by Anji Harris
Donna tightened her grip around the sticky cocktail glass. It was only one o’clock in the afternoon but the familiar taste of rum and coke helped to soothe her anxiety
Jeff stood in the patio doorway. “Would you like another,” said Jeff.
“Oh no, I’m quite fine,” she said, rubbing the condensation from the glass onto her soft woolen dress pants.
“Well, I guess we can go ahead and get started.” Jeff pulled out his tape recorder and a tattered notebook from his bag and placed them on the table. “Let me just turn this fellow on and you can begin whenever you like.”
There was a long silence before Donna spoke. Jeff was the only reporter who took her seriously. She had called nearly all the local papers in the county and was either laughed at or told that someone would get back to her and who never did. When Jeff asked to meet her in person, she didn’t know what to expect but decided to do it anyway.
Donna sighed. “Everyone thinks I’m crazy. Even my husband doesn’t believe me. When I told him that they had come and taken me again, he swore that it was not true and that I had been in bed all night right beside him.” Donna rolled up the sleeve of her black cashmere sweater. “See!” she said extending her arm out to Jeff. “They even left a mark this time.”
Jeff moved in closer to see the circular blotch on Donna’s forearm. “Do you mind if I touch it?” he asked, pulling out his wired framed glasses for closer examination.
“No. I don’t mind,” she said. Jeff ran his hand over Donna’s supple skin. The mark was the size of an old silver dollar. It was fresh, smooth, yet bumpy.
“It’s raised,” he said leaning back into his chair. “Almost like you were branded with some sort of iron.”
Donna’s eyes widened. “I know,” she said, as she rolled down her sleeve.
“What did your husband have to say after you showed him this?”
Donna laughed, as she smoothed her golden blond hair behind her ear. “I haven’t shown him. I haven’t told anyone. You’re the first.”
Jeff scribbled in his notepad. “When was your first encounter?” he asked.
“It had to be about six months ago.”
“And how often would you say you’ve had these encounters over the past six months?”
“A lot,” Donna said. “I know I’m not insane, but I’m starting to think maybe something is wrong with me.”
Donna covered her face with her hands and sobbed quietly. Jeff removed his glasses and put them into his shirt pocket. He stood up to console Donna, placing his hand on her shoulder.
“I believe you,” Jeff said.
Donna lifted her head as Jeff unbuttoned his cuff and rolled up his sleeve.
“You’re not alone, Donna,” he said. “I have one too.”
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Anji Harris lives in Los Angeles, California where she is currently studying creative writing at Full Sail University. She has been previously published in her local city newspaper and featured as a guest writer on Art N Us Productions blog.