I was in a small apartment underground with some woman, and there were certain bazaar physical obstacles surrounding us. Like a door with about three feet of wall-space under the bottom, rather than...no wall-space under it, which would be what we know of as a normal door. The unknown woman and I were forced to jump through it every time we wanted to enter or exit. In the kitchen there was a stove that was behind a very large piece of furniture, leaving barely enough room for even something as small as a hand to squeeze in... let alone cook something, which wasn't relevant anyway. The woman was barefoot a lot, always had her head facing downward, and walked around as if there was a hunch in her back. Depressed maybe, but from what I didn't know. I didn't know why I was there either, in her apartment that is. Or my apartment.
She went to go get some things from the grocery store while I stayed “home”. When she returned, she immediately mentioned something essential she forgot to pick up. I don't remember what it was, but it was something that was completely necessary for something else to work. Like lighter fluid for a lighter, a drink for a cup, staples for a stapler. She said it to me with a depressed, but sort of condescending-like tone. As if she may have been indirectly suggesting I should go back to the grocery store to get it. My mind began to struggle, in trying to figure out what the right thing to do was. Either tell her it's not my fault that she forgot it and to stop disrespecting me with her tone of voice, or assist her, and dismiss the condescending tone since she obviously wasn't at her best.
Before I could verbalize either let alone make a decision, I found myself staring through the glass of the inside of a car, at the bumper of a car in front of me, on a very busy road. The woman was driving and I was in the passenger seat. I assume whatever I said resulted in the decision to drive back to the store. Suddenly, she started aggressively reversing the car. At this point I was sort of slouched in my seat, and didn't bother to look ahead to see the reason she could have decided to pull this impulsive maneuver. I didn't even look behind us to see how we could have possibly been soaring backwards (going what felt like about 50 miles per hour), when I knew we were in bumper to bumper traffic. I did look at her face, and I did watch and hear her screaming while she was aimlessly and hostilely reversing our vehicle. Maybe I was too scared to want to know what was going on. I stared in my own lap at the stitching on my jeans and the details of my fingernails. As I was doing so, my vision went out completely. It was a very fast process, but afterwards all the muscles behind and around my eyes gradually began tightening. I remember having a strong desire to tell the woman I had just lost my vision (maybe to warn her that she may lose hers too), but I swallowed my words as I heard her screaming besides me and felt her grab onto my arm. I guess I figured she was already in too much pain for me to tell her about mine. I grabbed her arm in return, and then felt the strangest most unknown feeling I've ever felt.
Starting with my arm, it felt like my whole body was tightening, but from the inside out. Like the feeling when your blood pressure is being taken and the velcro is wrapped around your upper arm, but a thousand times as much pressure, and touching every single organ and muscle existing. I wasn't sure what the cause of the feeling was, but I remember telling myself “this is really bad, but I'm going to tolerate it until death since that's what's obviously coming.” I started to feel the woman's arm melting in my hand. Naturally disgusted, I quickly let go of it and tried to imagine none of this was happening, that we weren't really burning. Which is the same time I realized we must have been in a fire. I told myself the feeling would eventually stop, although I knew the stopping point would mean I reached death. A few different general ideas of events flashed in my mind, my parents, the purpose of my life, a few people close to me. Then the feeling got stronger and I awoke laying on my arm, which circulation must have been cut off from the position I fell asleep in.
© Copyright 2016 Penny Lee. All rights reserved.
Short Story / True Confessions
Poem / Poetry
Poem / Poetry
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