you're a beautiful chaos,
insanity woven into something breathtaking
- Anna Rose
a little game of hide and seek
my hands are of your colour,
but I shame to wear a heart so white
- Lady Macbeth, William Shakespeare
He stretches slowly, hearing his bones pop with every move, the neck muscles protesting loudly, as he tries to massage the sorest spots. The day was too long and the hour late, nearing ten at night. He was ready to take a break and go to the cafeteria, hoping to fill his stomach, close his eyes for a couple of minutes, and rest, even if just a little - in his profession, even ten minutes of shut-eye were often a blessing. As he heads to get some food, his mind finally lets in all the thoughts that were blocked before, too busy to notice much more than his pilling up responsibilities - furrowing his eyebrows, only now realizing that he had not heard from Nora all day. He thought she would visit, but it was more an assumption than actually being informed about her plans in any way; he just figured that by this time, she would need his help to soothe the voices in her head. He sighs, never in his life expecting to have problems connected to the supernatural, and plans to check his phone after returning from the cafeteria - but in the end never gets there, a strange noise catching his attention instead.
At first, he is willing to dismiss it, being used to the most peculiar noises happening randomly in the hospital, usually in those rare moments when it was quiet enough for anything to break through the multicolored cacophony of sounds filling the walls of the enormous building. But now, the low sounds seemed to stick to him, clinging to the eardrums and vibrating in a way that proved to be nearly impossible to ignore.
Slowly, he tilts his head, curious despite the fatigue and the mercilessly outstretching length of the day. There it was again, as if repeated pounding of something heavy, metallic, and then a faint chilling noise coming from inside the walls. In a slightly wary state, he passes the hallway and walks forward until he reaches the door to the staircase; putting an ear against the metal door and flinches when the familiar sound invites itself once more; the same clatter but more distinct. He starts to feel nauseous as his mind tells him what he already knew but didn't want to comprehend or take in, blocking out the potential consequences. His eyes close for a few moments, some childish part of him hoping that he confused the sounds and the sensation creeping in under his skin, causing the hair on the arms to stand up - but now, his muscles strain in a different way, a strong need for action growing even though the more rational aspect of his personality wants to blame the whole thing on exhaustion. Act. Help. Protect. He grabs the handle on the door and jumps slightly as the sound rings out again, his hold tightening automatically. Someone was shouting down there, and the screams were getting louder, muffled yet much clearer - even though he was sure there were many layers of concrete and metal separating him from the dread that seemed to seep from the underground.
He quickly writes the code in a small alarm box placed on the wall and walks down the stairs; there is no way that the screaming came from the floor above. The only possible place where the sounds could be coming from was the basement of the building. The acoustic there always carried the sounds far; people hearing all sorts of unearthly noises and avoiding going there if possible. However, the employees working there, such as the plumbers and the mechanics - just shrugging it off casually, often being the ones responsible for the racket in the first place.
He keeps going down, and with every passing moment, his pulse rushes faster and faster, heart pounding against the ribcage, footsteps echoing as he goes, all the way down to the boiler room. Passing pipes of all shapes and sizes, searching for the source of the unusual sounds, carefully, taking each step. He looks to the sides, steam very visible even in the faint light available there - sweat appearing on his forehead as the temperature increases, the long-sleeved shirt under the scrubs becoming damp and sticking to the shape of his spine. He listens to his shoes scrape against the floor and feels the adrenaline levels rise, blood pounding in his head with fever. Something tumbles down, and something else breaks, ringing out so loudly that he feels it in his teeth. It sounds heavy - quickly, he moves forward, breaking into a run, passing each door, confused more with every fleeting second.
Again, the scream continues, piercing his ears as he finally recognizes it, blood freezing in his veins, body overwhelmed by fear. Of course, it was her voice all along. How could he not realize this before? Well, maybe he chose not to; the denial set in deep, telling him not to believe his own senses, the possible truth too terrifying to let in. He won't let anything bad happen to her.
Are you sure it's not too late already?
He moves the thought away immediately, not letting it stay, tearing it away from him like a beast that wants to claw into the tender meaty flesh, eagerly ripping it apart piece by piece. Forcing himself to focus only on the task at hand, he finally finds the right door, the only one cracked slightly open, a beam of cold blue silver light slipping out and coloring the floor next to it. He stumbles in and gapes at the scenery with growing disbelief.
There she was, lying on the cement floor, in a space with not enough light to spread out all the shadows away, twisted into a little ball of pain, broken and bent old chairs spread on the ground next to her, strange pieces of red metal thrown all over the room. He looks closer, still confused, trying to take the entire scene in, brain pushing to put the picture together, staring at the metal until the shapes become familiar - smaller fragments of pipes from the central heating system. He nods slowly, noticing bolts to match, lying close to his feet, further confirming his suspicions. A new scream causes a jolt of electricity to curse through his muscles, forcing him to jump back to life and run to her.
But then a voice stops him mid-track, somehow, blocking him almost against his will - like shutting off all the lights in the room, a complete blackout of senses - he thinks absentmindedly as the sudden inability to move vanishes as soon as it appears.
And who might you be?
He looks to the right and notices a calm but slightly irritated man standing in the shadows, wearing a long elegant, grey coat and resting his body weight against a solid-looking, tasteful cane. The bottom of it looks like oak, smooth and expensive, and the top with its carved, animal-shaped head appears to be, made out of bronze. He seems to be around fifty and about 6 foot 1 in height. The man takes a few steps forward, stepping more into the light of the lamp above him - one of the few sources of light in the otherwise dark and unwelcoming space. Charlie gazes up and feels almost magnetic energy surround him, broad shoulders, a strong jaw, and a pair of dark steel blue eyes gazing back at him. The stare is alluring and dominating, dangerous. Like watching an earthquake just before the ground swallows you up - you know you should move, but you're stuck in place.
Another cry breaks through his distracted thoughts, grabbing his attention and causing his chest to tighten painfully.
Well, look at who we got here. It seems that little miss Eleonore has found herself a friend.
The man says, partly amused and in part restless, as if he was disturbed in a very ill-manner way by this peculiar intruder to his private game, looking displeased by the additional and unplanned actor on the stage.
Who are you, and what is happening here? What did you do to her? Why is she in pain?
The stranger taps his cane casually a few times against the concrete floor before answering as if lost in thought. Charlie looks distracted for a second at Nora and notices that each sound makes her body jump slightly as if low currents of electricity and light were moving under her skin. He wants to go to her so badly, but the man coughs meaningfully, causing Charlie's eyes to drift back.
I have to admit, I am rather surprised by this small intrusion. You see, dear boy, this one here is very unsociable, and has difficulty finding new friends. But then again, I didn't know her a few years back. I hear that she used to be a life of the party once - though I find it hard to believe. Then again, sins and tragedies have a way of changing people. Don't you agree?
The man continues, not seeming to notice the questions, appearing to be more focused on the sound of his voice, almost mesmerized by it, covering himself in it like a warm velvet shawl. Charlie's hands roll tightly into fists, knuckles growing white, blood beginning to boil. He looks back at her and winces, her body seeming to shrink from the pain, his eyes set desperately on her fragile form. He stares, hypnotized as the light above her head and the darkness around them seem to display her agony as if she was on a stage in some grotesque theater. He notices the blood coating her fingers, leaving deep rusty trails all over the floor, and then shifts his stare to the man standing in the small distance - at his immaculate, clean hands. My hands are of your colour, but I shame to wear a heart so white - the memorable words he read a long time ago ring out in his mind, and he feels anger grow inside him, sizzling. He's ready; ready to move and to do anything, just as long as all of this stops. He shifts forward, but the man blocks him, suddenly standing just inches away; the tension builds between the two, the pressure in the room increasing, thickening the air.
She needs to pay the consequences; a contract has been set in motion, and we have been waiting for more than enough.
What...? No. What in hell are you even talking about? Do you even hear yourself?
She broke the rules, and now the poison is spreading.
The man notices Charlie's eyes widen and enjoys the confusion on his face; all of this was just amusement to him.
Ah, you seem to be surprised by this. I guess she has not told you everything then?
Told me what? What rules, for fuck sake?! What poison?
Ah, manners, dear boy. Temper, temper. It's not polite to curse in front of a lady. Then again, she won't be around for much longer.
Something snaps in him like a rubber band, causing his insides to sting and throb. He plunges for the man and attacks, trying to knock him down and push him out of the way, but the other guy is surprisingly strong - as if he wasn't fighting with one person, but many. He blocks him with just one arm over Charlie's chest, the elbow directed up and pressing beneath his throat, while the other arm leans securely on the cane. The sides of his lips lifting, a crocked razor-sharp smile coloring his face as he towers over him, deeper wrinkles appearing in the corners of his eyes - yet there is a certain tone in his voice that gives him away as it vibrates with growing irritation.
Don't be ridiculous, you fool. You can't stop me or the thing that's happening to her. She knew the consequences, and there's always a price to pay for death. But perhaps this outcome surprised even her.
Charlie's eyes widen, but he doesn't stop - instead, fights with double force, finding a better footing and pushing the man forward - it feels like trying to relocate a bulldozer. But nothing that lunatic had said or done mattered. He only had one focus, and that was her.
You're insane. Get out of the way, old man. Now.
I told you there is no way out for her, no redemption. She took the life of the wrong person, and there was so much more at stake than she could even imagine. Perhaps...
He finally decides to throw Charlie off with a low growl, visibly consternated with the prolonging interference, and then keeps on talking as if there was no battle to begin with, no confrontation. As if this was just for fun, and he was getting rid of a misbehaving child.
