Flash Fiction: Separation Anxiety

By Nadia Ghaleb Al Breiki

They’re coming for me. The things dressed in nauseating shades of bright yellow and green, their faces set in permanent simulated smiles. I see them looking at me now, hands outstretched and heading in my direction. I hold her tightly, promising her I’ll never let her go. One of them gets into our metal fortress, its wet gums glistening, it grabs me and pulls me outside, its laugher ringing loudly in my ear. It’s too late, I’ll never see her again.

I should have saw this coming. They invited us to their lair long ago, I was naïve back then, mesmerized by their shiny toys and flickering colorful screens. She thought they could be our friends, she believed they could be fun. We didn’t see through their plans, but now it’s clear. That day long ago, those things were just like a cat, playing with a mouse before sinking in its claws.

As I’m being pulled away from her grasp, I begin to remember the insincerity in their promises. Those smiling creatures promised food, a place to sleep, friends to make, knowledge to learn, a home. But no, all they wanted was to take me away from her. All they wanted was to tear us apart.

I scream, I fight, I bite, and I scratch the arms of the thing carrying me away. Its grip on me gets tighter and it’s no use. Instead I use my remaining power to peek over the thing’s shoulder and find our metal fortress before it takes me too far away. I can see her inside, tears spilling from her eyes, she knows we have lost each other forever.

I hear the creatures celebrate as they see me being carried closer to their lair. They’re gathered by its entrance, waxy faces holding that wretched smile. I feel faint as I see them, I can’t believe I let this happen.

I’m pulled inside and greeted by hands that take off my shoes and the jacket she gave me, intending to remove all my memories of her. I’m pushed through sickly bright hallways, my legs unable to keep up with the creature’s long legs. When we reach my cell, I’m pushed onto a rusted metal chair and I am finally left alone. When I begin to look around, I’m surprised to see others like me. Some of them are crying, begging to be let go, asking for the ones they love. My fellow prisoners are spread across the room, sitting on metal chairs or standing alone in our cell’s corners. It dawns on me that those creatures are doing this to everyone. They’re somehow finding pleasure by stealing us away. I begin to cry.

Our cell door opens again, and a creature walks in, its movements almost dance like. Standing at the front of the room, it takes in all of our crying faces, enjoying our moments of loss. The vile creature opens its mouth, exposing a wide yellow stained tooth smile to say something that will send chills down each of our spines.

It says “Children, welcome to your first day of Kindergarten.”

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