Ivy awoke to the sound of midnight footsteps outside her window. Usually, she’d dismiss it as a deer or a fox, and would go back to sleep. But something about these noises sounded different. She got up and peeked out the window. There was a person in the backyard walking right towards her. Ivy froze. As the figure got closer and closer, she could see that it was a woman; someone she once knew. Someone she once loved.
The woman grinned at Ivy. Then, she slid off her blouse, dropped it to the ground, and turned to walk away.
Ivy threw on her jacket and ran out the door. In the darkness, she could see a trail of clothes scattered like breadcrumbs. She followed each piece of clothing, one by one, until all that was left was a single piece of black lingerie laying on the ground. As she moved forward to pick it up, she felt herself step on the edge of something. She looked down and saw what appeared to be a rabbit hole. She stepped a little closer. Unfortunately, it was a little too close. She lost her balance. And before she knew it, she was falling head-first down the rabbit hole.
It took a few seconds for her to open her eyes. She held her head in her hands, which was pounding to the rhythm of her racing heart. Had it all just been a terrible dream? She peered up and saw the moonlight shine through the hole, which looked to be at least ten feet deep.
She mustered all of her strength to push herself up onto her feet. Looking around, she discovered that this was no ordinary rabbit hole. There was a labyrinth of pathways that appeared like a maze. Perhaps one of them would lead to an exit?
All of a sudden, her thoughts were interrupted by the sound of the most beautiful music. The melody sounded familiar, but she couldn’t quite place where she had heard it before.
Be my quicksand, lady
I’ll sink right into you
Two feet in, I’ll slip right in
No turning back from you
That’s when it hit her: the woman had played the song for her years ago. She turned in the direction of the sound, which was coming from one of the pathways. Was the woman on the other end?
Ivy entered the pathway, following the sound of the music. As she traveled further and further through the rabbit hole, she started to realize she was reaching the point of no return within herself. Any thoughts of turning back were drowned out by the echoes of music surrounding her; that, and the thought of the woman she loved waiting for her on the other side.
Finally, in the darkness, she met the gaze of the woman’s big brown eyes. She opened her mouth to speak – to finally say everything she had wanted to say for so long – but before she had the chance, she heard the sound of someone’s footsteps behind her.
Out of the darkness, an unfamiliar man appeared. The woman smiled at him lovingly, a look Ivy once knew. Then, without a second more, she pranced past Ivy, jumped in the man’s arms, and kissed him passionately.
In that moment, it all became clear. The woman’s heart no longer belonged to Ivy, it belonged to someone else. She had moved on, while Ivy had not. And that was the toughest pill to swallow.
The woman and man continued kissing, growing more and more passionate. Ivy’s heart sank. She no longer wanted to be down the rabbit hole. She wanted to run – she wanted to unsee everything. But it was too late.
Ivy turned around to escape through the pathway she came from, but it was gone. All of the pathways were gone, as if they never existed in the first place. Defeated, she realized the only option left was to close her eyes and wait for it all to be over.
After a few moments, she opened her eyes. To her surprise, the woman and man were gone. All that was left was Ivy – shovel in hand – trapped in the quagmire of her own making.
Melissa is an author located in New York. Her work has been published in Flash Fiction Magazine, Bending Genres, Fictive Dream, (mac)ro(mic), Fewer than 500, and more. Find her at www.melissamaney.com.