Perhaps if she would choose her victim more wisely, this wouldn't even be an issue. Just a life lost, nothing more - but she chose wrong, dealing with powers she could never comprehend or wrap her mind around - too many incompetent people roaming this earth, dear boy, way too many.
He seems so pleased with himself, and it slowly sets Charlie into a state of white, blazing fury that he never suspected himself of. He reaches the man with impressive speed and presses a fist to the side of his perfectly square jaw, the blow sending the guy back with force as he stumbles back and hits the floor with his side; roaring out in rage and spitting-out heavy invectives through his teeth. Yet he doesn't get up at first, instead groans again and pulls out something from underneath his body - a chunk of the red metal from one of the broken pipes - he stays down, the pain and the turmoil recognizable on his face.
There is nothing you can do to stop this, you imbecile. Her faith is already sealed.
He turns his stare from the man and sees her - scraping her nails against the floor, her eyes out of focus, her fingers leaving more bloody trails, strands of hair covered with dust and dirt falling to her face. Too much to see, to bear. He runs to her without thinking, pulling her carefully up to a sitting position, and she screams from the sudden change. He can almost physically feel all of her pain as her body strains. It’s loud, overwhelming, nearly pushing the air out of his lungs. She doesn't look at him, but her body language says it all, shooting a jolt of electricity through his nervous system that terrifies him, blocking out everything else. She is ready to die, here and now, the pain too excruciating to endure - he can feel his throat getting tight, reality blurring out as he experiences something for the very first time in his life - it's unbelievable but true. I feel you, sensing everywhere; in my bloodstream, my bones, under my skin. With all my senses, Nora.
This lasts just a fracture of a second, but it's enough - unexpectedly, without any warning, he knows exactly, what to do, a sense of clarity coming over, his mind made up, something deep in the guts telling him that this would work.
He pulls her up, forcing her to stand up and look at him, waiting until her hazy stare finally meets his, finding something in those weary, lost eyes that makes him lean forward. A strange kind of assurance, growing and bursting in his cells, one by one like multicolored glass; it feels like energy that wants to reach hers, the images of blue and orange light touching filling his mind as he bends down gently. She freezes - the surprise caused by the warm touch; and how close his body is against hers breaking through the chaotic and confused state - his lips pressed against hers, his arms tightening around that bruised, tortured body. Tense at first, her hand pushes against his chest, wanting to pull away, seeming like a wild animal caught in a trap, desperately wanting to break free from the familiar hands that felt like home but now seemed like bars in a too-tight cage.
The energy of the one she lost, nearly tangible and bleeding out of her pores, as he holds her close - things that he cannot explain, happening around them, filling the air and coloring their rushed breaths, constantly shifting, breaking, and flickering.
Once again, she tries to break free from the hold. But after a while, her fingers soften without her wanting or permission, as do his kisses against her lips. Her hands move up, sliding against his neck and grabbing onto his hair, pulling him closer as everything seems to slow down around them. She takes it all in, surprised by how her body reacts to him, how it craves the touch; her senses are on fire, blood sizzling and catching new flames with every breath. It's strong, crumbling, on the verge of overpowering all of her - but for the first time in a very long time, it is not caused by pain. She wraps her other arm around his back, wanting to become one with that blazing white light she feels between them, purifying everything in her that was wounded, broken, and scarred. She feels tears of relief under her eyelids as the strain in her body eases down. Yet her pulse rushes like never before. So many contradicting feelings, like being crushed into dust only to be rebuilt with the softest care.
He separates the kisses now; one, two, free. Softer, kinder, full of... He moves away as she stares at him with wide grey eyes, fearing to take even a single, quivering breath. She lets go of his hair, hand sliding down, fingers barely touching his skin or clothes - as if she might get burned by even the air around them. Slowly, she moves her hands away completely - wrapping her arms tightly around her thin torso. Her mind is stuck now, thoughts going blank, just ringing out silence in her ears. She looks confused. Did that really happen? The question was more than visible on her face.
Are you okay?
Charlie asks gently, focusing only on her state and not what he just did. There was nothing that mattered more at that moment that knowing she was going to be okay. Everything else could wait. She looks around, disoriented as if she did not hear him, moving in different directions, feet dragging against the floor. She stares at the mess everywhere but doesn't really see it, eyes sliding against the fragments of pipes, the ruined chairs, and water leaking from the damaged construction. Did she do that? She moves her hands up and stares at her fingers - they are dirty and covered in blood, filth, and rust. Well, that seems to answer the question. She moves around a couple more times and stumbles on her way. She seems to hear some noise behind her and turns her head that way.
She looks up at him as if she doesn't recognize who he is, staring at the worried look on his face - the pain visible in his eyes. She blinks, all those emotions running through him, making her snap back into reality, finally regaining some sanity. She stumbles his way and puts her arms around him tightly - then something breaks deep inside of her, and she bursts into tears, pressing the cheek to his chest and burying her face into his clothes, whole body trembling.
I'm so sorry, Charlie.
She croaks out and coughs, her voice hoarse from hours of screaming.
Don't be, please... it's okay.
He murmurs soothingly into her ear, and she trembles again.
What are you even apologizing for?
He asks, whispering the question.
For making you go through this. It's not your battle.
Do you mind if I decide that?
No, no... please don't joke about this. I can't take your light tones, not after... everything.
Nora, I decided this, alright? This was my decision. On the day I met you, I made a conscious choice; to do whatever I can to get you out of this, to help. And I am not backing away now. Are we clear?
He pulls her away from his chest and lifts her chin, making her look up at him. He sees her wet eyes, and something breaks in him as well. He bends down and kisses her softly, just one brief kiss. He looks back at her, watching as her face turns surprised, eyes widening. And somehow, that makes him smile.
That was just to grab your attention. You can relax now and stop digging your nails into my skin... thanks, that's much better. So, are we clear?
She stares at him and feels all the good energy going through her. Like a gold, warm light, slowly filling her up - replacing the freezing, blue one that was there before and that seemed to linger in her since she could remember. She stares at that kind smile of his, and manages, to gradually relax. No longer so awkward and disconnected. She sees him as he really is. Her savior, the protector - and most of all, her friend. A friend that one day started to be a little more.
Yes, clear, even if you're making the wrong choice.
You always need to win the argument, don't you?
He lets go of her and looks at her hands.
We need to clean that up quickly. I don't want you to get an infection...
He starts to say but does not finish, eyes darting somewhere to the background; she stiffens, sensing his tension, and then the realization slowly hits them both. They forgot about something, or more to the point, someone. She turns around. Funny that she could just throw him out of her head like that after everything. They notice him again, standing there, a bewildered expression on his face - no longer on the ground but standing straight, only slightly leaning on his cane. There is no more pain on his face, just curious wonder, and fading anger.
A healer, of course. That explains why you have not visited us yet. I guess Alister failed to tell me some crucial details concerning you, my dear.
He says and stares at them for a few moments. Processing the game changer, which he did not anticipate, with surprising composure and then just leaves, disappearing into the corridor, his cane and the heels of his leather shoes causing surprisingly little sound for such a massive, heavy figure. There was something about his face. It made Charlie think that the strange man was enjoying the new challenge that fell into his lap. He looks down at Nora and finally lets himself breathe out all the tension and weight he had kept on his shoulders until that very moment.
Don't you feel like this day has been long enough?
He asks her in a tired voice.
You have no idea.
When Lady Macbeth returns from Duncan's chamber, she holds out her blood-stained hands and says, “My hands are of your colour, but I shame to wear a heart so white,” claiming that although, she has Duncan's blood on her hands, she feels no guilt.
https://theprose.com/post/230936/with-all-my-senses ( the beginning )
Previous chapters :
I think there
are demons in here,
residing in frilly homes
in this silly head
After another sleepless night and a numbing morning, I find myself retreating to the hospital like an odd moth allergic to the fluorescent lights but somehow addicted to the familiar sensation. Spending the early hours of the afternoon in the hospital; in hopes of not only charging up my mental state but also talking to Charlie about the things I keep to myself. The things that have colored too much of my life in dark, thick ink, precautions I used as a safety net so no one would come too close. I have learned over time that it was easier for people to examine you only from a distance. Sometimes the farther, the better. But with everything going on - especially after Alister's ominous visit a couple of days ago - there was this feeling in me that I had to let him know more about the mess that my life had become. The assurance that I didn't have that much time to spare; growing with each passing day. Lingering in the air, moving in my lungs and under the skin that always felt laced with fever, the body dancing in a confused daze between flashes of heat and tingling sensations like frostbites, filling my cells even at the rare moments when being human appeared doable.
Hope seeming to be just around the corner, waving illusory white flags in the distance, taunting me with images of a possible future. Wishful thinking was a nice temporary distraction, yet that's all it was in the end; a distraction and a time filler for a few amends along the way. But no matter how much color Charlie brought with him or warmth to chip away the ice that was always sticking to my insides, it still wasn't enough. Nothing sufficed the hollow things for too long. The best I could do was be thankful for the small moments that landed in my lap if I tried hard enough; gratitude, pieces of redemption, and a little time. Every moment leading me to my final destination.
A place that was never meant to be pretty.
I close my eyes, counting the passing seconds and trying to remain grounded in the now, focusing on the things I needed to take care of; he had to see that the time spent with me could harm him in so many ways. He worried about me, my deteriorating state, and all the bad things that could happen. That was undeniable, but it was also more than obvious he did not put the same care into his own safety, not noticing the deep dark imprints collecting on his skin like ash, swirling around him just because he was foolish enough to hover around with me for far too long. The darkness had a peculiar quality about it. It tended to mold into one with your soul if you were not careful enough. For me, it was too late, but for him, there was still time.
My disease would no longer spread to anyone else.
