Glass by Quamar Al-Mumin

I remember holding my napkin just a little too tight. I leaned to the side and whispered in your ear, “Am I doing the right thing?” Giving me a sad smile, you replied with the question, “Do you?” and then you tapped your glass lightly on mine, held it up, held your glance on my eyes and sipped. I gulped, dry mouth, shaking fingers, a light pout. 

You then turned away to face the guests, a sea of pastel fabrics and suits. The clicking of cutlery, sly murmurs and giggles filled the air. The temperature was heating up, beads of sweat made their way down my back. I tugged lightly at my pearl necklace, was it getting tighter? The room seemed to be shrinking as well.

Suddenly I was very aware of the ring on my left hand. As my eyes glazed over to it, it turned into a chain. I blinked rapidly, and with every blink the chain grew, gliding up my arm. I turned to you and tried to speak, but no words would come out. The chain wrapped itself around my neck, and slowly began to tighten. But when I grabbed desperately at it, a chain it was no longer. It felt like scales, cold, leathery scales. A hissing sound began in my right ear. I covered it with the palm of my hand, but the hissing grew louder.

I opened my mouth, eyes wide, darting back and forth, but I couldn’t get my vocal cords to cooperate. The people around me continued to converse, giggles turned into hysterical laugher. Thunder erupted when a fork fell to the floor. Helpless, my eyes shot straight to the glass in front of me and without thinking, I grabbed it, broke it on the table and swung it at my neck. I heard a lady scream and drew my eyebrows together in confusion. My head felt heavy, and as if not under my control it swung down on the table. All pain aside, it was surprisingly fascinating to watch the pattern of red bloom in contrast to the white table cloth.

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