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The Silver Thread

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This morning, I got out of bed like normal, like every day. I set up some quick microwave porridge for breakfast, went to brush my teeth. I had the house to myself, my husband having taken off earlier to a doctor's appointment.

When I turned into the bathroom, I noticed a faint silver thread flowing out of my back.

At first I thought I must have something in my eyes or that I was hallucinating. People do not have silver threads growing out of their backs, nor have I ever heard of anyone speaking of such. Being a firm believer in the scientific method and incurably curious, however, I did not want to dismiss it outright as nonexistent when it clearly was something I was sensing. Also, I was thoroughly intrigued by such a sudden phenomenom, and blinking or pinching myself did not make it go away.

I tried to follow the thread to see where it went, but it was hard going backwards all the time. If I turned, it flowed every which other way again, driving me nuts.

Half an hour or so later, husband returned from his trip. I rushed to the door when I heard the key turn in the lock: I had to check if he had one too. He did!

This was more than intriguing. I told him to stand still so that I could conduct important experiments, in other words, to go follow it.

He amusedly asked if he could grab a bite to eat and read the newspaper while he was forced to stay put. I graciously allowed this, because it gave me time to put on some shoes and a jacket. I fully expected it to flow out of the building, and I intended to find out how far it would go.

While I watched him puttering around the kitchen preparing his snack, I noticed that the thread coming from him actually was not just one thread, but several. Some of them were just much more visible.

One of them flowed my way, and eventually after much squirming I was able to see that it connected with my thread!

"Ooh," I thought to myself, "maybe this thread conncets all the people in the world!" It was a nice thought. I now wanted more than anything to follow another thread and test this idea. Maybe it would connect to the neighbour or something?

I got out with my eye on the faint outline of one of the stronger silver threads that was easiest to see. This one at least did not veer towards the neighbour's house, though. It flowed out and continued northwards.

I followed it along the road. The thread went on for several blocks, and just my luck, it was starting to rain. I raised the collar of my jacket up, flipped the hood on my head and dug my hands into the pockets stubbornly: I had come entirely too far to give up now.

I was already soaked to the bone when the thread finally turned and flowed into a house.

I snuck to a window and peeked in. There was a living room, and the lights were on. A woman was decorating the Christmas tree with a toddler.

The thread split into two fainter threads and ended in the two. Maybe it had been two threads to begin with? In any case, this showed that there were people in both ends of these threads. This was incredible.

I did not know the people living in this house, though. I dug around in my memory for any nearby relatives that would have been mentioned in passing, or colleagues living in the same part of the town as we did, and drew a blank. It felt inappropriate going to knock on someone's door just to ask them about a weird potential hallucination.

Then the boy happened to turn around and for a moment I saw his face more closely, and I got a sinking feeling in my stomach. His mother had blonde hair, he had quite dark and wavy hair, and there was something eerily familiar about him.

Thinking back, my husband had been on a long business trip just about three years ago. The boy looked similar to my husband's childhood pictures.

I sunk into a deep pit that had just opened up to engulf my soul. This could not be. It was impossible.

At that moment, the woman turned towards the window. She might have not seen anything, but I was horrified at the thought of getting caught out here in shock, and I rushed away, out into the street.

I never noticed the passing bus before it was too late.