Like Ice

God, it’s happened somehow. I used to be cold. I used to be ruthless. I used to be fearless and self destructive, because I could not speak. I couldn’t speak what I was thinking so instead I painted lines in my skin with a blade and I used to scoff at the idea of love and beauty and now I am drowning in both of them. I look at you and I see me five years ago, facing a boy who is me at present, whispering I love you three weeks in because we know how to articulate it, we know how to feel it quickly, eagerly, without abandon, the boy from my past and present me, facing you presently and me five years ago. And you and past me stare and squint and can’t comprehend the slide into delusion– how did it happen to you so quickly? how can you be sure? Do not tell me this, I am not ready to hear it, we say.

I used to be self destructive. These past three days I ate only lunch and today my belt buckled one notch tighter and I felt surprised and proud and I thought, that’s what starving yourself does.

Can I be cold again? Would I want to? Can I go back to that dark place and shut out the sunlight that knocks politely on my door and rip my skin open with a knife and hide the scars? Hiding is half the fun, it makes you hide your personality, too. Smile. Careful.

I have a dream where every cut I ever made opens and the blood comes heavier than ever and it makes me think yes, how do I get there, how to I get to the place where my skin is permanently stained with blood that should be locked under my skin, not on it, drying in the air, how do I get to the place that makes me feel out of control reckless dangerous someone who needs help but could never ask for it?

I might be there. I might lose the love and beauty and I might become cold again. My heart will be ice and my lungs will freeze and my blood will slow and it will be good, because you and I will be okay, staring at each other laying on the bed knowing nothing more will ever happen between us. I will be okay because I won’t feel it, I will feel my blood stinging as it meets the air and that’s all I will need to feel.
That’s what you do to me.

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My Friend

There’s a whisper at the door. Angels have feasted on my new friend, on her hair, turned it golden, and made it glow. Demons leak through the creaking floorboards and watch us carefully. They bow over and attach themselves to her feet, slowing her rhythm until she cannot remember the last time her heart beat. She does anything to numb the pain as they flood her bloodstream and tell her nasty things. The angels are gone, there’s no room for them here anymore.

The whispers grow louder. My friend’s lungs mourn oxygen as a flower mourns warmth in the winter and with a last breath they shrivel, together, the flower and my friend, the petals and her hair, her skin, the stalk and her bones, her teeth, the leaves falling to the snow like her blood hitting the shiny wood floor, until there’s only a ghost standing in front of the mirror, pulling shards of ice out by her fingertips wondering when the frostbite will set in.

Does she realize angels have touched her? The demons live in her now, it’s almost pointless to contest, all it would take is an MRI to see her heart is dying and it’s pathetic because we love her for her beauty. We love her for her beauty but we despise the words that might come out of her mouth–words like tar spread across her lips, a much thicker concoction, made of blood and pain, except it doesn’t hurt her, it just chokes her and leaves her feeling as if she had missed something desperately–something like air, the air her lungs have been craving, starving themselves unwittingly for, because she couldn’t swallow and talk and breathe all at once, and the demons made her pick the former, never the latter. Instead of air she gets regrets and ice and a mirror that reflects what the angels gave her and what the demons took.

The demons leave when she wipes her mouth, black hatred smearing across the back of her hand like lipstick. They leave when she can no longer stand up straight, when she can no longer let loose the volley of words that aim to maim–because maiming is so much worse than killing–because the people are driven away from her chill and there’s no one left to hurt, not even her friends, not even me, not when she hurts me and I evaporate and watch from a distance. My dear friend’s warmth is entirely put out, as she finally takes a look at what they did to her and finally tries to stand tall. But it’s the trying that’s the hardest, and everyone knows it, and everyone watches her knees tremble and her bones shatter under the weight of the world on her shoulders–this self imposed weight that is born of a newfound guilt–but still she stands and she raises her hand to her reflection. She doesn’t flinch, this friend, this girl, this angel, but the mirror does, the mirror bows away from her and vibrates in a way that mocks praying, mocks the girl’s knees, mocks the ground she stands on because everything is suddenly unstable.

