Monday, February 8, 2016

Off

The sound of the clock ticking was flat.  Or sharp.  Or too staccato.  Or too long.  But none of these things were true- the clock didn't chime, it didn't make music.  So musical terms failed to describe it.  But saying "it sounds off" wasn't an accurate description, either.

Her coffee was too bitter.  Or was it sweet?  Too hot or too lukewarm.  The texture- maybe that was the problem?  Grainy... but how could liquid be grainy?  She swirled it around in her mouth, unable to place it or clearly define it.  But there was the thought again: something is off.

Nothing in the room was out of place, but somehow the color had changed.  Muted tones, somehow.  Too white or too shadowed.  Hazy but not.  Like her eyes were blurring the image but rubbing them did nothing.  A blink, a head turn- nothing seemed to change the perspective.  But it somehow didn't look right and no amount of double takes seemed to help.

The scent in the air- so subtle she could say it wasn't there but then every time she moved it would hit her again.  Nothing strong, nothing one could pinpoint, but it was there and it was offensive.  But another step into the next room and it would vanish again.  There, not there.  In her nose and then untraceable.

She looked around her for clues: some catastrophe she'd missed, some ill omen she hadn't paid attention to that was now rearing up to bite her on the ass.  Something to explain the feeling under her skin, the unsettled stomach, the nervous glances at nothing in the corner of her eye.  What the hell was wrong?

She paced- an nervous habit.  She sat, grasping and ungrasping her hands.  Her palms sweat over cold fingers.  Was she getting sick?  The feeling was in her body.  But no- she felt fine.  She almost wished for something to go horribly wrong in that moment, simply for some reason, some clear cause, some way to describe the feeling.

But nothing happened, nothing changed.  The world continued in its not-quite- real way and she hated it for it.

"Something's off" she said out loud, just to give sound to the thought, just to validate the suspicion.  And something was off, she knew it in her bones.  But her bones wouldn't tell her what, and the world wasn't sharing any secrets.

1 comment:

Thank you for your comment! I will love it and hug it and pet it and call it George. Or, you know, just read and reply to it. But still- you rock!