"I'm going to go have a shower, and maybe when I come out, she'll be gone."

"Ummm, I gotta," he flicked at something that was tickling his ear, then turned and walked down the hall to the bathroom.  He didn't want that woman -- his mother/wife/hallucination -- to follow him, so he latched the door closed.  The air was moist and a fine patina of mist covered the mirror above the sink, indicating someone had recently used the shower.  Travis squinted into the lights which adorned each side of the mirror and scowled.  It was much too bright in there.  In fact, it was like staring into the heart of the sun.  The light flickered, as if something heavy was thumping against the other side of the bathroom wall.

Or maybe the lights were laughing at him.  You can't turn us off, Travis.  We are the beacons of hope that light your way back home!  We are the light in your heart you use to illuminate the darkness in your life.  We will burn a path into your soul! Hahahahahahahahahaha!

He sighed and chuckled at his own warped sense of humor, "Nincompoop."  Looking to the side to shield himself from the pulsating light, he reached out to unscrew the bulb.  As soon as his fingertips touched the hot glass, however, he yelped and yanked his hand away, inadvertently knocking the sconce from its perch.  Travis watched as the glass tumbled in slow motion until it shattered as it struck the sink.  The light flashed and then went dark and glass went everywhere: the sink, the rug, even the top of the toilet.  Shards, chunks, and nasty daggers twinkled like stars in the single, solitary light as Travis put his burning fingertips in his mouth and struggled to stifle a string of violent curses that flooded his tongue like so many ants.  Coursing and wiggling all over his tongue until they grew so bountiful he could not breathe.  His eyes rolled up and thousands of tiny red ants spewed from his nostrils.  He stumbled backwards into the toilet with a CLUNK while his hands scrabbled for his throat.  His cheeks became blue as his lungs desperately tried in vain to receive oxygen.  He convulsed and slid to a seated position on the ground, watching in horror as ants tumbled from the sink faucet and washed over the edge like a wave.  Still he was unable to breathe and he thrashed on the ground in hopes of freeing himself from the quick onset of death as the ants smothered him from the inside.  His eyes rolled up behind his lids and the room grew dim around him.

There was a knock on the door and everything snapped back into focus.  There were no ants, but he was cowering behind the toilet with both hands shoved into his gagging mouth.  Glass littered the floor at his feet and a bright red drop of blood slowly made its way from the toilet's rim to its base, followed by another.

Travis was shocked at its red brilliance against the polished white of the toilet basin.

From the other side of the door, Sarah's voice called to him, "Travis?  What the hell are you doing in there?!  Are you all right?  Let me in!"

The door handle rattled expectantly.

The End

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