He called me June. I had no idea why. Maybe he took a liking to the month. Perhaps he liked the summer that came before the fall.
“June,” He said from the front seat; the air scented with something that heavily resembled the damp muskiness of a basement. “June, June, June...what am I going to do with you?”
I wanted to snap at him; tell him for the hundredth time that I wasn't June. I knew it wouldn't do any good though. In his sick mind, that's what he seemed to believe.
“You are more trouble than you're worth. Some days I could just...put you with everyone else, I suppose. Then again...” He paused; his silver eyes flashing up into the rear view mirror again.
“I do love someone who doesn't mind doing some hard work.”
I shivered then, trying to collapse in on myself in the backseat. I had forgotten how long I had been with this man. This monster.
He could see the fear on my face. It caused a smirk to ease on to his face.
“One day you'll stop forgetting,” he said softly. “You're attracted to this, to me, like a bug is attracted to light...”
Light was an odd way to describe something that felt so dark. This leather car was only making the darkness more oppressive than it already was.
One glance to the doors showed me that the handles had been taken out to ensure whoever sat in the back didn't escape.
More accurately, the handles had been carved out and roughly patched back in with a metal of some sort.
“Bug...” He said, repeating the word as if just having discovered its existence for the first time. “June bug...I like that more. You're my June bug.”
I didn't say anything. To him, I was a June bug. Ugly. Senseless. Attracted to the light only to die in its glow.
But what was he to me?
I heard a rattle, watching as he withdrew a medicinal bottle from the dashboard. Even in the dark, I could picture the blue and white pills housed there.
My stomach lurched at the sight of them.
“Here, my precious June bug. It's time you had some clarity.”
I knew he was wanting me to reach forward to claim the bottle from him, but my hands were too slick with sweat. I couldn't bring myself to lean forward and touch the bottle.
He swiveled in his seat, staring at me with those emotionless silver eyes. His smile lit up his face, reminding me of the menacing face of a jack-o-lantern.
“Take the pills, my June bug. There's no need to be afraid.”
My hand reached out without my bidding, claiming the bottle and bringing it back. I uncapped it, staring down at the pills before taking one.
The woods were quiet that night; the stars not even a witness to the two of us there. A black trash bag trailed behind us.
The shovel in my hands wanted to slip from my grip. I watched the man in front of me begin to dig, and I followed suit.
“You bring out too much good in me, June bug. Far too much good...” He pounded the shovel harder and harder into the ground with each word he said.
I didn't respond. How could I? My mind was too muddled to figure out who I was, let alone who he was or what was going on.
That's when a brief moment of clarity came to me.
My name was Autumn. It flashed into my mind as my shovel repeatedly stabbed the dirt. Maybe I was like him. Maybe I too didn't like to remember the fall.
How many June bugs had there been before me? How many others had been captured by the light, only to find the life crushed out of them?
I lifted my head; my eyes scanning the area around us. The woods were endless.
I knew deep down in my stomach that the bodies it housed were the same.