There were people in the shadows waiting for me, men far too destructive to be dealt with; men like Alister and his brother or the minions they had no problem sending out. Just like the trained beast in the alley.
Distracted, I touch my neck, still feeling the bruises that were no longer there yet left a permanent mark in my memory. I was a coward in many ways, but I did not want my weaknesses to harm Charlie in any possible form. At times I felt that even if I had a thousand lifetimes to spare in each one, I would want to keep him safe. I rub my face with the other hand, wondering if all the time spent with him wasn't affecting me too much. I thought I had hardened with all the pain I had to go through, with all the disappointment and failures. And yet, somehow, time with him seemed to have the opposite effect on me.
It made me softer, more sentimental, letting in all the things I fought relentlessly to keep out. And that hasn't changed. I was still fighting because it was just something I did. After all, fighting and resisting was the last liferaft I had. And without it, it felt too vulnerable and breakable to be human, too exposed to handle the remaining sanity that I clang to so hard. Maybe without the support and kindness I got from him, I would have given up a long time ago. But there was something about Charlie that brought light into my bruised structure. A structure so damaged that I thought it had no chance of mending. And yet. I shake my head slowly and rub my face again, moving up my hands and sliding my fingers through a haystack of tangled-up dark hair.
And yet he brought the light with him, something so bright and warm that it made me want to cling harder, clawing into reality with brutal force until my fingers would bleed.
I inhale and look at my hands, almost expecting traces of blood on them, as if in some bad played, Shakespearean tragedy*. Insanity and the mundane tasting nearly in the same flavor. Sighing, I shift against the wide windowsill, my thin form and stiff muscles protesting against the hard surface. It was a typical November afternoon, with all of its gloomy and questionable beauty, so there wasn't that much natural light in the small library on the lower condignation. It seemed not too many people reached it this far; most kids and adults preferring the more cheery and colorful rooms closer to the main floor. Not that it bothered me, to be honest, I enjoyed it. It brought traces of peace with it as everything around me seemed too loud lately; even the white noise seemed too much, the beeping machines too irritating, making it nearly impossible to stay in the humming packed spaces for too long. The hallways too crowded even when there were hardly any people around. I massage my temples with growing agitation, trying to ease the lingering headache. The lamps were too bright, the footsteps sounding like beating drums, and my head in an enormous risk of exploding if there was even one more call for the doctors or staff coming from the speakers in the ceilings.
So here I was, my imaginary audience, many floors below, struggling for some peace and refuge. The voices in my head, infecting not only my mind but the bloodstream as well - buzzing and vibrating through each unsteady breath or uncoordinated step with echoes of hungry, poisonous snakes that would always stay with me, never leaving my side. The hell is empty, and all the devils are here*. I whisper under my breath, letting out a low chuckle that could make anyone's skin crawl, and shake my head in amusement, realizing I was like a restless rat. Finding the darkest, most abandoned place possible, disappearing from earshot and any human eye. Still, there was something to it; the lower I hid in the building, the thicker the walls seemed to get, cutting me off from the unnecessary noise. Or at least muting the volume - I think and rest my head against the wall behind me.
How do you start when everything in you seems so polluted, so stained?
I silently question the empty room, imagining a space filled with strangers listening in and sitting on plastic folding chairs. I look to the center of the room and see women nodding slowly to my words, or fanning themselves with paper programs of the play constructed of the tragic comedy that was my life. Then my eyes drift to the sides, and I notice men with casually rolled up sleeves and relaxed poses. And the more serious ones in shiny glasses, the blue lights of the lamps reflecting in their eyes, white smoke as if from cigarettes swirling lazily around the space around us. I amuse myself for a moment with the view until more dark questions swirl in my mind, bringing me back to reality. How do I let Charlie in deeper into this hideous world I was a part of? Do I brave myself to open the door wider when until now, I was trying to close it shut? How do you open something that has too many bolts to count? I wasn't sure yet, but all I knew was that even if I failed at telling him everything, he at least deserved a warning. A loud and clear one. Louder than anything ever before.
My eyebrows furrow as an unexpected subtle thudding sound breaks me away from my thoughts. I look up with curiosity but don't see anything at first, my unfocused stare struggling with the deepening greyness of the room, noticing the streetlights behind me were already on, the orange glow reflecting off the glass and coloring my shoulders. I slid slowly from the windowsill, trying not to make much noise while my sense of coordination, unfortunately, contradicts those efforts. I curse low as my knee hits the side of a nearby table, a small stack of coloring books sliding to the floor. I ignore the little mess and move farther to the entry where the strong lights fill the hallway and look outside carefully, not catching anything out of the ordinary, my eyelids fluttering at the sudden fairy of lights that blinds me as I foolishly look up at the fluorescent lamps. I grunt and put a hand in front of my face, blocking the unnecessary cause of pain, blinking as the thudding noises seem to ring out somewhere, from inside the walls. It's probably just the pipes. My brain assists logically, but something about the sound makes my heart race, and I struggle to keep calm.
Silently, I shift down the empty hallway, gradually scanning each inch and corner as I pass it, trying to attach the sounds to a specific location; for a while, nothing else happens, and I start to question my sense of reality, but the noise rings out again. With slight hesitation, I put an ear to a nearby wall and listen as my brain analyzes what it's hearing, battling to find a name and meaning for each sound, the adrenaline pumping in my veins, heightening everything around me. Mmm, as if something metallic was being hit repeatedly but also if something was scratching, clawing, wanting to break through. I inhale and close my eyes, focusing on only this one matter alone, imaging the wires in my brain untangling and sliding into the proper sockets. The sounds seem to wrap around me, coming from every direction. But it is a false notion that the brain falls under at first. After a moment, it becomes clearer where it's actually coming from.
From hell, darling.
A little voice in my head whispers eagerly, but I ignore it. No, this time, the strange noises came from a different down below. From the basement - a louder and stronger assurance appears, and I nod. I have never been there before, but there is a first time for everything. I reach the end of the hallway and find the door to the side staircase, noticing the safety lock that, under any other circumstances, would block me away from entering. I reach it and blink a few times, as the usually illuminating control panel is now completely black. My heart speeds up as I hesitantly pull on the big handle of the door, swallowing as the only restriction I find is the extra mass on the reinforced door. I shift my weight to the back of my feet, steadying myself, and pull with more power, the door opening without much struggle. Every logical thought in me screams to back away and let someone know about this, but something else in me stirs, twitches, sliding like a snake under my skin, whispering invites to take a step forward. I feel reality shift and slip away from me further as the door closes behind me, the sound of my feet fading out as I head down the stairs - not realizing that it will be the last touchable moment I will remember for many hours to come.
What happens later brings darkness with it. Too much of it. Darkness so deep that I become only a shadow of my former self, the physical things around me fading, blurring until this body is only a well-constructed illusion. The last tangible hope to hold onto, being the pain that comes later. White hot wires of electricity spreading in each cell; and expanding until I forget myself completely, shredding me inside and out until the word human becomes only a surreal concept.
Only pain and rage that comes from fear. From the last need to survive until there is no more light to hold onto.
Death no longer a harsh prosecutor but a kind friend holding your hand.
There is nothing else.
Just a silhouette on the verge of my vision. And its cruel, wanting smile.
It has wanted me for a very long time. And finally, I gave myself away to it without even knowing.
It pulls me in. Deeper and deeper into a place where oxygen is a luxury and sanity just a song once heard in a different life.
A life too far away to ever be reached.
I find myself grasping onto life by holding razors and faded dreams, hoping to stay afloat for just a little bit longer, dreading the feeling that comes with drowning.
The demons were in slumber till this day, dear girl.
Just a grey meaningless distraction before the last arms can hold you in their embrace.
They are cold, and they are waiting for you.
*Reference to "Macbeth" one of William's Shakespeare novels, and the famous scene in which the character of Lady Macbeth's hands are covered in blood.
https://theprose.com/post/230936/with-all-my-senses ( the beginning )
Previous chapters :
To Honor What You Feel
If you do anything today, I hope you give yourself space to honor what you feel. Whatever it is that you feel.
Feel what you do even if it doesn’t make sense to anyone else. Even if someone says you’re not supposed to feel the way you do. Even if another person alive couldn’t relate to what you’re feeling. Feel it anyway.
Feel what you do even if it’s ugly and messy and rough around the edges. Even if it’s the worst of you. Even if you’re afraid to hear what the pain has to say. Even if you’d rather pretend you didn’t feel a damn thing and be numb. Feel it anyway.
Feel what you feel even if it’s silly. Even if it’s joy you have to celebrate alone. Even if it’s little and quirky and only for you. Feel it anyway.
I want you to lean into feeling even when it’s scary and doesn’t make sense to you. I want you to grab feeling by its hand and explore its inner workings together. I want you to ask questions. I want you to be okay without answers. I want you to wonder. I want you to think. I want you to be curious about the darkness. I want you to embrace the quiet. I want you to enjoy the lightness.
I want you to be absolutely enveloped by feeling because that is why you’re alive. That is why you are here. To feel everything you do and feel it deeply. Because to do otherwise is a betrayal to your heart, to your humanity, to yourself.
I hope you give yourself space to honor what you feel because you deserve to experience your own emotions. You owe it to yourself and your life to actually experience it fully. Besides, you can't ignore what is demanding to be heard forever.
- by Collective World, Thought Catalog
(wanted to share it, in hopes it will move others too)
Reading this really moved me, and made me think more about how I handle my feelings and especially my pain, and the things that make me too uncomfortable because they hurt to pick them up from the ground,
that you would rather bury them instead "because it's easier".
I think it's in our nature to divide our feelings in the "good" and the "bad" category... but in honesty, if we do that, we just end up in a bigger mess of feelings that we started with. I think its about stopping considering some feelings negative, therefor putting them aside because it's hard and "well, no one wants to feel THAT, so let's not" approach.
