A short story in construction, working on editing and adjusting. This one is an attempt at flash fiction. If you enjoy it please visit my Short Stories Page or read the first story in the series The Hunt.
Do you ever just need to scream? Not like a rebel yell or even a hearty whoop, but a full-throated screech that reverberates down your body to tickle your toes and back up out your throat. A forever release of all that nothing pent up within you. A scream that embraces all the broken pieces and scatters them across the wind.
There is this need within me at times to crack open what is closed and hold it up to the world and let the wind catch pieces and carry them away. To let the pieces normally held together by will alone simply crash to the ground and be free for one shining moment.
That is what I felt there upon the ground, the cold mud clinging to my face and soaking through my clothes. I knew if I gave in I would never get up, I would have those moments and nothing more. I knew the screams would draw them, the watchers, the hunters, the world.
I could hear them in the woods around me. Their whispers clung to the air and danced over my prone body. I tensed in anticipation of the yell that would draw them all to me. Would it come from them in discovery or me giving in? Part of me welcomed it, the final judgment, the last reveal, finally the freedom of an end, but there was fear there, fear of what the end would begin.
I breathed shallowly and held my body still. The world clicked and clacked and breathed around me, but the dangerous whispers grew quiet and finally silent. I strained to hear them, feeling the tension in my body tighten and crack further as I held in every shiver, every shake, I held on with the last of my strength. I held until I could hold no more and my entire body shook into the earth.
I crumbled a bit inside as I pushed myself out of the mud and leaves. The world was thick around me, and I coughed as I came to a kneeling position. The urge to scream only grew stronger, and I had to still myself and breathe. The world was no friendlier now that I knelt, it made no more sense, and the only relief was that I had accepted a bit more of the reality and so I was able to begin processing the last few days.
I paused and struggled to search back to when it had all begun. How long had I been here? How long had this been my normal? I couldn’t recall, I had not had the luxury to count the days, and if I had, it would have been unhelpful at this point. The world was not the world I imagined, wanted, lived. It was not my world, it was some new world, some new reality, and the transition from what was to what is was such a sharp immediate cut that I still had no understanding of how to live in this new normal, only that I had to if I was to survive.
The earth was soft in my fingers as I pressed against it and pushed myself to a standing position. The wind blew softly through the trees and I breathed deep as my feet rooted to the ground. I closed my eyes and just breathed, breathed, and felt my world settle, stabilize.
I would survive another day, another week, another month, another year. I would survive this. There was no other choice. I swallowed my scream and breathed.
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