And that’s when she realized there were never any angels or demons. They were in her imagination and it was her that drove people away and only she that could save herself. Everyone watches while the mirror cracks and crumbles and my friend is left staring at a wall that needs another coat of paint because of everything that’s been ignored, the paint on the wall is certainly at the top of the list, and it’s a relief not to analyze herself anymore, not to stare at her reflection and into her eyes and at her lips and nose quiver, wondering where the air in the room has gone. Now she can close her eyes–she does close her eyes–and she can sit down–she does sit, ungracefully, because no one is watching and she knows it, she’s fully aware of the empty room around her now that the pieces of the mirror on the floor only reflect the ceiling, bouncing off-white cream-colored peeling paint back at itself and we’ll see how much time it takes for the paint to pull away from the plaster, to hate itself like she does.

Now she sits and breathes for the first time in years, because for the first time the air is warm and the ice inside of her melts and her lungs uncurl from the fetal position they had taken up inside her chest, safe under her ribcage. She’s the flower now, her lungs singing praises as the stem breaks through the ground and the tiny bud splits open, showing the world beautiful colors they never imagined.

 

Vanished

The prince’s arms still held their ghostly shape. In her absence, the room was empty. A thousand eyes glared upon him, but the only feeling in the room was one of confusion. One minute, dancing. The girl was a beauty in ice blue. The next, the prince was alone on the floor. No one had even seen her leave–and that was the most startling part.

She had vanished like smoke, her blue dress simmering until she was translucent, and her grasp in his raised hand grew fainter, until he squeezed and his fingernails bit into his own palm.

The prince, defeated, dropped his pose. The crowds parted for him as he walked out the door; conversation rose in his wake, a swollen chatter that emoted confusion. The hallway echoed his footsteps, and it appeared to the prince as if the very walls were mocking him. At the stairs, he made it halfway down before the realization struck: he hadn’t even gotten her name.

Girl on Fire

She walks on embers, but she doesn’t burn. Inside, she is cold. The one thought she had was to escape, but they stopped her with hot words and heated glares. Now, her room is a furnace and the air is filled with sparks. Her heart seizes after every beat, a neat little silence that fills the air for the briefest of moments. Her breath puffs out in front of her nose, an icy exhale melting into steam.

They cage her like they’re afraid. She shakes and trembles and bares her teeth when they approach. The coals under her feet want to ignite the air, but hiss as she shifts over them. The entrapped girl can only pace, as frost turns to sweat on her temples. ‘Make her like us,’ one had said, unerring, as they observed her. ‘She does not have fire. She will break.’ They pushed her with spears of red iron, prodded her sides until they withdrew their chilled weapons.

The girl of ice was thawing. Her breath was no longer visible, and her palms were hot. The air clutched at her throat, attacked her eyes. Salted water poured over her nose and into her mouth. It took an infinite amount of time for the girl to crack, but here she was: ice to slush, and then into a new substance entirely.

The girl shrinks away from her bars, unable to touch the metal as she once did. They wield hot pokers that sear her skin, char it black. She lays on the embers and wishes for a cold breeze. The heat in the air accepts her defeat and lays with her. It evaporates her tears.

‘You have broken her,’ one says to the others. ‘That is not what I wanted.’ They shake their heads at the damaged wreck at their feet. ‘Her ice kept her alive. She cannot withstand the fire.’ They did not disagree. She picked herself up one last time, hot through and through, and stared at the man who had killed her.

Announcement

Up until right this very second, everything I have posted has been 100% true in my own mind, and I felt the emotions I wrote as I was writing it. (Yes, this is including Ghost Girl.) I feel now would be a good time to diverge from that, and practice something a bit more fictional. It’ll be posted in the ‘fiction’ category, as well as the ‘fiction’ tag. (This is experimental… but then again, this whole blog is an experiment.)

Thanks for reading!

-Sara

Let Me In?

I stand at your gates and look up to the sky;
It’s dark where I stand, and I’m not sure why.
My head is spinning, because I want to scream
At the way you hide away, lost in your dreams.

I’m on my knees, ready to plead,
But you don’t know what I need.
You keep yourself hidden, you’re locked
In your mind, a headache forming, I knocked.

Please forgive me, I need to know:
The way you say hello
Is quite magical, dear,
And its realness is my only fear.