top of page

Breathe.

Her thin lashes latch onto the cracked skin stretched over sharp cheekbones. Eyelids scrunch with haste to block the gritty flakes of sediment emulsified in the blackened, murky water. Water engulfs her being, permeating her tattered, threadbare dress and leeching the remaining color from sickly skin mottled with sleek burn marks that glisten a silvery red, like rose petals crushed underfoot into the desiccated remains of insects. Dirt migrates towards the minuscule wrinkles on the sides of her tear ducts as the river’s torrent rushes through her left ear canal in unison with the blood inside her contracted veins, a sound resembling that of a hoard of roaches, hissing as they writhe over one another. Stones the size of a child’s little toe collide mercilessly with her right thigh, capillaries blossoming into fresh bruises, deep purples tingeing bare epidermis like spilled wine.

Breathe.

Chattering teeth clash together, sending an excruciating sting–similar to needle pricks– through her tender top gum, the broken bits of bone barricading silty water. Salted wounds sting like a thousand cuts of jagged celestial bronze as the river cleanses them of the blood and pus she tastes on the tip of her tongue. The thick, metallic tang diffuses around her.

Breathe.

Adrenaline courses into her core and up her twisted spine. Her abdominals tighten, the blood vessel on her temple pulsing and bulging precariously as her mind awakens to the coil of rope constricting her entire body–left arm to left side, right arm to right, both legs bound from ankle to jutted hip– as if she were caught by a cobra whilst in a spider’s web. The tips of her fingers begin to tingle as she clenches a fist, four broken nails digging like daggers into the soft, raw flesh of her scraped palm. She contorts her spine, thrashing like a fish on land as she attempts to break free of the rope that, upon contacting the water, had hardened into a stiff corset bearing a weight comparable to the sky Atlas shouldered for a millennium as it transfigures her into a smooth marble statue akin to one of Medusa’s creations.

Breathe.

Her heart palpitates incessantly, the beat of which vibrates from her papery dry throat to the pit of her empty stomach, and finally, towards her left bicep that snakelike ropes have tethered to her chest. She lurches again, bloodshot eyes widening as they burst open upon cresting the water’s surface, only to meet blurred figures sharpening into hateful stares, malicious smirks, and dancing orange lights from three tall, wooden pyres at the foot of the river. People she partially recognizes grotesquely contort–the bright blue eye of the pastor, the silver band upon the index finger of her neighbor– all forming a frenzied mob teeming with a devilish hostility she had yet to comprehend, stomping with gusto and thrusting torches towards the heavens. The girl’s nostrils flare as they contact crisp, fresh air, only to be met with the acrid scent of burning hair and skin and nails and bone–hazy smoke clogging desperate airways. Her neck cranes upward, a single ear exposing itself to a twilight sky of bright reds and violet hues, only to meet blood-curdling shrieks reminiscent of a drunken banshee, jarring wails coming from agape mouths, jeers from those on the riverbank–words that pierce through the sharp ringing in her head, that she can only make out to be...


Kill the witch.

A slight shiver passes through the small of her back.

Breathe.

Perspiration arises upon her drenched breastbone.

Breathe.

A single tear drips into the crevice between the right side of her nose to the corner of her pursed

upper lip, bleaching as she tries in vain to calm her erratic heart.

Breathe.


As her eyes roam in disbelief, pupils dilating and contracting with the speed of a hummingbird’s wings, she fails to notice the rough, calloused hand as it shoves her head under the waters of the polluted river once more, without warning. Bitter cold seeps into her bones from the extremities of her pinky finger and small toe to her torso. The current has taken her into its clutches for far too long, ensnaring the jerking woman in its grasp as it flows into the cavities of her ears and nose, numbing each of her senses. Lips quivering, her bottom jaw unhinges in a silent scream...one last plea for mercy... Only for icy water to force its way down her parched throat.


She never took another breath.

Recent Posts

See All

Divine Glimpses: A Child's Journey

https://www.instagram.com/immywrites_/ When I was a child, I saw God I saw Him, but it wasn't through my eyes I heard Him. but His voice never entered my ears I touched Him but never by my skin I was

The Wavelength of a Human called Lola

My collection encourages those to love the pain endured by heartbreak and explores the journey from a personal perspective/ The night you left I remember the night it happened I don't even think you r

My Roots Dunked Zeep

I met her during an overwhelming winter The gloom of Demeter exhibited With frigid frosted ground And unsparing winter wind Yet her eyes gleaming and mellow Causing my admiration to spurt out And when

Comments


bottom of page