“I’m all right,” she heard herself say abruptly, surprised by the calmness of her voice.
No one could look at her after that.
They looked at the ceiling, the bendable desk lamp, the painting of a distant sailboat hanging slightly askew, the flower and triangle patterned linoleum, the stainless steel tray, the uneaten mash-potatoes that were too-white, the electric socket occupied by thick cords heading either direction, the small black television attached to the ceiling that seemed to be watching them, the cloth window shade that let in a dull yellow glow, and the heart-breaking almond wallpaper—but not at her. She’d thought silence would’ve been better than incessant solemn pleasantries.
She was wrong.
Rooms like hers were never really quiet, anyway. Outside, an industrial A/C roared carelessly. The noise didn’t bother her; the incessant whirring helped her keep it together. In a loud, mechanical world, somehow this all made sense. Everything made sense if you didn’t think too hard about it. Ironically, her room was always a little too warm. The almond wallpaper made sure of it.
“Everything’ll be fine,” she said again, looking at the faces hovering around her.
Their eyes still avoided her.
No one was breathing.
D.N.A Morris is a writer from Houston, Texas. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Word Riot, Monkeybicycle, Crack the Spine, The Newer York, twenty20 Journal, Stymie, The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, Birmingham Arts Journal, and Nanoism.
Read more weirdness at: orage.tumblr.com