Master Plotto Week One Winner: Christina Li

Masie Cochran

Thank you to all of the students who submitted to Week One of the Master Plotto Contest!  Just a reminder: last Week’s Prompt: {B}, through befriending a needy stranger becomes involved in an unpleasant complication.

This week’s winner is Christina Li, a current student at NYU and a singer-songwriter

7 am. I kick off the thin, almost putrid blanket – its presence more for the comfort of cover than actual warmth or heat conservation. My ‘bed’ is a thin sheet over a hardwood floor, which providesenough discomfort to prevent any oversleeping. By July, my roommate had followed my example and given up on wearing clothes to bed. And as I push my drowsing body up, I catch a glimpse of June lifted only slightly above my eye level on the bed above me. Despite the everydayness of the ritual, the peek remains an embarassing and unintensional intrusion.

In our one-person kitchen, I bend low to grab a beer from the fridge. As I clench the only cold beverage in our apartment, I feel it prickle my skin into tiny bumps as it siphons my body heat. I turn around and bump the fridge door back into its proper place, just in time to catch a glimpse of a face disappearing from the window above the sink.

How interesting our initial instincts are. In two quick and long strides I find my head out of the window, catching the eye of the surprised and surprising intruder. Her eyes, or what were her eyes, are a depthless black and the only color in her being. The edges of her Casper-shaped body seemed to slowly recede in some places and were solid in others, like the outline of a cloud. We stared at each other – I assumed she could see me – for a solid 5 minutes. What I found before me that morning was, for all intents and purposes, a ghost. As if she could read my then-unrealized thoughts, she began edging towards me. The distance between us was now less than two feet. My eyes flashed downwards. Here and there I saw small pinpricks, holes in chest.

She caught me staring. Suddenly, the space was empty. My eyes took another second to adjust to the absence of a focal point. I felt a cold draft creep over my back and neck. She was in the fridge? I turned backwards but saw nothing. The cold, though, still continued to make its way through my body from outwards in.

Do you know the sound ice makes when it hits the bottom of the glass? I heard that in my breath each time it went in and out of my lungs. Slower and slower until not at all. I forgot what I had been looking at because my vision was now gone – and I forget when it disappeared. And my chest begins to feel the light poking of a needle. A tiny, singular needle. And each new puncture begins to let out Me. First, my senses fade – touch, smell, taste. I begin to forget where I am, where I’m from. There settles upon me a very thin blanket of calm.

June woke with the faint taste of company in the back of her throat.

Be sure to check back later today for this week’s new prompt.