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Night Terrors by Abby Burns | Word Riot
Flash Fiction

July 29, 2017      

Night Terrors by Abby Burns

When she’s asleep, Lauren is afraid of everything. Escalators. Spiders. Witches who cast spells on your body to make you run slowly, scream at a whisper, and throw a punch like a high-five. Apples. Worms inside of apples. The dark. Baby bunnies and adult bunnies and bunnies the size of buildings. Fire. Tornadoes. Earthquakes. Tsunamis. Disaster, in general. Putting on shoes after one of your feet has been amputated. Delivering someone’s mail to the fifth floor of a building after you’ve put on shoes after one of your feet has been amputated. Pillows. People. Men. Mostly men. Lauren wakes up screaming more than usual this week, perhaps because in her waking life she refuses to fear the things she should. Like Guys who date friends, but flirt outrageously. Guys who date friends who want to hang out without said friends. Guys who date friends who break up with friends with such malice as to yell at said friends I hope you die alone in a crowded bar. Guys who break up with friends, but want to get a beer together, get drunk and complain about how friends would only sleep with guys who broke up with friends every two weeks. Guys who break up with friends who are too drunk to drive themselves home. Guys who break up with friends and invite themselves back into your apartment, your bed, your space. Okay, I guess, but let’s just sleep. Guys who invite themselves into your bed and won’t take no for an answer. Please don’t, okay? Guys who invite themselves into your bed and whisper When is the last time you had an orgasm? I want to give you an orgasm. Let me. Guys keen to give you an orgasm after you tell them to stop. Stop. Stop. Stop. Guys who don’t stop.

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