The sound of the static was overwhelming. It hissed and popped, crackled violently and refused to die down. It obscured the noise from the street, the droning of the television, the voices of the couple next door as they argued into the night.
Doubled over on the floor I held my fingers to my ears – rocked and hummed loudly; still nothing chased the noise away. Lights danced, of purple and green, flickering in spots before my eyes – shifting from one shape to another, fading into nothing as my attention tried to discern what I was seeing.
Suddenly she was there. Emmeline. Her voice cut through the static, clear as a bell – beautiful as summer rain. Sit up, she said. I did.
I put out a hand to touch her, my mouth open – the words lying helplessly on my tongue. She deftly avoided my hand, stood and stared down at me. The static returned, from behind me now. Not a rush anymore, but a clearly defined clicking. The swarm was upon me, figures of ten or more tiny legs, crawling across my every limb.
‘I’m sorry.’ I whispered, the words garbled with creatures as they flooded inside my mouth. My clothes billowed and rippled as the swarm found its way to every nook and cranny of my body, vision disappearing as they crawled under my eyelids.
You will be.
Through ears full of insects, I heard her voice, pure and clean, as clearly as I had when she was alive.