Millie stared at the blue-and-black speckled ceiling. Moonlight shone through the branches scratching the window and its shadows draped a phantasmal leopard skin over the ceiling.
In the still darkness, the prior day’s euphoria settled and a calm self-reflection washed over her.
He had asked her to marry him. Ecstatic, and amid the amused gazes of the restaurant patrons, Millie had accepted. Yet, now, in the tranquility of her bed and the silent, silver moon-glow, vacillation wormed over her and tainted her enthusiasm.
Why should she feel this way? Millie wondered, was she happy?
The question oozed into the room and loomed over the bed as Millie’s eyelids drooped and the mottled ceiling shadows melded into pitch blackness.
An eerie silence fell over Millie; she stood among gravestones. Millie tried to read the inscriptions, but the letters appeared faded and jumbled.
A red moon spilled its bloody light over one grave. Millie approached it on heavy feet that sliced through the lavender mist slithering over the ground. The grave intrigued her; a figure sat beside it. As she stepped into the crimson moonlight, the figure glanced up, and Millie smiled.
Her dear, beloved brother, who had left her side long ago, stood beside the grave. He visited her often in dreams, and the sight of his eternal child’s face always lightened her heart and eased the sorrow she had borne for years. This time, Millie’s countenance fell when she noticed the scarlet shadows crawling across Maurice’s somber face.
“Do you love him?” Maurice asked in a hollow voice.
She gave him a slight nod. Thunder rumbled in the distance.
“Do you love him?” He asked again.
Millie nodded, and opened her mouth to speak, but lightning flashed across the sky and thunder clapped so loud it shook the graves.
“Do you love him?” Maurice pierced her with his spirit eyes.
The thunder roared, and the sky opened its belly and rained hot bloody sparks that seared open her chest.
Millie gasped and opened her tear-filled eyes; fat salty drops spilled down her cheeks. She panted and sobbed as the truth that had lain dormant burst into the spectral room and overwhelmed her.
No, she did not love him.