I have a big difficulty expressing the feelings that make me uncomfortable, and it takes a lot of my energy to let them out, because I always fight them. It's is something that became a habit of mine by now and it's difficult not to fall under that pressure
(yes, a pressure that I put on myself, so surviving would be easier, so it would be harder to get hurt again).
But it's never easy, because one day you come across someone that opens doors, that crushes your walls or at least crumbles your foundation, slowly brick by damaged brick. And the light feels intoxicating and brings a gust of fresh, unpolluted air, but it also brings the chill that comes with that wind. With the wind that makes the things that you hid so well, resurface.
The hurt, the pain, the sadness, the heartbreak that colored your past so many times. All the things that you neatly stacked in shelves and that you locked away in the basement. Leaving those things in the darkness, happily letting them cover with mold and dirt over time and each passing year. But now all of that is slowly being EXPOSED and it fills you up with dread because now, you actually have to TALK about it, you have discuss it, leaving your armor and your protection in a corner in that basement and adjust to the light that's coming in.
Whenever I am faced with letting out pain and hurt, whenever there are too many tears coming to make it possible to breathe properly, I crumble. And it's not a pretty picture, no it never is. It's that moment that I hate the most, the moment that makes me feel the worst possible thing in my dictionary... it makes me feel weak. And with the feeling of weakness, comes the sensation of being helpless, of being unprotected and opened to any possible wounds and damages that can come my way. Me, the exposed animal in a forest with no trees. Scared of being caught up with too many feelings to and not knowing if I can stay above the surface of the water, of the waves that always come out of nowhere and want to swallow me whole.
The thing is, those feelings scare me, because I let them scare me, I let them grow like a giant in a child's nightmare, blowing everything out of proportion. The feelings that I don't want to expose are real, and cause me so many things. But the truth is that I have to let that giant return to its natural size. I don't know how long that would take, fully aware that it will cause many tides of feelings that are considered the bad ones, the negative little monsters that we fear.
But the one thing I do know, that it will be worth it.
Living in fear, is not living. It's just making it through a day, again, and again, and again. But I want more than that, I want to face my demons, my fears, my pain.
It will be a long journey, and there will be many walls to break through, but I have stepped on this road already, and I want to continue it until the new light no longer blinds me, until the wind no longer chills me. Until the light brings me warmth.
a new way of seeing
buzzing / noun
a low, continuous humming or murmuring sound
a flurry of activity
Raven, you were sleepwalking.
She halts to a stop, her hand squeezing the carton tighter just before pouring its contents into the glass. It causes the orange juice to splash all over the counter and her long, loose white t-shirt, the cotton material, absorbing it with eagerness.
Shit, shit, shit... so damn clumsy.
She cusses more under her breath and then cleans everything with unusual speed and precision that contradicts her words strongly. Almost like a machine. Mel furrows her eyebrows at the sight, but she doesn't comment on it.
It happens to us all, Ray. It's fine.
She rests her arms and elbows on the counter, leaning in heavy on them for a moment, lost in thought, her head sloped forward, a bunch of messy black hair covering her face in the shadows. Then she jumps up abruptly, a sudden realization hitting her.
Crap. Mel, I'm so sorry.
I said it was fine.
No, not the stupid juice. I completely messed up Ben's shirt.
She starts to lift it carefully, face crinkling at the damp, clingy material, and then she wriggles a bit in an attempt to pull it over her head without getting extra filthy and even more sticky all over. In the process of it all, revealing stripy white and blue boxers, the soft skin of her stomach and back already exposed. Mel just shakes her head, a bit irritated, and puts a hand quickly over the girl's arm.
No, that can wait. I want to talk to you first. Besides, Ben has tons of those in the closet; he won't even notice. Ever since he saw that Top Gun movie as a teenager, he makes it his sole mission to always have some white tees in stock. Let's face it, that obsession got him into being a pilot in the first place.
She feels a lazy and affectionate smile creep onto her face.
No matter how much he will try to convince anybody that asks him about it that destiny brought him there and that being a pilot had been his dream ever since he was a kid, a passion shared with his grandfather. But that is only a part of it, and I know the full non-edited version.
She says, watching Ray turn towards her with a small smile, her body language becoming more comfortable. She touches the side of her nose as if it's a shared secret between them and winks at her before turning away towards the kitchen cabinets.
Well, let him have it. He deserves it after having to deal with you on regular basis.
Somehow, she senses the shift in the air and ducks her head down long before the dishcloth can even reach the back of her head, grinning pleased, while her friend's eyes become a bit wider.
Keep trying, Mel. Remember, you're getting old. You need all the practice you can get.
Nearing 32 is toddler age. And I got stuck with a 22-year-old infant to watch over.
Mel points a finger accusingly at the girl and hopes there isn't a slight shake to her voice. Then she picks up the dishcloth from the counter and moves it between her fingers with some tension.
Ray, you really were sleepwalking last night.
The girl's face freezes, her eyes blinking with speed as if she was trying to unhear the words, turning the time back simply with the power of her mind.
Mel, I slept the whole night through in bed. I woke up so rested, more than I have been in weeks. You have no idea how good and strong I feel.
Oh, I think I have a clue or two.
They stand there for a moment in silence until the girl tries again.
It's been an amazing Sunday, I don't know what it was about it, but I finally feel relaxed. Not stressed, not overthinking in any way, not... scared.
Mel nods a few times, taking in her tones and energy as if tasting each flavor before speaking again. Ray puts one hand on her hip while the other one flies in every direction, gesticulating as new words fall out of her mouth like bullets out of a machine gun.
It must have been that nap in the garden that I had. A few hours in the sun and shade, in nature, and boom! I feel much better. New day, new me; everything in brighter colors and with a nice tan to match. After that, the whole day was a breeze. You were right all along, Mel. Meditation really does wonders. I mean, I was against it at first, sure. You know what they say. Only the rich and jobless choose spandex and lycra for everyday clothes. But it works. I feel totally brand new. What...?
Ray catches some air to breathe and then looks confused at her best friend and the serious stare that she shrinks under, suddenly crossing her arms as if protecting herself from all possible harm that could come her way. Screwing up the shaky foundation she had managed to build so far. The temporary confidence evaporating in seconds. Her fingers clinging and clawing the material of the shirt. The yellow stain below already drying up and filling the open kitchen with that particular and intense overpowering smell of oranges. A unique blend of a scent both appealing and somehow suffocating.
Honey. There was no whole day for you.
What do you mean? Of course, there was. I remember it all.
Alright. Then tell me, what happened after you woke up from the nap?
It's almost comical how the girls' face changes, bends, and twists in all sorts of direction. Yet, there is nothing funny about the situation itself.
Mel, I-I did so many things yesterday, I even...
She cuts off, uncertain what to say next.
Did you do them? Or did you dream of them in your sleep? It seems warm, doesn't it? The memories? Much brighter and softer than in real life?
I, no... I mean, yes. Shit, Mel, I don't know!
She wines like a wounded animal and puts her hands to the side of her head, closing her eyes shut as if blocking out everything around her. Mel comes closer and gently takes the hands from her head and puts them in hers, kissing them softly, knowing that it would calm her down. The girl slowly opens her eyes and gazes at her as if she was the only one that could save her from her own thoughts. Almost as if her friend could even stop the earth from cracking in two if she pleased.
It's okay, trust me. You just slept longer than you thought. You actually slept through the whole day and staggered back into the house after 2 a.m., causing a few things to fall to the ground with a lot of racket.
The girl tenses, but she smiles at her with tenderness.
No, don't over-panic. Nothing broke, mostly just some clutter here and there, I promise. But it woke me up, and I came down, just in time to see you walk past me; eyes opened, but not really seeing me. Sleepwalking happens. It's less uncommon than you think.
Ray looks doubtful, so she gives her a reassuring look.
She squeezes the girl's hand and walks her over to the sofa, pulling her down gently. Ray follows her without protest but with worry still visible on her face. Her aura, as if a distinct flavor or sound, vibrating, shifting, and buzzing like an aggravated, hyperactive swarm of bees. There was a layer of aggressiveness to it, not the obvious kind but the one that came from fear and confusion. Sting. So no one can sting you.
Yesterday, you let out your energy into the earth, releasing all the tension and fears into the soil beneath you. I watched you through the window upstairs while it happened. I know. It sounds crazy, but I think you know by now that crazy can become your daily reality sometimes. Don't you?
She nods slowly and sighs.
I don't remember it, though. All I know is that I was trying to meditate and let everything go, just like you taught me, and then... nothing. Absolutely nothing, just freaking empty space.
She squeezes the girl's hand again, trying to pour some peace into her body, a whitelighter's most basic, natural gift. That, and healing when necessary. Though, there were never two whitelighters quite the same. The powers slightly altered for each soul blessed with such skills.
And you did as you were told. I feel partially it was by accident, but I'm still very proud of you. I know you aren't a fan of getting into the details of the supernatural and that it scares you. But sometimes we have to talk about it. It's for your safety, and I do not want anything bad happening to you just because you were unaware of how to protect yourself from the gifts you were offered.
They don't feel like gifts to me.
She scrunches her face painfully and pulls out her hands, sticking them tightly under her armpits. There is some sternness about it, and Mel shifts her head to the side, trying to read her. To read the stuff she kept to herself, all the things lingering in between.
Yes, I can see why you would think that. I realize that now it just feels like a burden that was put on you, too heavy to ever carry. But trust me, I know you can do it if you just put enough care and attention into it. I will provide the knowledge and the exercise that are needed for you to accomplish that goal. But you're the one that has to make it happen. Do you hear me?
