Sinking Feeling

“Are you going to help me?”

“Nope,” I say as I continue buffing my nails.

“But, I’ll die!”

“Eventually, yeah, but probably not from this.” I put my nail file away and blow the invisible dust off my nails.

Lon looks around, panic coloring her features. She struggles and sinks a little further. “Just help me!”

“Nope, not feeling it.” I stoop to pick up my bag and pull out a worn paperback. I pluck the leaf I’ve been using as a bookmark from somewhere near the end and return to my fantasy world.

I doesn’t last, though. Lon’s constant sobbing keeps distracting me. “You’re the one who got stuck; look around and see if you can get yourself unstuck.”

All her struggling made her sink down to her chest. It was hard for her to move, but not impossible. It took her a minute, but eventually she saw what I had seen ages ago.

Lon gritted her teeth and waded, slowly and as best she could, toward the tree root sticking out. She reached out and grabbed it.

Little by little, she hauled herself out.

“Great! You’re out!” I said, closing my book while she lay panting on the firm ground.

“I hate you,” she hissed.

“Mutual, babe,” I said as I felt myself begin to fade away.

“Just leave me!”

I shrugged and shimmered out of existence. I’d be back when her mind was in dire need of rationality, until then, she was welcome to brave this unforgiving landscape alone with nothing but her thoughts.

I knew it wouldn’t be long until she needed me to cope again. Until then, she could hate me all she wanted, I’m just a figment after all. She’s only hurting herself.

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