Charlotte threw a Sunny Lemon bath bomb into the full tub. With a loud hiss bubbles burst out of the bright yellow globe and rushed up. The citrus smell hit Charlotte's nose - and suddenly the water in the bathtub grew milky. Some sort of mist gathered on its bottom and crept up the walls, and soon Charlotte couldn't see anything but the surface, now covered with a thin film, which was quickly solidifying. Some sort of crystals were growing, spreading through it. Charlotte stretched her hand and immediately jerked it back, hissing from the cold that had bitten into the tips of her fingers.
The ice was thick now. And then it looked as if the water boiled up underneath it; something large and dark thrashed inside; and Charlotte saw a hand press into the round window of thinner ice in the centre of the tub. Charlotte squealed and jumped back.
Several loud thuds followed. The ice broke. The hand she'd seen earlier burst out, and she saw a large body break through the ice, splashing water onto her floor - mixed with shards of ice, blood, and something dark that looked like rotten water weeds.
The man climbing out of her bathtub, coughing and wheezing, was large and unmistakably naked. Charlotte took another step back, blindly batting her hand behind her in search of the door handle.
He fell onto her Ikea mat, his body convulsing, coarse exclamations pouring out of him. They sounded Russian or Polish.
"What--" Charlotte squeaked. "What do you need?"
The door behind still wasn't opening, no matter how much she jerked the handle.
"Marion! Where's Marion?" the man rasped out in a thick Slavic accent.
He pushed off the ground and now stood on all four.
"No Marion-- There's no Marion here!"
He lifted his face. A pair of bright blue eyes peered at her.
"What do you want? Are you... from space?" For some reason she was shouting.
Nothing else came to her mind: just the idea of an alien invasion, or perhaps also that famous scene from Terminator.
The man barked a hoarse laugh and flopped on his backside. He shook his head like a dog after a bath and cleared his throat loudly.
"No, I'm not from space. I'm out of a space, but not the outer space."
He pushed his wet hair back off his face, raking fingers through it. He had a narrow face, high cheekbones, and a long prominent nose.
"What year is this?" he asked.
The door finally obeyed Charlotte, and she fell backwards into her hallway. She scrambled, skidding away from the bathroom on her bottom.
"Oh no, no, I'm not a danger to you!" he called after her. "I'm Vran!"
Charlotte froze on her knees and hands and slowly turned her head. A lopsided grin decorated the man's face.
"Vran?" Charlotte repeated. "As in... my grandfather Vran?"
"Not by blood, darling," he said and smiled wider. "But I see you've heard of me."
"You're just a story my grandma used to tell me. We thought she was nuts." Charlotte sat down facing him, her back pressed against the wall. "You're just her... hallucination. She kept telling us of the man coming out of her bath. But we never believed her!"
"Marion has always been quite a naughty girl," the man murmured. "I bet she went into rather exciting details in her stories."
"She's been dead for five years," Charlotte blurted out. "She died at the age of seventy eight."
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THERE AND NOW || Fantasy, Mythology, & Romance || ongoingFantasy
When a naked man drenched in water mixed with blood and giant black feathers crawls out of ice that appears in Charlotte Leblanc's empty bathtub, she has to reevaluate the stories her grandmother and her mother have been telling her about a hidden p...