She can feel the sternness shift and curse in her own bloodstream now. The white, pristine light in her fingertips wanting to escape and fill the entire room. She wants it too, but she fears scaring the girl when they were finally making some progress, and she doesn't want that to change too soon.
Do you hear me?
She asks again, and Ray nods slowly but with gentle shades of confidence this time.
Yes, I do. Loud and clear. But Mel, why didn't you wake me up when I fell asleep in the garden? Why did you let me stay there so late in the night?
She inhales deeper and looks at the girl.
You needed it. The earth needed the time to take in your energy, and there was a lot of it.
Ray's eyes become wider again, but she ignores it. There were plenty of things that would surprise her and put her into a state of shock on this journey. She wasn't going to sugarcoat every little detail because that would get them nowhere.
The energy needed time to sink into the soil and then return it back to you. More filtered, more clear. Less stained by your fears and the things that were blocking you. To make you stronger and not just chaotic, trying to bring the basic level of control to something that has no walls, no edges, or limits. It's tough. But not impossible.
She inhales deeper before letting the inevitable out.
The chaos consumes, Ray. You need to balance it out. Otherwise, it will devour you, and not in the way that you crave for.
Mel, I don't...
No, I know about that energy that you felt in the bar. I know how addictive and alluring it was. And I understand that, but it must not overtake you. If you want to feel it again, you must know how to swim in it.
They sit there in heavy silence for a moment as the girl tries to take it all in, or at least portions of it.
To swim and not to drown in the waves and high tides, you must find harmony in yourself. It's the only way to obtain it, in the right way that will not destroy you.
How do you... how do you even know all those things? No, wait. Actually, don't tell me. I don't need to know that right now.
She moves her hands rapidly in the air like she wants to push the unwanted knowledge away as far as possible.
Mmm, sometimes there aren't that many words needed, Ray. I just know. Some of it I have learned from the ones that know far more than I ever could. And the rest...
She gazes at the girl with more softness.
And the rest I just feel, I feel it deep down inside of me. Right to the deepest, most tangled, and twisted-up roots of my soul.
She takes Ray's hand again and then puts it over her chest, holding it there over the heart, beating steadily under her fingertips, blending with how the energy stirs between her heartbeats.
I feel it all in here and just know somehow. Not everything I can explain. But it is a part of my heritage, and I am proud of it, even if it wasn't always like that.
The girl looks down at her fingers resting on her friend's chest, right in the center of her ribs, and inhales sharply. Mel looks down at her hand and smiles with more tenderness as the clear, soft light leaves her fingertips slowly, cascading down and tracing patterns over the girl's skin so gently that it speaks of affection that has no borders. No limits. Unconditional love in its kindest form. The girl's breathing races, and her chest rises and falls with growing speed.
It's okay. Let it grow inside of you. Just like you let it fill you yesterday in the garden. I promise you; it's alright. I think you know by now that there isn't a single particle in my body that could hurt you. Am I wrong? Tell me I'm wrong.
She whispers gently, and Raven's blue eyes gradually fill with peace and a certain kind of stillness. An assurance.
No, you're not. It's just a little bit...
Yes, it is. But do you think you can find the courage in yourself, to not only feel it but accept it as well?
Ray stares for a minute into the warm chocolate-brown eyes of her friend, whom she treats like family. More than her own blood-tied family could ever be, then gazes down at her hand and the light that dances against her skin, tickling it a bit as it sways and flows without rest or fatigue. And then she nods, her eyes tracing the white fog that seems to shimmer in the bright light of the morning that falls into the windows located behind the sofa. And then, without warning, she smiles and feels something in her melt like snow as the sun breaks through its cold layers. Gently, slowly, with kindness and warmth.
Mmm, that... it tickles. That's wild.
She says with surprise as Mel smiles at her but doesn't respond in any way. The white light starts to move against Ray's skin in a playful way, as if encouraging her to take some action of her own. The girl gazes at the energy with wonder as something seems to fill her up and move through her body. She shifts her eyes closer to her elbow and watches as a faded, very soft light moves under her skin. If she wasn't focused on the strange feeling and the skin where it was heating up, she probably wouldn't even notice it at first. But she feels it, oh how she FEELS it. She closes her eyes for a moment as it expands under the muscles and moves forward, slowly all the way to the knuckles, and then opens her eyes again. Her stare is mesmerized and slightly frightened as an orange light escapes her fingertips, first shyly as if learning the outside world. And then with more confidence as it moves onward and finally meets the other captivating light. The picture in front of her is more than hypnotic. It's enchanting and pulls her in with a magnetic force.
She leans forward and gazes at both her and Melanie's hands as the golden orange light mixes with the delicate white one, forming into small orbs and dancing against each other as if getting to know each other, shimmering and sparkling, creating tiny explosions. Shifting forward and backward, circling each other and then causing gentle hissing sounds. Like fireworks meeting and bursting into million beams of light. Feather-light earthquakes on the surface of the smallest of Suns. She breathes fast and shakes her head in wonder. The strangest game of push and pull she has ever witnessed. It was really hard to break away. And how would she? How could you break away from a miracle? From live magic?
What in the...?
They are just getting acquainted. It's amazing, isn't it? Like little children that know nothing about the world. And yet, they seem to know each other. As if two souls finding themselves in the limitless vastness of the universe. By chance, it seems, and yet, inexplicably familiar.
Ray blinks, and Mel clears her throat, slightly embarrassed.
Sorry, I got a bit extra there. But it's beautiful, isn't it?
Yes, it sure damn is. Fuck.
She whispers out, and bites her lower lip, still mesmerized by the little scene.
Don't stay in that moment for too long, or you will stay there forever.
She looks up at her and blushes.
So, how do I...
Just welcome the energy back in, and it will know what to do. Mmm, simply visualize inviting it into your body, see how it moves and flows back into your bloodstream. Let it return to its home.
Ray looks a bit doubtful and overwhelmed by the entire situation but manages to nod in response. She closes her eyes and repeats her friend's instructions in her mind, slowly, over and over again. Imagining the energy slowing down its dance, shifting and bending, first unwillingly and stubbornly, but then gradually tracing its light back into her fingertips, her hands, up the elbows and her shoulders, gliding until it moves to her chest, flowing between the ribs and filling each and every heartbeat that she possessed. Slowing down even more and resting in her cells, the deepest structure. Her muscles and bones now seeming to be made out of rubber or silicon. It felt more than freaking surreal, to say the least.
The most abstract feeling in the world, right?
Ray opens her eyes and nods, a bit shaken by the whole scene.
Yes, yes... very. Jeezes, Mel. And it's like that every time?
Usually, yes. Though it can even be more powerful than that.
She cusses and shakes her head, leaning her back against the sofa, looking exhausted as if she had just done a triathlon of some kind. Mel nods and smiles.
Trust me, despite the craziness of it all, it's so very worth it. Through a lot of hard work. And speaking off. It's getting late. Take a few deep breaths and hit the shower. I'm leaving now. So, close up later and meet me at the cafe, alright?
Yeah... yeah, of course.
She mutters, a bit distracted.
Yes, feels like a lot of unnecessary mundane to do, but that's life for you. We still need to pay the bills.
The girl groans in disbelief as the meaning of the words finally breaks through but nods after a moment and sits up.
Just give me five.
Mel leaves quickly and closes the door behind her without looking back. Then leans against the door and exhales loudly. Well, that went better than she thought. Her house was still standing, and so were the mailbox and the cherry trees. She would say that they could call it a success. She walks down the pathway and into her car, sitting down and trying to let peace spread inside of her gradually. She wasn't sure how it would all go, to be honest. The first time you deliberately let out your energy, and not just by accident, can be a challenging thing to experience. It was like that for her when she first did it. Her family was a loud witness to it. But with Raven and her level of powers... well, let's just say this morning could have ended in so many other ways that could have been dangerous for both of them. For Mel especially. But she was glad they took that chance. Without it, they could not move forward with what needed to be done. Raven needed balance, and this was the only way to obtain it. Practice as much as possible until the power in her would only expand inside her. And not implode outside. Mel breathes out a bit shakily but then gradually calms herself down. It will be okay. It has to be.
chapter 17. https://theprose.com/post/432229/the-arithmetics-of-mass-and-spirit
chapter 18. https://theprose.com/post/433321/the-things-stitched-beneath-our-skin
The book: https://theprose.com/book/1661/worlds-colliding
things untold but felt
every now and then, one paints a picture
that seems to have opened a door and serves
as a stepping stone to other things
― Pablo Picasso
Was it something he did? Something he said?
No, not really, just... I don't know there was something about him that stopped me in place. His face, I couldn't force myself from looking away, as if seeing a man that found peace, but at the same time...
I ask her with my heart slightly racing. I can't even explain the craziness that's going on in my body, or any logical reason for it. All I know is that I need the answer to it. Strange thing, one might say. The need to know details about someone you haven't even met. About their face expression, about their gestures. Anything. I look at her again with the question still vibrating from my body like some odd form of expanding energy. I can see that she struggles for words, her hands helplessly outstretched forward, palms up.
Mmm, it was as if he was collapsing from the inside.
What do you mean?
I ask slowly, feeling my brain not being able to process the sentence or not wanting to. My arms crossing tightly over the chest as soon as I see my hands begin to tremble. I watch as she sighs and shakes her head, almost as if she had the entire chaos of the cosmos inside of her and didn't want to let it out into the world. My eyes turn soft and encouraging, and she smiles a bit at me, nodding.
It was such a peculiar thing to watch. His eyes were closed, face lifted to the slightly dim light filtering through the clouds. And the light... god, it seemed to be swallowing him up, a soft embrace that he could sink into completely. Getting lost forever and never coming back up for air. I saw peace radiating from him, but also sadness that seemed to flicker from under his eyelashes, as if all the shadows of the world were hiding there.
