The plate smashed into pieces as it made contact with the ground. The chair was falling down for what seemed like hours. Bits of lasagna splattered around her on the cold wooden floor. The clang of falling silverware low, slow, deafening. Charlie could feel the vibrations on her cheek.
She sat there, fork and knife in hand, spinach lasagna in a square plate in front of her. Intact. Everything was normal. And yet, she seemed to have lost her appetite. She got up. The force of the motion moved the plate dangerously close to the edge of the table. She grabbed it to secure it in place. After making sure it wouldn’t break, she left the kitchen. She grabbed her coat and left through the door. She would put it on while she walked, it was quite warm. Her pace was fast. She looked up at the silky gray sky. Might have been a better idea to take an umbrella. She didn’t care to go back for it.
It was like this for a couple of days now. It started with little things. At first, Charlie thought it was just déjà vu, but then the “flashes” became more frequent, more vivid, more immersive, to the point that she could never tell it was just a vision until it ended. Her head was killing her.
She made her way down the road, coming up to a crossing. As she was crossing the street, she noticed a woman walking down the opposite side, staring at her with huge fish eyes and a grimace on her face. A huge toad with a tempestuous mane of unruly blonde hair. Charlie stared right back, hoping that would be enough to make the toad woman stop looking. It did – the woman turned her gaze away and went back the way she was going.
Then, a loud crash. Charlie’s vision blurred, everything spun around. She felt a bump, one, two three, then a huge crash. She could see blood. Her blood. Only after a few seconds did she realize how much in pain she was. She was lying on the ground, gasping for breath. She couldn’t move her legs. She could see blood stain her white blouse. A hole on her stomach. A deep, black gash. She could take in no more breath. She thought she heard a scream, but that didn’t matter anymore. She could see nothing. Soon, the pain went away. Then, she didn’t even feel the need to breathe. Everything was black. Everything was still. She was free.
Charlie stood on the sidewalk, still a couple feet away from the crossing. The toad woman was making her way from around the corner. Charlie didn’t want to be spotted. She turned on her heel and went back home. No, she thought, not today.