"I really don't understand how you have survived this long," Roy muttered, tightening the bandage wrapped around Ed's head carefully. "It's a minor miracle you made it to adulthood."
"Is this not counting the times I've died?" Ed asked, and winced.
"That was rhetorical and I'm pretending(more) that I didn't hear you say that simply for my own sanity." Roy cut the white bandage and tied it off. Ed was covered in dirt and his own blood, caked down the side of his face and into his hair. "Caution doesn't cost you anything, and saves us all plenty in the long run."
"I've had worse," Ed said, and touched two fingers to his head gingerly. "Way worse. But ... thanks, you know. For saving my bacon."
"The world would be a darker place without you in it," Roy said, and slung the medkit back into the trunk. Ed was immediately thankful for the layer of grime, it masked the sudden flush well. "Have we at least finished here? If there's still - what were they, monkey-bats?"
"Hell if I know, tiny things with sharp little teeth." Ed waved his hand in front of his face. "Kids have way too much imagination these days, dreaming up all sorts of nasty shit."
Roy shook his head. "And Al?" he asked.
"Hell if I know where that idiot is, he got pissed at me three days ago and bailed. Probably shacked up with Mei again, that's the first person he runs to whenever we fight." Ed looked down at the gravel road, kicked some with his scuffed boot. "I am glad you showed to bail my ass out, though. I would have been toast."
Roy smiled. "Anytime," he said, and ruffled Ed's hair companionably. Ed ducked his head and scowled, and Roy laughed.(less)
It takes all of my control to not fall into the gorgeously soft cushion of the chair. At the sight of my hair, many people either assume I'm terminally ill and extend their sympathies, giggle and insult me with what they think are subtle mockeries, or make evil-warding(more) signs.
My stomach grumbles. Did anyone hear -
A boy sits on a chair near me. Handsome. Black hair, hazel eyes. He also slouches, and his smile is compassionate. I'm not the only exception to the night's vibrancies. I muster up a twitch of my mouth in gratitude. Commiserators in a disorienting world of swirling skirts and flashing cufflinks, we sit in amiable silence for some time.
An elderly woman rests in a chair two candle-holders to my right, fanning herself with eyes closed. A dapper middle-aged man (I think he is Senator McCormick) kisses the hand of a carefully coiffed brunette, while another woman looks on, almost pained. That Senator McCormick is a ladies' man is widely known. Another middle-aged man looks a bit drunk - a woman (likely his wife) is helping him out into the foyer, presumably to take him home.
If I observe, I can witness every twitch, every deep breath or sigh, every stolen glance or half-hidden glare, every sincere expression that marks us out as alive, as breathing individuals. We don't lack feelings and guilt and exhaustion and deepness under our facades of egg-white face paint and trivialities and minor pain-deflecting cruelties and immortalities. A prick of the skin, and crimson follies gather up in the harsh light. I know little more is needed to tap into the spring, to make them flow hard and fast. We are weak.
Maybe I should go ask the old woman if she needs assistance. A glass of water, perhaps?(less)
The harder you scrub, the redder everything becomes, the deeper the scars etch themselves, the closer you come to your fragile end. The water cascades across the plains of your bloodied hands, but it won't save you.
His choked last breath echoes off the walls around you and(more) all you can see is his face, his eyes widened in surprise - a look of betrayal, as if you were lovers, as if you shared a secret. You watch him die, knowing he thinks you are your father's daughter.
The water should calm you, should bring you some sort of renewal, but this is no story laced with poignant symbolism. It will not wash away your fears.
You must become everything you need.
The room fades to silence as the water stops running, and you can hear something clog the pipes, forcing its way through. You cock your head to the side, but you don't scream when blood gushes out, filling the sink in a pool of lies.
Blood. Blood everywhere.
You can't escape who you are, a familiar voice taunts, his accent deceptively saccharine.
You ignore the part of you that wants to dance and coat your skin with this red rain.
A knock on the door.
The spell is broken.
"Abigail?" A nurse. "There's someone here to see you."
You take a deep, silent breath and stare at your reflection in the mirror. A frightened porcelain dolls stares back at you, lifts up her hands to the mirror, tears of blood sliding down the glass. She smiles, sending a shiver down your spine.
"Just a second!" you call, willing some sort of strength to seep back into your decaying bones.
You open the door unprepared to face the true monster waiting for you.(less)
Anora looked from her hands, which were the same scarlet that was running freely from the noble's nose, to his face where he was writhing and cursing on the ground. Abject horror was suffusing her body, her blood and upbringing pounding at her, demanding that she RUN.
Whirling, Anora(more) sprinted from the knot garden, holding her pale, now crimson speckled skirts in both hands. Her mind was alive with panicked plans. The punishment for striking a member of the nobility was whatever the noble in question decided was appropriate and she knew whatever Lord Russo was going to come up with was not going to be something she wanted to suffer.