I whisper out, trying to say something, but she puts a hand up, gently silencing me.
Peace was surrounding him, as everything in inside of him was collapsing.
I don't... understand.
My voice is muffled and low as I make a great attempt to sink into my soft hoody deeper, the wind around me humming the first tones of Autumn all too clearly.
He was rebuilding, Sophie. It's the best way, or any way that I can describe it. As if watching things underneath his skin, muscles, lungs crush and tumble like rubble, turning into dust like... he was finally giving in all the pain that wanted to suffocate him, giving into it willingly until everything inside just... collapsed.
She inhales deeper, enjoying the feel of words finally finding their way on her tongue, rolling off it in a graceful, nearly hypnotizing dance.
Like he was breaking all of his structure and the person that he once was into something new. Devastation, pain, dust. Crumbing away until there was light breaking through in between his shattered walls. And I saw it, like watching him inhale the light, the first sunlight in many decades.
I blink at her several times, not finding anything to say. She smiles at me and then stares at her hands for a while, looking a bit embarrassed and awkward for putting herself out there like that.
I told you it was a lot.
You did, and I knew it would be. Could pretty much feel it from you, like you were oozing
She makes a face and sits on the bench behind us. I join her and slip my hands inside the front pockets of my blouse. It feels nice and warm, but I still tremble a bit as I sit next to her.
Sometimes I forget how you are.
She looks up and gazes at me with her eyebrows furrowed.
Not in a bad way, more like sometimes I forget about the magnificence that sits inside of you. How you paint words instead of just saying them. That's a little miracle in itself.
She looks down at the ground with a shy but warm smile, and we just sit there in comfortable silence for some time. While all the while I wonder how to tell her, how to even start to explain that everything she said about him, every thing she described sounded familiar. That every feeling she read from his face and painted so masterfully seemed to struck a personal cord in me. As if I lived through all of that, as if I experienced it first hand. Or experienced it with him in some other lifetime, a perfect stranger described with someone else's eyes.
developing some truths
photography is like stealing,
you rob someone of a moment that exposes
something essential about their character, their soul if you like
― Esther Verhoef
I gaze at the long green sweater laid carefully on the bed. Staring at its elegant round neckline and the pretty, delicate braided pattern stitched against the front, touching the end of its sleeve to feel the material between my fingers. It's soft but also reassuringly thick, like a memory of childhood and safety. As if its warmth could protect you from all possible harm the moment you wear it. Yes, silly notions, but there was something true to it; that lingering feeling that your favorite sweater brought when everything else seemed to fall apart. Like how you would lower down the sleeves to cover your hands almost completely when the parents fought in the other room. Fighting about all the things that you were doing wrong in school and everywhere else; about the truly appalling fact that you weren't meeting all the growing expectations put on you. Trying not to hear it, while hearing it all too clearly, the words drilling into your skull while the fingers played with the soft, slightly worn-out fabric from being worn way too many times. Trying to tell yourself that their shouting and disappointment no longer touched you, that you didn't care anymore. That their words didn't itch you under the skin until you felt like clawing at it until it would start to burn and bleed. And sometimes you did because why not. Not that it made any difference, you were invisible to them anyway; only your mistakes and faults shone brightly and clearly.
I inhale deeper and then shake my head, lifting the sweater high above my arms to the light and watching it cast a shadow on the wall next to the bed. I sigh and put it on over a long-sleeved grey cotton shirt, enjoying the warmth that it brought to my cold bones. Mmm, some things just couldn't be fixed. They always stayed, changing your memories into a hostage situation forever connected to your past. I wrap my arms around myself and smile despite the bitter thoughts that had the tendency to resurface at the most mundane moments. Yes, despite those, it was still good to know someone cared enough to think about me and spend time and money to get me something I might like.
With a lighter mood, I fish out my phone from under the messy covers and send a quick text.
"I love the gifts, you spoil me. Be aware, I will get used to it".
After a moment I hear a beep and look at the screen, smiling brighter.
"I will take the chance".
Then another message comes in.
"Spoil me rotten next week with food and coffee. If the exams won't kill me first. Remember to fill that fat-free body of yours with something. Love ya".
I feel softness spreading somewhere under my cells and inhale deeper as if wanting to savor the moment for longer. Then, I quickly shove the phone into my back pocket and head to the living room to retrieve a brown leather bag from the coffee table. I roam around in it and decide to add a few extra lenses just in case, while my stare wonders out the window, and I nod a few times to myself. There might be a chance for some sun later to grace this poor little mortal - I smirk at the thought, put on my jacket and a pair of black gloves without the fingers, and then wrap a long, thick, light blue scarf around my neck before grabbing the keys. In the last moment of consciousness and rare common sense, I flick through a messy pilled-up coat-rack and manage to miraculously find a dark grey winter hat, probably vegetating there and collecting dust for the last two years or so; if not more. Not that it mattered. As long as it kept its basic purpose and stopped my head from turning into an ice formation, I didn't care much about its current state. You got a sweet, sweet healer on your hands, child. Make sure that you treat him right. The thought comes so abruptly that I stop for a moment, freezing in place, tempted to look back, almost suspecting someone to physically be there, even if I was perfectly aware the words came out of my head. Slowly, I swing the brown leather bag over my shoulder, playing with the keys absentmindedly way longer than I should before snapping out of it, and then quickly get out of the apartment, jumping two steps at a time. Making sure I don't think too much.
Just move, nothing else.
_ _ _ _ _
Carefully, I shift my camera to the left, angling it in just the right position, and causing it to catch multicolored beams of soft flickering light. The colors playing masterfully in the lens, moving beautifully from gold-orange to shades of deep red at one second, only to suddenly shift completely, drifting to both delicate and intense blue hues. Those, I liked the most. It always reminded me of something cosmic and out of this world. I loved to play with the light and shadows, balancing them out until they met my unnamed vision, never really knowing when that would happen, but adoring the process. The focus, the sudden rare peace of mind that wrapped itself around me, causing something magnificent; the pull towards life, the passion for it. At times it felt like a miracle that I was capable of still feeling such notions. Even during my darker days, the camera and the silence connecting with it gave me the strength to move on, to push forward, even if just for a little bit. A healer, darling, something good in your life. How long do you think before he escapes that weak, pathetic grasp of yours?
I inhale sharply and straighten my back, both annoyed and trembling from the sudden feeling of ice in my veins. Get out of it, now. One more deep breath, and then another as I focus myself on my actions again, instead of the way my skin seemed to crawl under the clothes, fully aware that it had nothing to do with the weather outside or the wind in the park that seemed to pick up its force in the last few minutes. With some effort, I square my shoulders and concentrate on the people walking on the pathway, their body language, and the poses they take, gazing at a young couple smiling at each other while discussing something. The man gesticulating with energy as if wanting to make his words wider, more significant, so big that they could swallow any counterarguments, while the girl with long, copper hair waves him off and shakes her head. Both calmly but also with some tenderness for his little quirks. As if she had heard those arguments a million times before. Click, click. I smile and look into the digital screen, judging how the photos came out. I nod once and then gaze up as a dog runs by the girl's legs, holding on to something locked between his jaws with the face of a conqueror; while the girl's expression turns surprised, her hair moving roughly by the wind in all directions, the long skirt swirling around to some unknown dance. Click, click, click. I smirk a little with a satisfied expression and turn around, gazing at a different, all-knowing smile that was so familiar to me.
Stalking innocent people again, honeysuckle? I thought you changed careers by now.
What can I say? To be a good stalker is a true craft, and I do it quite exceptionally. But for now, only a freelancer in the area.
I watch Cara's smile turn more patronizing as golden strands of hair move around her face, delicate crinkles forming in the blue eyes, and somehow, it reminds me of my mother, or all mothers, for that matter, whenever their offsprings say something ridiculous and completely absurd. Cara winks and then starts to stretch her arms and shoulders. Moving them to the sides, then slowly outstretches one leg after another, taking her time, performing every action with preciseness and determination. She's wearing a pair of black thermal leggings, a blouse to match, and a screaming pink puffy vest to keep her warm. I gaze at a pair of still pristine white Nike's and shake my head.
So this is what you do, when you actually have some downtime when your offspring reenacts
The Exorcist at the local daycare?
My eyebrow lifts questioningly, and she just rolls her eyes at me.
Not The Exorcist, darling. That option faded out by itself over time; lately, she has been showing a masterful interpretation of Julie Andrews, singing to everyone in earshot, willing hostage or not. I hear there are a lot of quicker retirements happening around; I'm sure the government will not approve of such a big-scale tax decline.
A smile creeps onto my face, and she responds it.
Well, the girl has a strong pair of lungs for a 2-year-old.
But going on three soon. And yes, this is what I do; it helps me unwind and clear my mind. I'm sure you know how important that can be.
I gaze at her and feel my throat tighten as something prickles my skin. A healer darling, what a treat. You better make it last. Hell is not a pretty place for the likes of you. I steady my breath and nod surprisingly calmly. These thoughts that started today, not long after Charlie told me about his past, seemed to spread to my loud dislike, but the worst thing was that I couldn't with certainty tell if they were my own. They seemed flavored with someone else's voice, making me feel as though my blood had physically thickened, clogging the veins like tar or cement. It was a rather scary thing when your thoughts no longer seemed to belong just to you. I sigh and take a few photos of my best friend while she stretches, looks up smiling, and then waves me away like a pesky fly as soon as she notices what I'm doing.
Stop that, I don't want to be a part of your new exhibition. These delicious yet round thighs do not look good in full resolution and in poster size. Am I making myself clear here?
