Not Another Short Story

Tepid water flowed on wilted skin, as I bled underneath the bandage. I hate to admit it, but the subdued sting of broken flesh felt comforting. The world as I knew it was quietly dissolving. And there was nothing else to say.

In my bedroom, I fumbled for the light switch. Adjacent to a small window, a lamp hung on the wall. I navigated through the dimly lit shapes, stumbling across the chaise. I decided to leave the lights off. Lately, I kept having flashbacks. I wasn’t sure why. My energy was static; I needed to rest my eager mind and exist without intention. But amid empty thoughts, you shifted into view. Maybe it’s the fact that your birthday’s coming up, and I don’t feel like celebrating. Or maybe I’m uncomfortable with the truth. Autumn was beautiful, wasn’t it?

Sleep is never as simple as children make it. My little one falls asleep just as soon as her head hits the pillow. That used to be me, I think. I don’t remember much about my elementary days, except vibrant dreams and car rides that led to nowhere in particular. Those memories lie awake, buried with the bones that know me well.

A hallway wrapped in darkness is endless. Vintage clocks line the rotten walls.

Scorpions crawl underneath the doors on either side of me. I’m not sure whether to

move forward or back. I guess I hesitated too long. The door on my left abruptly

opens as I enter.

“Kali,” he says.

At first, I don’t answer. Although the voice is slightly distorted, he sounds familiar. A

knot is slowly forming as I search for the door.

“Kali, over here,” he says.

I can see them, three shadowy figures standing an arms distance away. I’m

startled, but I don’t show it.

“Come here, babe, I wanna show you something,” he says.

I am motionless, submerged in sinking sand. My eyes dart back and forth, begging

for an exit. But all I feel is venom descending on me.

“It’s okay, just relax,” he says.

Tempted to let my heart cave in, I blink back the tears. I’ve never had a reoccurring dream, but there’s a first for everything. I can’t help but wonder what they mean.

as you resurface

i numb the pain

forgetting my fate-

while time evades

the scars fade

leaving behind fragments

of grim remains

stifled by each breath

you take

- BC

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