Originally I was inspired by the song The Hunger in Your Haunt by Crywolf to write a fictional short story, but somehow it evolved into a fictionalized representation of my beautiful cousin’s passing. It was hard for me to write for obvious reasons, but I hope you manage to find the beauty in it.
She sat there. Isolated from the world in body and mind. Her lavender hair hung like orchids in tangles and mesmerizing mess. She hovered, not walked by soundless scenery. It washed past her like paint being submerged in water. Leaves gathered in her hair as they fell from their birthplace. They sat their quietly, making a home, petting her softly in their little orchid garden.
Her heart beat ever so slightly as she continued to wander the forest. Sky high trees jutted into the unknown blackness above her. The stars danced coyly taunting her freedom. Her body felt so heavy. It heaved and labored to graze over the rocks and the shrubs before her. The flowers wilted and bowed in submission as she passed them by. She felt nothing, she remembered nothing. She only knew this body she was enclosed in until she came to a crystal pond. Her eyes moved like a timelapse. Ever searching, gleaning, moving, surveying the land. Her eyes found their resting place. An icy reflection glinted before her. The girl’s face was sunken and graying. Her hair was gnarled and dry, and curled in many different places.
Although she knew it had to be her it seemed so distant. So morbid. How could that be me? She thought to herself. The reflection was haunting as she stared into her own eyes. The water shifted and she noticed tattoos dancing on her arms. She was covered in them. They all beamed with pride as they were the only thing she recognized on herself. All of her wild victories and heart aches. All her hopes and dreams. It seemed like her essence was sewed in the sinews of her skin. It was comforting to know that she had safeguarded herself so she would have to remember her life. She would have a shred of dignity.
She looked again and saw a septum piercing hanging from her nose. Her defiance towards life. Her lips curled into a smirk as she reveled in her piercing that aggravated so much stigma. Another shred of dignity piecing itself to her memory. Blood set a solid stream from her nose and hen a noose swung about her neck. She remembered this unlike any other detail.
For many years she never knew it swung so low, but as time grew on it grew tighter around her neck. She fought it for many years, ignored it for some, and then she no longer cared. She welcomed it. She chased it in the direction it would go. She would leap into its open arms if it had any to make it stop tightening.
But voices kept shrieking in the distance. Voices that didn’t belong to her. Voices that begged her to stay. Voices that made her dig her heels into the soft ground and beg the universe or God or the noose to stay. And she did stay.
She fought day and night despite the light of the stars and the sun staying at the same time. Hours raced by her and danced in her face as she became disembodied. Her mind swirled in a panic of knowing only that she had to stay. But she was so tired. She ached so badly to stay and yet so badly to go.
For a while the voices only grew louder, they were familiar and alien at the same time. They reached from the ends of the Earth and were constantly in her ear, but she knew them. She desperately clung to them. In her soul she wanted nothing more than to disperse into the wind and find them. Searching the ends of the Earth to spend a moment, a second with those apparitions.
Exhaustion was winning out as she collapsed in the shamrocks of the forest. They were so soft to her. One of the softest things she had ever felt. They dipped in and out of her fingertips as she ran them over and over. Her chest heaved as she stared up at the canvas of day and night. It was beautiful. The voices were getting quieter now. Her head lulled to the side as she took in a deep breath. The first deep breath she had taken in years, and it was becoming so easy.
A looming character appeared before her. It was twelve feet tall and was made of what seemed like miles and miles of endless black fabric hung atop a white mask with two simple holes for eyes and an impish grin carved just beneath them.
“I’m so tired.” She told the being. It nodded solemnly, but stood still. It wasn’t threatening despite its odd features. They sat there for a few moments taking in the sight of each other. The voices were silent now. It was deafening. Now she could only hear the noose tightening around her neck.
“It’s okay baby.” The voices cried out. Their voices felt like lake water rushing over her. An invisible force lifted her to her knees, and for once she cried out. She screamed until her veins were visible on her neck and face. Her voice reached to the ends of the Earth and back until she heard her own voice again cry out “FREEDOM!” as the noose broke loose and fell to the floor.
She reached her hand out to the cloaked figure, and it hoisted her up. Her first few steps were shaky, and in fact she fell and tumbled to the floor. She got back up again and gritted her teeth until she smiled. She walked on into the distance with her new freedom
Then she took in the first deep breath that would make up for the rest of her life.