Oh hush, I will make it in black and white, and cast some shadows on the side. And let's be honest, with legs like that, you put Gal Gadot to shame, and that's high praise.
Cara shakes her head slowly and once again waves me off.
Flattery will get you everywhere but it won't stop time. You've got forty minutes, and then I have to go. Don't you dare take shots while I take my laps around the park. Remember, I know where you live and I'm vengeful.
I nod and take a small bow, and then watch her disappear behind the trees in a blur of limbs and lycra. Click, click, click. Never trust photographers; we are a sordid bunch with a narcissistic streak. I breathe out slowly and inhale deeper, gradually clearing my mind and finally letting the thoughts that were restricted and censored all morning flow back to the surface. Healer. My head shakes slowly in awe while I look around for something that would grab my attention and extend my portfolio. Eventually, after about twenty minutes without not much worth mentioning, I give up and sit on a nearby bench, tilting my head slightly. How much more supernatural was there to take in? I mean, it was obvious that Charlie had something extraordinary about him if he could simply hush my pain and torment away as if with a magic spell. But still, it never crossed my mind to put him into a different category because of it. Maybe in my head, I just explained it to myself like a chemical reaction.
As if whatever was screaming in her insides somehow calmed down in his presence due to his one-of-a-kind touch. Maybe she thought that this only happened for them. One element in nature responding to the other, and creating a reaction that could not be replicated, if it was someone else than her and him.
Yes, maybe that was it. Or perhaps, I just didn't want to think about it, because even with his apparent and unexplainable gift, Charlie was still the sanest thing in my life. I wasn't about to analyze it too deeply after meeting him, too grateful for his presence to scrutinize my luck under a microscope. But maybe now was the time to do it anyway. My body strains in frustration as I get up, annoyed. It didn't matter, he was the way that he was also meant to be, and I was more than okay with that. I feel my head spin a bit and hold my forehead with a free hand, suddenly dizzy and nauseous, as if all of my energy just drained away, my limbs and body seeming to have aged by at least 20 years in merely seconds. Feeling deflated, darling? Maybe ask your dealer for a bigger dosage? I sit back down and put my head between my knees, trying to find more oxygen to breathe with, while the all too familiar hammering under my skull wakes up to life. God, she felt like throwing up; it was so hard being a human being these days.
You okay there, Elle? You look a little green.
I breathe a few more times and then look up at Cara, her cheeks flushed, the lungs doing over time. Out of breath but happy somehow. I can't even remember how that felt. It must have been good.
Yeah, I'm alright. Must have eaten something bad yesterday. Plus, I didn't sleep much. Insomnia is not as amusing as people will try to make you believe.
Cara crosses her arms and gives me a heavy look, but eventually, she just throws her arms in the air.
Fine, you will tell me the actual truth when you're ready. Now let's get you somewhere warm, and maybe feed you so we can change that lovely shade of seaweed of your complexion.
I nod and then slowly get up, making my face calm as the hammering in my head continues, ugly whispers filling the brain, spreading themselves like toxins in my veins. I wish I knew how much poison this body could handle until the damage would be unrepairable; it felt it wouldn't be much longer before I had a chance to find that out. Lately, everything about my state seemed to speed away without control. All I could hope was that I still had a few turns to make before the fog would become too thick to see anything.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
https://theprose.com/post/230936/with-all-my-senses ( the beginning )
Previous chapters :
across the big blue, that’s where I see you, outstretching your hand and calling me home
my body never met you
but it’s missing you
these hands of mine, too bare
without those callused
yet tender fingers of yours
stroking my soul
outbursts of crumpled-up solar lights
I enjoy the ramble of stars against my chaos
hey, if it's already loud,
why not make it louder
why not cause an E x p l o s i o n
between me and the sun
there is always room for a blazing orange
and maroon, copper-filled outbursts,
so in fireworks, color this canvas skin
in flames, paint my tarred soul in crimson and burgundy hues
this chaos of mine
is permanently sewn into these veins, into these fingertips
it is written within my deepest structure,
just because its too far away too see the storms
within the Jupiter's heart with a mundane eye
it does not mean that it is not there,
The Great Red Spot still resides within this heart
on most days in slumber
but on others, growing
getting ready for an E x p l o s i o n
recalibrating structures and single breaths
you’re still whole, it seems like you’ve just
changed your parameters
- Caitlin Conlon
She lifts the side of a silky, dark grey shirt, gazing at the reflection in the mirror with calm stillness, fingers raising curiously and sliding slowly past the faded bruises from the day before, feeling her ribs shift slightly under the skin as she presses carefully into them. Well, at least it was healing - a bit slower than usual, but it was some progress. She lets the material fall down on its own and then catches her own glare in the glass, seeing how the green eyes darken with things stirring inside of her, hiding her emerald fields under thick threatening clouds. She looks like a storm ready to breathe and drown the world in her raging waters. Yet, she is calm, calculating what her next move should be.
What the last days taught her; was not to underestimate the opponent that somehow landed onto her path, no matter what shape or form. Her beliefs, things that she had known, and the surprising outcome of the situation blending together. Leaving her with so many contradicting thoughts and emotions. Her energy never displaying such chaos that was not of her doing or control; she was the chaos itself, its ruler. Being its victim and pray went against her most basic nature, the deepest essence.
It shall not happen again.
She leans her hands against the sink, fingers pressing against the cold porcelain, body straining forward as if she wanted to push the washbasin into the wall and through it, a million and one notions coloring her insides like swirling angry moths. The nocturnal things of the night, scratching and shifting against the skin, tickling her veins with fires that were becoming more and more impatient with every day. What holds you back? What stops you from obtaining your destiny? Is it really logic and the care about your kin? A precaution against the destruction that may come your way? Are you worried, scared, or intentionally holding yourself back? You don't actually want to bring harm her way, don't you?
You have become weak, Lilly. You're rotting from the inside.
She flinches and grabs tighter onto the sink, chest rising and falling. Her skin crawling from the way the words vibrated under her flesh. Feeling as if suddenly she was marked by cigarette burns, leaving her with uncountable ugly raggedy wholes. It stung like hell. It made her angry. The craving for destruction inside of her growing, circulating in tangled up air, expanding its inner core. She was not weak, or would she ever be. Weak were the ones standing on her path, and that crumbled before her like dry cement, snapping one by one like dry twigs. All fragile creatures of the mundane and beyond. She whispers, and both growls out the words, sensing every nerve in her system tense up and sizzle, making her body jump as if electrocuted.
Her left eye starts to twitch, and she clenches her jaw, irritated. Low grumbling sounds escaping the throat like a lioness just before it is ready to pounce. Her energy shifting and twisting, slipping out of her pores in faded blue light, like gas lifting from the stove, ready to explode but for now, just teasing, greedily licking the entire body. It feels good, thick, almost sweet, and tangy on her tongue. Sugary molasses straight from the deep unquenchable desire beneath her skin, pulsating like stars against her dark skies. Destruction in the most refined form of pleasure. She thinks, swaying her hips slowly in smooth circles, moving her head from side to side, outstretching the neck both ways until it gives a satisfying popping noise. Lifting her body slightly as she leans even more forward, the expensive sink protesting a bit in response.
The waves inside of her, continuously clashing against each other with force, wanting to find release, wanting to break the dam that held her back. Too many days of tension and anticipation coloring her worn-out, tattered veins. Both begging and growling for blood, for vengeance. She was the strangest kind of chaos that surrounded itself in hushed calm and silk while always aware and blazing. Constantly, without rest, consumed by the things that gave her life. She was pure mayhem from the tip of her toes to the crown of the head. But on most days, that fire, and those blue flames, were coated in something inexplicably steady, safe. A protection layer; shielding both her and everything around from collapsing and covering the world in ash that would leave only devastation and eternal ice to linger over anything that dared not to perish. That layer was a build-in code inside her body, restraining her energy in a semi-neutral state.
On most days.
But that was before she met the girl. Before her structure turned into an erratic wounded beast - that was losing the concept of logic with every new day. Causing her rage to stir every time her powers turned their ugly claws back on her. Once, the beast was an ally, now the greatest foe, teasing her and threatening every time she would lose focus, every time she let herself think she was once again in control.
More, more, and more.
She was both exhausted and full of fuel like never before. Such energy was breathtaking, but it no longer fitted in any frames, spilling out of her in irregular sharp edges, flaming the insides, and infecting the mind like an exposed corroded wound. Thinking straight proved to be a luxury that was running out fast. Faster than sand through a child's outstretched fingers. But her mind had to stay strong. It was the only thing keeping her sane and stopping everything she worked for from falling apart. She would not be defeated, no matter the price that would have to be paid for it.
She takes a deeper breath and tries to calm down, knowing that the biggest strength one possessed came from balance and clear, unweighted thoughts. The universe giving us everything that was needed and providing the right tools to conquer all odds. It was not an easy task, but a doable one, requiring the thing that we often feared the most. It asked for trust. Trust in the process and faith that everything would be well as long as our hearts and minds opened up to it. Now, it might seem a rather foolish and naive notion to put your hopes in, but she knew from experience that it was true. Just surrender to it, manifest your light and push out into the matter. As if you are pushing it out of your muscles, out of your skin, your pores - down to the last damn molecule in your body. Send the love that has always been nestled into your being, and offer it for what it was. Your most precious gift.
