I woke up with a weird thought for a story this morning. No real idea what it might be or where it might go. All I had was what if there was a blue glow emitting from under my pillow. This is how it evolved.
She woke to the glow of the alarm clock’s digits offending her eyes. But she realized fairly quickly that wasn’t the intruder. The light was the wrong color. The clock was still on, reading 3:27am. But that’s not what had caught her eye.
Her periphery signaled to her that the offender was in the bed. A blue luminescence emitted from under her pillow. Had she left her phone in the bed and shoved it under the pillow during the night?
She glanced to the nightstand. No, it still lay there, perched on the corner. Its screen darkened but waiting eagerly as a puppy for attention.
A river of blood coursed behind her ears. Her heart tried to push out from behind her ribs.
This was a ridiculous response. There was a perfectly valid explanation for the glow. She couldn’t now come up with one, but that’s because she’d allowed herself to panic.
She plucked up her courage and tugged at the corner of her pillow. It didn’t concede to the slight pull she applied. That was weird. It was a pillow. Any minimal amount of force should have dislodged it. What had been fear transitioned to frustration.
She ripped at the corners of the pillow and pried it away from the bed.
The blue luminescence revealed itself.
It comprised the circumference of a void that had opened within her mattress. But it wasn’t really within the mattress. Or touching the mattress. They were … she couldn’t make sense of what she was seeing … occupying the same space. But not.
The void was about the size of a volleyball. The glow around its edge pushed outward. But within was nothingness. It wasn’t even black. She could only perceive it as a total absence of anything. As if it devoured whatever it consumed.
She hovered her hand over the opening. It pulled at her. A gravity well with a strength many times greater than its size should permit.
Her phone screen lit up. A Twitter alert. The momentary distraction was enough. The void seized her hand. It pulled her in up to her wrist. And then to her forearm.
She strained against it. She pushed against the mattress with her left hand for leverage while the void consumed her right. She was elbow deep now. The luminescence brightened and thrummed, overjoyed at having captured its prey.
She couldn’t extract herself. She was freaking out. Shoulder deep. Her face pressed against the mattress. Still she pushed against the mattress to no avail.
She screamed for help. But she lived alone. Was alone.
The ambitious aperture further opened its jaws and drew in her wider parts. Her hips and midsection fell in. She tried to grab the sheets with her toes as she splayed across the chasm. But she couldn’t sustain her weight as the opening slid outward so her heels fell in.
She sobbed now. Her destruction an inevitability. Still she resisted. She was proud of her resolve, despite the certainty of the result. She took a deep breath as her head sunk into the void, facing upward. Her ceiling fan still spun counterclockwise, oblivious to what was occurring beneath its blades.
With her left hand, she clung to the illuminated edge of the void. Having eaten its fill, it closed around her fingers, a shrinking pupil. It closed with a silent clang, lopping off her fingers at the first joints. Leaving in its wake four fingertips on an untidy bed with disheveled sheets.