She would quietly disappear, the plans were already laid. They had been for months. She slowed her headlong rush as she made the staircase, walking quickly to her room and pulling off the ruined dress and wiggling out of her stays and hoops before pulling the simple grey dress over her head.
It was just unadorned grey linen, and once her elaborate hairstyle was gone she would once again be a simple weaver of the lower city. Pulling the pins out, she braided her hair in a coronet around her head and left her closet.
"And where do you think you are going?" Her sister was standing in the middle of the room, simply looking at her with those large blue eyes.
Anora said nothing, simply made a sprinting run towards the door. (less)
He said it didn't hurt, but I could tell it did.
I told her it didn't hurt, but I'm pretty sure
(more) she could tell I was lying.
His blood was warm and red and
soaking into my jeans and shirt,
turning both a purple color.
I saw my blood soaking into her clothes,
and recognized the shirt that she had
gotten our first date.
Tears were dropping into him,
and I began to sob despite my
promise I wouldn't.
I could feel her tears dropping onto my head,
and I could feel her shaking. I reached up to
put a hand on her cheek, but pain ripped
I heard him cry out and I loosened
my grip, an empty feeling of dread
filling me, more tears coming at the
thought that I had hurt him.
I felt her grip on me beginning to loosen, and
a wave of fear passed through me. No. I
didn't want this.
I felt him stiffen as I lowered him
back to the ground, an another sob
broke out if me. Out of the corner of
my eye I saw the rest if them, the rest
of our troop, bleeding, alive, but I
couldn't leave him.
As I hit the ground my sight started to blur.
I set him down as gently as I could,
trying not to hurt him anymore than
I already had.
I looked at her face, looming above, and tried
but I was too numb and
"I love you,"
Her scream echoed across the compound. (less)
Our relationship was not meant to endure the warm months. My heart is cold and while you flourish in the spring, I come apart. The light is too bright for my dull, dark eyes. The air is too dry for my delicate(more) countenance.
Tonight, tears drip down your face and wet your hands like one of those spring showers.
Tonight, blood gushes from my nose like a torrent of melting snow, staining my teeth red.
Violets die to make way for tulips. As I wipe the blood off my cheek, I hope that you'll be happier soon.
I wonder what it feels like. To slice myself one stroke the wrong way, or to just slit my throat. To sit there and just feel. Feel the gushing blood slip away from. My life slip away. I just wonder... Would it hurt? Would it be relieving? Would my(more) life actually flash before my eyes?
panic sets in because
he won’t wake up
no matter what i try or
how i yell, his face
stays motionless as stone
(more) and i think of all
the times (the ones
before at least) i
screamed and cursed
but didn’t mean a word
did he know? did he
realize it was only a lie?
well, not all of it (just the ones
meant as a blade, like the
one now driven in his side)
a tear falls stained red
red like blood
red is blood, and panic
and eyes that won’t awake
and all the words i cannot say
Shivering replies in the Naugahyde booths
Cold shoulders ‘neath the heated neon
The lights cut like daggers
I’m not drunk, I’m staggering
From the loss of blood (and hope)
(more) There’s a guy at the end of the bar
With a smile like an open sore
A cherry moon floats
In the Vermouth sky
And I’m out of whisky
This, of all nights
Holding up streetlights
Using parking meters as walking sticks
I’m singing in the snow
Like a drunken Fred Astaire
Spilling my whisky and
Waking the neighbors
I’m battling with the booze
But, you can tell by the bruises
That I’m gonna lose
The morning burns
Like split lips and bourbon
The evening disintegrates around us
As the sun creeps out of
A manhole on 32nd street
It reeks of shit and
And then I realize what I have done; the blade leaves deep cuts on my right hand that will mostly likely never heal. And blood, a gushing stream of blood, drips down, down, down, watering the ground in splashes of silky red.
(more) I can't help it. I faint.(less)
You drag yourself over, trying to minimize the pressure on your right leg, and manage to sit down.
It's a strange place, with the glowing rocks and the all too smooth walls of the cave, but it's better than being in the dark. You would worry about the significance(more) of that if you had the time to do so.
A scraping sound echoes from a tunnel to the left, she's catching up.
Your breath is still in short, ragged spurts, and your leg is a twisted mess. There's no way you can fight in this kind of situation.
It's a strange place, you think again, a strange place to die, already deep underground. But there's still your warrior spirit, and your grip on your knife tightens.
And then, she's there. Looming in the entrance to the small tunnel you've backed up into, the one you once admired as being the strongest, but the look in her eyes is broken and wild. She's cornered her pray.
A spray of gushing blood. One final gasp, a loud thud. It all happens quickly, too quickly, your eyes can't keep up.
It's a brutal way to end someone, and you know it can't be anyone else but him. You can't seem to avert your eyes from the corpse, so he picks it up, and moves it out of your line of sight.
"I guess I was just in time," he laughs.
You shudder, that could have been you. A mangled, bloodied corpse, deep underground.
Even years later, you're still claustraphobic.(less)