Under the Bed: Chapter 5

Story by Mark Figueroa (anthony_abyss) | Featured art by: Salem Jaeger @theforgottenpen

Szófia sighs. She guzzles down my hot toddy like ice tea and exhales a silent belch. “Őfelsége,” she whispers, sniffling, then mutters in Hungarian. I pretend not to hear. It’s been almost a week since Szófia came back to life, or something like it. We’re in the potty-training phase. She gets cranky and weeps until she passes out, sometimes not making it to the bathroom in time, occasionally eating in between. Having her body back after being weightless, timeless and kötetlen – free, is something she’s struggling to get used to. All things considered, it is nice not getting buzzed alone, despite fighting the urge to cry with her and having to be like a parent. I fill my glass with wine while Szófia stares at the tv in a trance. “I remember this,” she mutters.

“What, the show? This moment?” I ask, sipping my merlot while Szófia continues inhaling my alcohol-free hot toddy. Somehow, she’s still getting drunk. I glance at her while she continues staring in awe at the TV. “Szófia, you’re freaking me out. What do you remember? Hello?” I wave my hands in her face, startling her. Szófia looks away and scurries to the restroom. It’s annoying, but I’d be more upset if she stained the couch again. I get up and follow her, checking in on her as she leans against the wall while sitting on the toilet and sobbing to herself. “So, what are we going to do, Szófia?” I ask, twirling my wine. “It’s been about a week. Őfelsége is gone and you’re alive. We’re back at square one, or something like that.”

Szófia shivers and sighs. “About Őfelsége… I don’t know. I don’t know, Petra,” she says, leaning over her pale knees. She presses her face into her hands and groans. I stroke her long, black hair. “I tried it again, Petra,” she whispers. “Nothing can cut me and I can’t get hurt. Not this physical body, at least. It’s stuck in my mind. When I hit Őfelsége, it felt like I was being folded in half. Like I was breaking out of reality. Next thing I knew, she flung me against your shelves. I am at a loss. I just want to be free. I just want to release myself from this mortal prison.”

“Well, then, Őfelsége brought you back to reality, or life, I mean… Then, we find her and repeat whatever you were trying to do. What other options do we have?” I ask, tipsy and nonchalant. I set my wine glass on the edge of the sink and crouch down in front of Szófia. “How’s that sound, Sofi?”

Szófia smiles through her tears and hugs me. “I suppose so, Petra,” she declares with a melancholy stare. She caresses my face. “We have to figure how to find Őfelsége, first. Then, we need to find a way to restrain her.”

“How hard can it be? We can go anywhere in the world and find almost any bit of information we want, right at our fingertips, Sofi.”

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