Morning Routine

I stumbled into the bathroom, blinking as I tried to rub the remnants of sleep out of my eyes.  My bare feet padded across the cold tile, and I vaguely wished that I’d had the forethought to pull on my slippers.

Entering the bathroom, my hand banged against the wall, searching for the light switch.  I found it, and the fan in the ceiling hummed to life as the lights came on.

Glancing up at my mirror, I blinked.  Where was my reflection?

There it was.  For a moment, I’d thought that the mirror was blank, that nothing was echoed on its silver surface.  But no, there was my reflection, blinking back at me with the same mussed hair and half-asleep expression.

I turned on the water, letting it run as I brushed my teeth.  For a moment, I thought that steam was rising up from the bowl of the sink, but when I took a gulp of water to wash out the toothpaste from my mouth, it was ice cold.  I sloshed it around in my cheeks before spitting it back into the sink.

Leaving the bathroom, I returned to my bedroom.  Outside my window, the sun hadn’t yet broken above the horizon, but I had to get ready to leave for work.  I turned next to my closet, pulling open the sliding door.

For a second, I saw rows of pine trees, their heavy boughs covered in a thick coat of snow, stretching off into the distance.  I blinked, and the dark rows of trees became dark rows of coats, hanging from the pole stretched across the length of my closet.  Behind the row of coats, I saw nothing but the blank back wall.

I picked out one of the suits, brushing a few flakes of something white off of the collar.  Sure, that one would work.

Once changed, my tie still hanging half-knotted around my neck, I headed for the kitchen.  Had to get something into my stomach before I left.  I felt a gnawing hunger settling in the pit of my stomach, growling and roaring with each step, demanding sustenance.

Outside my bedroom, in the hallway, my foot bumped against a small crinkly ball, which rolled away from me.  I grimaced.  Jasper, my cat, passed away six months ago, but for some reason I kept on finding more of his toys, still strewn about the apartment.

For a moment, as I passed my little kitchen table, I thought I saw the skeletal outline of a cat lurking beneath, its bare skull glinting as it hissed up at me through exposed teeth.  I pushed the chairs in beneath the empty table.  There was no cat there, alive or dead.

Pulling open the door of my refrigerator, a putrid smell assaulted me, making me wrinkle my nose.  The smell seemed to be coming from the crisper drawer, which I almost never used.  My hand stretched down towards the drawer’s handle, trembling a little, but I changed my mind at the last second and picked up a small yogurt container instead.

I leaned against the counter as I peeled the top off of the yogurt.  When I reached into the silverware drawer, the spoon that emerged seemed to have a fine coating of some sort of dark, clinging slime.  I wiped it away with a thumb before digging into the yogurt.

A glance at my watch showed me that I was about to be running late.  Hurriedly, I tossed the empty yogurt container into the overflowing trash container beneath the sink.  I frowned in at the mound of decaying matter.  I’d have to take that out when I came home.

Heading for the front door, I only just remembered to grab my car keys off their little hook beside the door.  The ring of keys jingled, bouncing together as I scooped them up.

I stepped outside, but as I went to lock the door, I paused.  Holding the key ring up in front of my eyes, I frowned at one of the keys.  It seemed long, elaborately carved from a white substance.  Bone?  I didn’t recognize it.

But there, behind the bone key, I found the key to my front door, and locked my apartment.  I turned and headed downstairs, off on my way to work.

Just another normal day.

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