As she slept, the vines crawled from the open book laying in front of her. They spread closer to her fingertips growing from inside the pages with impressive speed. He had warned her about the book, about leaving it open. However, the hour was late and despite the vivid imagery and wild adventures, she found her eyelids getting heavy and the brightness of the room beginning to dim.
The vines began to curl around her wrist and had soon reached her elbow. As they extended towards her shoulders and tickled at her nose, she stirred, dreaming of soft fingers caressing her face. She let out a small, comforted coo and readjusted into her pillow, the fabric calling her back into her dreams.
The vines continued to reach for her, gathering and binding her legs from hip to ankle. They wrapped around her head and neck, loosely at first, but tightening with every second.
She dreamed of scarves on cold days, and grandmother’s Christmas sweaters that were always too tight in the collar. She dreamt of necklaces meant for younger girls, and roughhousing with her older cousin. She felt his hands closing around and crushing her throat. When she realized she could no longer breathe, she opened her eyes in sudden terror. The vines had covered her completely and were dragging her feet first into the book. It had consumed her up to her waist. Words had fallen off the pages, laying on the bedspread as though they belonged there; ‘dangerous’, ‘jungle’, and ‘dark’ were the only ones she could fully make out.
As she went to let out a scream for help, a final vine wrapped around her mouth smothering out the noise. The book swallowed her whole, closing itself in the end. He had warned her, and now it was too late.