She lets the thoughts bloom into existence, slowly spreading in her, twisting and bending like green new vines, heading upwards to the sky and wanting to kiss the sun. Falling into its tender embrace, as though opening petals of a rose - both delicate and full of strength, eager to show their beauty to its fullest. She focuses more on the bright, live images painting themselves in her mind and visualizes the white and gold light of the sun growing in her particles, expanding slowly in the tissue and then coating the bones like warm, silky, dripping syrup. Pushing gradually out of her and covering every surface around, spilling out over the sink and the bathroom tiles, shifting and covering not only the floors but the walls as well. Filtering to each room and filling the entire space of her apartment, pouring out of the windows and cascading down the brick walls like softly shimmering streams of light and mist, embracing the city, street by street. Grazing itself almost unnoticeably against each person and every living creature and surface in sight. Relax. Breathe. All is well, and all will be fine. Forgive yourself for the things that are out of your control. You are love, strength, a boundless life-force that has no fear in it, no doubt, no anger. You are all and everything in between, a part of a never-ending creation.
Her mind is open, her chest lifting and falling in a steady rhythm, the hands holding onto the sink, slowly loosening the firm grip. Something deep down inside of her that had nothing to do with her lungs; exhales, gives in. Everything in her beating quieter until the arms start to tremble a bit, a new sensation that she doesn't understand yet, overflowing her like the most soothing touch, like a caress that has no end, only bending and curving things in between the sighs. An echo of energy. A memory that pulsates and throbs without any time limits or boundaries. Reaching the past, present, and things that were yet to come. It quivers under the skin like the most delicate of whispers. Gradually, filling her to the brim until her legs turn weak, and she slides to the floor, not fully registering everything that's happening. Her structure, seeming to change, soften up, and melt until even her bones feel like butter and wet summer sand as her waves slow down, keeping her warm and safe from all harm. As if cradled in a cocoon of love and light, making her particles swirl in a slow kind of dance. And at the same time, stopping everything around her at this moment. Almost as though looking at yourself from the side and seeing everything captured in the stillness of an old, slightly crinkled color Polaroid, marveling at it while also being held in that photograph forever.
And yet, it moves.
And yet it blooms. Grows.
Expanding like a galaxy of colors under the fragile flesh.
Something unnameable, unfolding and vibrating. Feeling as if the beating of thousand lazy but strong drums. Boom-boom, boom-boom, boom-boom. There was something about it, that was practically taunting, teasing her deliciously, and causing the mouth to water, teeth grazing against the lower lip.
She positions her back against the wall for some support, her head slumped forward against the chest, lips moving as she mutters out incoherent words, slurring them out as if she was drunk. Soul drunk, love. She tries to shake it off, somehow releasing herself from this state that appeared to have no logical explanation, but once again, thinking straight proved to be a difficult task to handle. Her brain, feeling like a jumble of useless mush, resembling jelly tissue. Sticky, wet, helpless.
Everything inside of her wants to protest against that feeling. The notion of being helpless ripped out of her viciously like old, useless roots at her youngest years. Instead, planting inside a ruthlessness that stood against any weak reaction or behavior by those who raised her and took care of her upbringing. Though to any human eyes brave enough to watch, the words like drilled or disciplined would probably prove to be a much better choice. Not that it mattered to her much. The only important thing was reaching the goal; everything else was just a means to an end.
She tries to fight the softness of her bones, the haziness of her brain, the overtaking, light-filled warmth. She's way stronger than this abstract, sickening foolishness yet... yet this time, it melts away into something welcoming, inviting, and caring. With her head still slumped forward, she puts her hands, palms down on the cold, elegant tiles, and glides her fingers gently back and forth, feeling the smoothness of the cool porcelain; something almost intimate and tender about the simple action. The floor under her fingertips starts to vibrate delicately, faint white smoke and her sapphire energy blending together, echoing the colors that already decorated the bathroom. Nearly white sky in summer, and the deepest blue of the Mediterranean sea, the round cyan rooftops in Greece. Something close to heaven. Blue was her energy, it was her life path in this world.
The tiles tremble even more, causing dust to appear from their glued edges and lift in the air; an echo of space dust and crumbling starts. She thinks as her eyes wander absentmindedly against the bathroom floor, the light coming from the window coloring everything into something surreal. Something made of magic, dreams, of the subtle dimensions in between that so many of us miss, not noticing the full grandness happening around, just on the edge of the spectrum. The masterpiece of life itself.
She feels deflated in a way, her head still slumped forward. But surprisingly, it isn't a feeling of weakness this time. No, it's more like drifting under the currents; you're safe, but everything is slightly distorted and unfocused. It's captivating and unmeasurably beautiful. She inhales deeper and pushes her body to move better, her arms feeling as if she has lost the strings that normally pulled her up into reality, into the physical part of all of it, almost like trying to wake up from being sedated. It feels both good and disorientating. She sits up more straight and lets the familiar energy in her support her efforts and guide the muscles, slowly filling the frail, clay-filled bones with blue light. In a way, creating a spine for her being. She inhales and looks at the room around her, noticing the bright mist still there, floating lightly around the room.
And then her stare slowly drifts back to her hands.
It's then when she notices it. The energy shifting like a live creature from the sapphire shades to softly flaming oranges. The surface of the sun, on her cobalt floors melting into a sunset, into the birth of first creation.
She closes her eyes for a moment and lets herself feel it even more. The energy shifting and changing from mesmerizing blue to a flickering orange-gold, crackling and snapping into the stillness of the air. Both swimming in hungry, lazy waves and threatening to expand the holes on its luminary form. And then her heartbeats rush without warning, fluttering like the wings of a million tiny anxious things, chest rising and falling as she manages to place her back firmly against the wall behind her. The energy floating and cascading from her until it once again reaches her fingertips in a never-ending flow, shifting from a simple, flickering light to nearly perfect golden-orange circles, opening like ripples against the smooth surface of the water.
She inhales in a strange way as if she no longer understood what air was for, her hair lifting, the curls moving around her face in soft waves. The peculiar energy moving past the structure of the floor and sinking under it, traveling down, one layer under the other. Moving past ceilings, furniture, and the living tissue of the people and any other creatures that it meets on its way. Touching them but not hurting them in any way; more as if leaving its subtle fingerprint against their tissue, a lingering trace of its own form of a watermark. It glides down slowly and without rush until it reaches the bottom of the building, moving past the concrete body of the basement until it descends into the earth as though finally reaching its natural destiny, its home. There is silence in the air, everywhere around her, not even a hush filling the time and space. And then it happens; the energy bounces off the ground and spreads in one soft but powerful wave. An automatic bomb without a trigger made only from the expanding form of the universe's lungs; its always present matter, Hiroshima constructed from the living breathing matter of the sun. It lifts back to her faster than light-years ever could and embraces each of her particles, causing her limbs to lift, body circulating and twirling softly in some abstract form of an underwater dance, the hair floating as though seaweed around her shape. You are the other piece to my fractured soul. The shoulder blades for my ink-filled wings.
The whispers inside of her break into a million and one pieces and turn to dust before she can fully register it. The entire moment lasting barely seconds. Before it, all comes to an end. She falls to the ground with a low thud against the smooth, hard surface of the bathroom floor, coughing out strange, nearly invisible smoke as though faded out grey ash, and looks around dazed, trying to make sense of her surroundings. For a while not sure where or when she was.
W-what... what in all dear hell was that?
She asks faintly to no one in particular and swallows with a tight, strangled throat, feeling frightened by the sudden sound of her hoarse voice in the otherwise silent four walls. She lifts up slowly on her elbows with a pained groan and looks up at the cracked mirror above the white porcelain sink, cringing slightly at the shape now carved into the glass form. It speaks of lightning and the coming storm. She blinks a few times, not wanting to believe her own sight, but somehow, to her disbelief, the lines don't just magically disappear. Those memorable lines, those specific lines; lightning painted on skin that she touched before, stitched and embroidered skillfully into a familiar chest. She freezes as her mind erupts with sudden memories of a different, much darker, and less classy bathroom. God, it seemed like that night happened decades ago, and not just barely a couple of weeks.
I lift the shirt a little higher, my stare passing past a regular-looking, white sports bra, and stop abruptly. And what catches my stare isn’t her full breasts slowly lifting and falling. No, it’s something completely different. Between her chest is a mark that stops me from breathing. I gently touch the pale lines that start in the center and spread, as if I was staring at the roots of a tree growing deep under the earth. Or more like looking at someone that got - my pulse speeds up - struck by lightning.
She feels her chest tighten a bit as she forces the body to shift to a sitting position at first and then finally staggers up to her feet, holding on to the edge of the door frame, before passing the living room and stopping at the kitchen sink. She takes a few breaths as her hands rest on the metal rim of the sink, leaning her entire weight on it, and then she pours herself a tall glass of cold water from it, the cool liquid slowly soothing the fevered mind.
She remembers that day so well with the tiniest details. It was the real first time she noticed that the girl was in the possession of some abilities. The first time, she tasted the flavor and shadows of her energy as the lights in the restaurant flickered and buzzed with growing power, electricity surging through anything that it could, its life juices going wild. And most importantly, it was the day that she saw the mark on her chest, speaking of lightning and a possible threat, but that also spoke of something else. She inhales deeper and slams the empty now drink against the counter, somehow managing not to break it but hearing the glass crack slightly. The sound of falling snow and ice forming. Mmm, the tree-shaped sign spoke of familiar things that crept under her skin. She couldn't exactly pinpoint the reason for the strange familiarity but it was there. She looks out the window and shivers.
And now it was here as well.
In her home.
Imprinted on the surface of the mirror.
A clear sign that whatever was coming, was getting closer.
Previous 3 chapters
chapter 16. https://theprose.com/post/432229/the-arithmetics-of-mass-and-spirit
chapter 17. https://theprose.com/post/432229/the-arithmetics-of-mass-and-spirit
chapter 18. https://theprose.com/post/433321/the-things-stitched-beneath-our-skin