Her gene pool teemed with misery, lies, unfulfilled longings, and broken dreams. In their old home where the grandparents lived and died, skeletons still rattle their loose joints in closets. One has to always open a door with the utmost care lest the bones and the dust of the dead be disturbed.
The sighs of the floorboards haunt the lone sleepwalker on a quest for a glass of water during witching hour.
She escaped the gloomy cast of that old house’s shadow a quarter of a century before. She rowed away on a makeshift river raft that struggled to make it upstream, where the viscous traces of sadness and despair could not contaminate the soles of anyone who cruised over their tributaries.
But she could not escape altogether, for in her blood flows the genetic signature of death and destruction. She does not heed it in her waking hours, refusing to take blade to skin or noose to neck or poison to tongue. Yet it persists in its provocations in her slumber. She could not best her nightmares and there was no knight brave enough or fool enough to rescue her from her own pet dragon’s lair.
Her shadows took form and talked to her. Conversing in half-whispered tones harsh with accusations and mockery.
She could not escape. The shadow whisperer licked the warmth out of the sunlight and its voice left a tendril of bile in the air. She has to turn back. She has to stop struggling. She must return downstream.
A quarter of a century spent paddling upstream. Arms do grow weary. It was on a blue summer’s day that she threw away her oars and allowed the currents to pull her downstream back to the mephitic realms of her ancestors. If she could not make it, there will be another skeleton residing in the closet. Rattling loose joints, visiting the dreams of those who attempted their futile escapes.