Within My Grasp Prologue
I laugh as the late night host takes a jab at the guest on his show and I settle back on the sofa. Using the thick ring I wear I pop the top off the cold beer I’ve just retrieved from the fridge and take a long swig. I’m not really one for jewelry but over time I’ve grown accustomed to the heavy band and some of its finer functions, like how it doubles as a bottle opener quite nicely. With a flick of my wrist I toss the cap on the coffee table and try to focus on the television, but I struggle. I’m tired. It’s nothing new; I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t exhausted. Had to be before David, I surmise. Surely I’d slept better before the little monster latched onto me?
As my thoughts shift toward the child I mute the television and turn toward the closed door across the apartment, behind which he lies sleeping. My keen Wanderer hearing doesn’t detect anything amiss, in fact it doesn’t detect anything at all, causing the hairs on the back of my neck to stand on end. A paralyzing fear snakes its way through my stomach and before I can think twice I’m off the sofa. Mother’s instinct…that’s how one of the women at the M.O.P.S. (Mothers of Preschoolers) group I’d been going to had described it. At the time I’d thought she was nuts and had almost let her know, using very specific terminology that there was no fucking way I was plagued by some feminine sixth sense. Then I remembered that they all thought I was a woman, thanks to a little mental tampering on my part so I could fit in. Looking at it in that context her assessment wasn’t so offensive, I decided. Still I’d Googled that shit when I got home only to discover she’d been spot on. The unexplainable feelings of dread that I sometimes get are apparently frequent in mothers of small children.
In a flash I’m barreling through David’s door with no consideration for the sleeping occupant. I can feel a light breeze from the window that I don’t remember leaving open and panicking I flip on a light. I run to the bed and yank back the covers that I find nothing out of the ordinary despite already knowing something is very, very wrong.
“David?” I yell. Sweat beads on my forehead as my eyes dart from the empty bed to the fluttering curtains and lock on to the malevolent grin and dark luminescent eyes floating in the shadows. I lunge for the Sylph calmly hovering mere inches beyond the window sill.
“David,” he says, mimicking my cry with mocking humor. Before I can get my hands on him he dissipates, leaving tufts of bright smoke that swiftly extinguish before my eyes.
“David!” I bellow again, fingers dug so tightly into the window frame that it cracks. I clutch at my chest and spin about disoriented; it’s difficult to think. I have to move, I have to find him. My battle-ready body responds to the simple command and all higher reasoning checks out. I leap through the window into the night; it’s time to hunt.