by Guy Belleranti
Tina’s sobs came like a rising wave in the dark bedroom. “I heard it again, Nathan. That hissing…that horrible, horrible hissing sound.”
“My poor darling.” Nathan said.
“Is that all you can say?” The blind woman slid across the king-sized bed, seeking him, crying out when she could not find him. “Where are you, Nathan? Please, don’t hide from me.”
“I’m not hiding, my dear. You know I’d love to take you in my arms. But you also know I can’t, that I’m still contagious.”
“I don’t care.” He heard her punching at the mattress. “Why must you be ill when I need you so? Why don’t you also hear the sounds? Why, Nathan? Why?”
If only I could give you a good answer, my love, Nathan thought. If only I didn’t have to lie and tell you you’re just having a series of bad dreams.
Tears formed in his eyes, but when he tried to reach up and wipe them away, he remembered he could no longer do so, that the changes were happening, and happening fast. A hiss of frustration and anger escaped his lips.
“What was that?” Tina shouted. “Surely you heard it, Nathan? You had to have heard it, to know I didn’t dream it this time.”
Nathan didn’t reply, but just slithered quickly across the floor and into the hallway, his tongue flicking in and out, in and out, in and out. . . .