Monday, March 19, 2012

something that never was

Jennifer sat in the dead dry grass, her white dress pooling around her thighs. Both her knees were bent underneath her in a position that would make her ankles fall asleep if she held it too long. She looked over her shoulder but she was hidden in the darkness, and it's not like anyone was coming here this late anyway. There was the sound of a bat in a nearby tree.

The wind ruffled her dark hair, blowing it in front of her face, and she didn't bother to wipe it away. She remembered when she used to love the night. It meant sleeping in someone's arms; whispering instead of speaking loudly; it meant intimacy. Jennifer remembered when her cries didn't go unanswered, when her nightmareish screams pierced the darkness and hit something. Now the nightmare was everywhere, a dark blanket clothing her in the terrifying loneliness of her heart. She was wrapped in her isolation, so thick that no one could hear her sobs, blocking her off from the outside world but not warming her as she snuggled into herself.

She was cold but she didn't shiver; her coldness was beyond that. The freezing feeling was more than physical, deep in her brain, seizing every thought and heartfelt grasp at imagination and encasing it in life taking ice. It's amazing how beautiful things in ice look, how preserved, when really their blood has run cold and their life has been sucked out of them. Cruel and cold in the beauty of their death.

Her light white dress floated over the her pale skin. Wearing nothing underneath, her skin prickled in the breeze. The whispers of tomorrow grated on her ears like dirty sporks scraping into her screaming brain.

The thoughts hadn't stopped crying in the darkened haunted mansion of her head for weeks. She would travel through the rickety hallways of her mind, passing cobwebbed furniture and doorways she didn't recognize. At the end of the hall would be a soft glowing light, a child kneeling and singing, or alternatively crying beneath a creepy painting. The little kid would be shrouded in a flimsy sheet or wispy shawl, glowing through the crocheted fabric. Jennifer spent hours traveling the attics of her mind, trying to reach the lonely child, but the hallway only stretched longer and longer through the terror of her isolation.

The graveyard loomed around her like a gloomy soup that she was the lone carrot in. She swam through the eerie fog without leaving her place on the grassy earth. The grass slipped against her calves, covering layers of earth and cracking bones and decaying corpses. The dead curled below her, silent and helpless against her inaudible screams. Their rotting fingers lay immobile underground, reaching up, unable to do a thing to caress her pain.

The trees surrounding the cemetery caged Jennifer into a dark hole of morbid privacy. Her eyes sank in her skull, tired and worn from weeks without sleep. The skin above her cheeks withered with fatigue and the tears fell easily down her sunken face. Her lips trembled in pain. She closed her eyes. Tears rushed down, falling into her dress, dampening the cloth above her collarbone, and soaking through to her skin. She shook with pain and cowered into herself. Her head fell into her lap and she writhed uncomfortably. The pain would be over soon. The worry would dissipate. She could already feel it washing over her. It was a calm, almost warm feeling of numb forgetfulness.

Above Jennifer the clouds floated into a grey mass, obscuring starlight and the moon. The wings of the bat echoed quietly, the only sound in the now still night. Jennifer took a breath between sobs and let the feeling come. She sank into the wallowing, drowning in herself. Her hands became soft and the skin ran off them in a pale pink puddle. Her legs grew jellylike and rippled into the grass. Her hair and skin flowed down her body as she melted into the darkness, sinking away into the nothingness of the night. In less than a minute there was only a puddle sitting alone in the otherwise dry field. It didn't evaporate into everything, but simply disappeared, melting from existence and became what never was.

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