[I]t was a cool dark night as I sat resting my cheek against the windowpane. Suddenly, something stirred in the darkness. I had been expecting it and like an old friend, it called to me. Without warning an abrupt jolt shot through my body, jerking me completely from my thoughts. I bolted upright, raced down my stairs, and crept silently out the door. The soft glow of the moon was my only source of light as I walked silently to where the figure stirred. My breathing was heavy and my heart hammered against my chest with each step. As I approached the dark silhouette, my breath caught in my chest. A gasp slipped from my throat when my eyes landed on the woman standing before me. She was so much more breathtakingly beautiful than I had imagined before. Her long dark hair seemed to float around her body, framing her pearly white skin. She wore a short tight fitted red dress the same color as her vibrant pouty lips. It hugged her curves perfectly. Her black studded boots glittered even in the dark and when she looked at me, her amethyst eyes were mesmerizing. She smiled, her lips parting invitingly.

“I’ve been waiting for you”, she said in a soft, silky whisper. I opened my mouth to speak, but no words came out. A thousand thoughts passed through my mind as I tried again to say something, but only a rasping, gurgling sound escaped my lips. I was still in shock.
Before I could think any further, her mouth was on mine, her soft lips moving against the rough current of my own. Natural instincts took over me and I kissed her back passionately. After a moment, I pulled back gasping for breath; I could not believe my good fortune. Her red lipstick was smeared across her face complimenting the light blush that also stained her cheeks.

Suddenly, she began to morph in front of me. Her height began to shrink rapidly; gorgeous dark hair shot back into her head. Perfect white skin began aging, and deep lines creased her skin. My eyes were wide in horror as her body continued to misshapen, the red dress stretching to accommodate her newly contorted body. She smiled at me with her now blackened and broken teeth. I wanted to puke, to shout, and to scream, but a sharp pain shot through my entire mouth. Agony like I have never felt before engulfed me. I frantically shook my head in a denial of what I knew to be the cause of my pain. Tilting my head back, I slowly opened my mouth and came to the brutal realization that I had no tongue. I looked at the old hag as she held up my missing appendage, withered and gruesome looking. Blood dripped slowly from it. She cackled a terrible laugh.

“Appearances are deceiving aren’t they?”

I woke up with a start, electricity pumping though my veins. It was dark. I looked out my window, and in the distance I saw a figure stir.

Illustration by Dasha Zolota | Journalism ’15