Clarice always loved her next-door neighbor. Laura had always looked out for her family. Ever since she’d moved to the suburbs, Clarice always felt so awkward, especially right out of high school. But Laura always made her feel welcome whenever she’d visit. Even after Clarice went to college, she kept in touch with her neighbor during her most difficult times.
Laura always provided the best advice. Sadly, because her physical health was deteriorating, she was becoming less and less active. She was only in her fifties, which made it even harder for Clarice to stomach. The calls became shorter, until one day, Clarice stopped getting phone calls. She was worried, and since it was the end of exams, she decided to fly back home just to make sure everything was okay.
What she found made her cry. She stood at Laura’s bedside after her husband let her in. Laura had become a skeleton of what she used to be, but her beautiful blue eyes still had life despite being blind. She smiled and rubbed Clarice’s hand as the young girl sobbed. “This is just life,” Laura assured her. “You really shouldn’t have to worry. I had a good life.”
That made Clarice cry even more. “I just wish there was more than I could do. I’d do anything. Seriously, you’ve been there for me. This isn’t fair.”
A strange, ominous smile stretched over Laura’s shriveled lips. A warmth spread through Clarice, and before she could pull away, she felt something fizzing in her chest. Laura opened her mouth, and a pink gas emerged and circled in the air. Clarice’s mouth opened too, and before she knew it, a red gas shot out of her mouth. The last thing she could hear was her young voice laughing.