With a twist she slips from the officer’s grasp and runs for the dock, legs pumping, perching a second on the railing to gather energy before launching into the water with a dive that cuts the icy waves. Above the surface chaos erupts, shouting and arguing, but she is too deep and too far already to catch words. She swims. Limbs slicing through the water like blades, sharper than the Exacto knife she’d wielded in triumphant frenzy, she swims. Away from the useless counselors. Away from the father who buys love with diamonds and Gucci. Away from the memory of a mother, somewhere and yet nowhere. Away from the gnawing emptiness inside that makes her control, manipulate, destroy everything and everyone who reaches out. They will catch her, but until they do she swims toward the horizon and thinks only of the water buoying her forward.
[ Had a dream I was several different characters from The Girls of No Return, a book about a wilderness camp for delinquent girls. I very much recommend it! ]
In my dream I am asked to ID your body but I cannot bear to enter that cold room, not even to confirm or deny. I know it’s you and I know I should give you back your identity by naming you, but your daughter is a coward (how else do you explain these past seven years?). I can barely even look at these words now, can hardly bring myself to polish them up from a draft of a draft; how could I possibly stand to see you laid out on that table like a thing that never lived? But I should have. I should have given you that dignity, at least. You didn’t deserve to remain anonymous in my dream any more than you deserved to remain alone in that room in a reality I have been too terrified to claim as mine. I was a coward, and it changes nothing to be told you knew I loved you. I should have told you then. I should have gone into that room. I should have named you.
In my dream the ghosts reach out to you with electronic tendrils, seeping through the ether(net) to slip filament lies through your veins and into your brain, and even though I’m begging and pleading, yelling and screaming, I can see the digital glamour glow in your eyes and you’re already turning away, ears blocked by whispering static, fingers poised to craft a reply that will only feed the specters, only make them stronger.
dazed, soul aching and body craving, desperate for a hit, a fix, an escape, cessation culmination everythinganythingsomething, tired of useless alcohol and worthless drugs, no chance of reprieve there so he turns to pain, fresh and hot and searing like it used to be, can be again, palm flat on the table and fingers spread, he presses the barrel of the gun to the back of his hand and pulls the trigger
In my dreams the sorceress circles me, matted black hair and needles in her hands, they’ve been dipped in a poison far more fatal than Snow White’s, and I am calling for you as I move to keep the witch in my sights, she lunges but I catch her wrists and we struggle for dominance, the little metal slivers inching ever closer to my flesh until with a surge of defiance I hurl her back, enough to rock her on her feet and before she can close with me again you appear out of nowhere, sword in hand, and the sorceress’ head goes rolling off her shoulders–
–and then we are standing together, her and I, the sorceress resurrected, and she is showing me a sleeping kingdom wrapped in magic and thorns, a kingdom like her own which she offers to me, a gift, my very own land to rule as I wish, yet she is old and weak and I see this is her last attempt, she knows she can’t slay me but thinks maybe she can lure me away with promises of power and beauty, away from you whom I love so deeply, but I only scoff at her bribery and wake to seek you in a world where, too, the witches strive to part us yet never succeed.