drift back into oblivion as the door opens. A young girl standing at the doorway confused. She yells behind her, "Mom why is the tub running?" I think to myself, who is she, is she one of the others? "Some privacy if you will dear", I say as I reach out of the tub and push the door closed. A scream erupts and I hear her footsteps move away. I guess she didn’t see me, the curtain for the shower/tub combo was covering me some. 

No longer in the tub, dry and laying in bed, I rise stretching, my back protesting the action. Guess I went to bed after the bath. I opened the curtains to see what time of day it is, still dark out. Well, I'm up might and might as well make coffee. I start down the stairs, my foot hitting the first step, and then I'm standing in the kitchen flicking the lights on. A young woman jumps at the light, she had already beat me to the coffee maker, a big pot brewing. “Oh sorry, didn’t mean to scare you”, I say as I try to figure out who she is. She doesn’t reply, just stares in my general direction. I grab an empty cup from the counter and go to steal a cup while the pot finishes brewing. I reach for the coffee pot handle and I'm standing back in the bedroom. I yell in frustration, “Dammit! I wanted that coffee!” 

The air in the room is stifling, I'm guessing it’s summer maybe? I open the window while grieving for my lost coffee. A soft, "Hello" squeaks out from behind me. I turn to find the young girl from my tub altercation in my bed, but my bed looks wrong. A small twin mattress instead of my full size. Decorated with a pink bedspread and girly decorations all around the room. Maybe she’s my granddaughter? Am I in the wrong room? Either way, she seems scared, a small frown on her face, eyes wide. "Hi sweety, did you have a bad dream?" I brush her hair back out of her face. She screams and runs off. I suppose it is dark, maybe she thought I was an intruder. 

I start to fade in and out more. A lot of noise for a long time, the girl never returns. I go about my popping around the house, moments of clarity that only lead to more confusion. Things keep going missing, small things at first then larger things like furniture. Perhaps I'm being robbed and don’t even know it. The house itself is starting to fall apart, I'm too old to do any repairs myself. Hopefully, in my next lucid moment, I call a repairman. 

People appear now and then, mostly kids and always screaming. This morning I came back to myself at the table, coffee cup in front of me, pretty as a picture. “Coffee!” I yell and quickly grab the cup to get a sip before I'm whisked away again. The cup is empty, dust the only taste to meet my tongue. I curse out loud throwing the mug across the room, shattering against the far wall. A cry erupts, right in my ear. A small boy right next to me. I hadn’t noticed him before, but his screaming won’t stop. I grasp him by the jacket pulling him towards me as he tries to get away. He won’t meet my eye like he's looking everywhere but me. "You get out!" The boy whimpering at my words. The sound of trickling water coming from him. "Now look what you have done!" My grip loosening, the boy screams and runs out of the house. I follow him out of the front door, hoping to stop him so he can clean up the mess he made in my kitchen. I see my yard overgrown and the porch is barely attached to the house. 

The boy joins his friends waiting at the curb on their bikes. One says to the other, "I told you it's haunted!" They ride away. I pop to the tub, turning on the hot water.

The End.


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