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Sleepw Chapt 1 Excerpt 9-11-11

Sleepw Chapt 1 Excerpt 9-11-11

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Published by Jacob Gates

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Published by: Jacob Gates on Sep 22, 2011
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09/23/2011

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1
Chapter One
S
omething in the ruins waits. A daydreamy, hot Southern summer, the sky above like a great blueeye. Watching. wo little girls with laughter in their smiles. wo samesmiles, giggling. Tey hug. Tey hit one another. wo sisters, and me.High, dry weeds, brown and scraping. We ght through them together.Te orest behind is black liquid. Pathways through the weeds, a thou-sand pathways, a game o chase. Now lying amongst the long grasses, giggles give way to sighing.Something waits.I get up. I whisper to one o the girls. (Tis has happened beore.)Her hair is long and straight. Eyes glitter. Tere are no sounds, as i this were a silent movie or something, but there is one word that bleedsthrough like a subliminal message:
.
Eyes glittering, this is a child-ish contest o pride. I smile my dare to her—I eel the smile on my ace.She swallows once in ear, then giggles it away. Te other sister saysnothing, watches with sad, distant eyes. Long, straight hair. Troughthe weeds again now. Shuing, we three. Biting burrs on white socks. A little hill. We reach the top and the air stops. Tere it is. Edice.Eclipsing all. Empty. A thousand windows stare through us like blind eyes, black and shattered, the lights that once waited inside them nowbetrayed to darkness. Another word bleeds through:
.
 Teir momma told them not to go.Te dare hangs all around us. wo little girls, just alike. Dirty dressesand dimples. One stands still and scratches her leg.Te other, the Dared, has hal crossed the clearing already. She’s
 
2 The Sleepwalkers
 passing the swimming pond, sleeping mirror. iny girl, she blazesthrough the weeds on scabbed, bruised legs.She keeps walking.She’ll show us she isn’t araid. But shes very araid. She walks slowly.Keeps looking back. Acting brave. I look up at the too-many windows,and they gape at me like gnawing, starving maws. Suddenly, I want to call her back. My stomach aches, I want to call her back so bad.But I don’t. I watch her. She sneaks under the chain-link ence, littledared one, catches her dress as she wriggles through but tears hersel  ree. Crosses a patch o cracked, scarred cement; the heat waves rom it dilute her or an instant; or an instant she seems almost to melt away,but she walks on, over old beer cans and allen bricks, patches o grass poking through the cement. Up to the stoop. Up to the door.Te back door. A black hole. Her tiny eet ollow each other orward,one afer another, closer and closer, and she pauses at the threshold,looks back at us. Even rom so ar away theres no mistaking, no deny-ing the meaning in her pleading silence: “ake back the dare.” But she’salready there.Ten it happens, too ast to be real. Te little girl next to me screams,only her breath goes in instead o out and makes the words:“Something in the ruins waits!”  And in the black square o the doorway, something jerks the other little girl backwards into the dark.Forever gone.
he ceiling is blue.
H      . N    . H  m        k    , w 
 
 J. Gabriel Gates 3
      m. T k  . Aq. H  x   mv,    . N mv. T m  -  . W ’  ,  m, ’   w m v . R m m. Lq, m,  -. T  m k     w . I m  . T k  x ’k x.T m     . H k k  m. Smw,     -   mq    . I  k . . . w? H ’    ,   ’  w.H    , w  x,  m, wk       w . I k  w  ’ ;   w  -   mm.H   ,    . H,     w  m m    m. w. H wk v     v  .“H, w’  ?”N w, x     . H wk k   . H  . S . H wk   m,w    m  ,      j—  v w    m   m  wm— wk k w  , k   m.   k  , ,  v     m-. I w’ v. Ev w,  ’    m  , m   m ,      . H  k ’  ,   .H  k w  ,    m m—   v  ,  m, -    V,  m        

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