Rearrange Me ‘Til I’m Sane

Inspiration Monday XX. One more X, and I would have had to have added much more detail. :O

“would have had to have”? Jeez. Is there a better way to say that? It’s painful.

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The shade of night offers no relief from the heat. I swelter against him, boil in his arms, melt into the bed of dusty earth and dead grass. Any more of this, and he’ll have to reform my body in the morning. Rearrange me ’til I’m sane.

His mouth is dry and so is mine. We’ve sweated all our moisture out. We both know there’s no water for miles, but in this moment, we could both dehydrate and die and it would all be worth it. Our bodies would return to the earth together, fertilizing the soil, this union creating life in a different way.

He pushes up on straight, stiff arms to look at me. His chest heaves. The air floods between us, pushing him an ocean away from me. A vibration tickles the back of my head, and I turn my ear to the ground. It’s just a hint. It could be anything. He puts his ear against the ground beside me. His eyes are mirrors of mine. The vibration builds into something we both recognize and we sit up simultaneously. Orange twinkles through the forest toward us.

He takes my hand and we run. We’re too dehydrated. We’re too far from water. Sound laps at the backs of my legs, stealing my death in bliss and handing out a death in fear.

“No!” I stop so abruptly I fall to my knees. He stops a few yards ahead and turns. I sit back on my heels. “No.”

He puts his hands on his knees, bows his head. Breathes. When he looks up, all I see is a wicked smile. “We face it,” he says.

“Yes.”

“No one’s ever faced it.”

I stand. “We face it.”

He comes to my side. We watch it coming toward us. Our breath slows. Our hearts calm. And we welcome our death in freedom.

How To Make a Mask

I’m back to my usual style for this Inspiration Monday post.

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Six two. One hundred and eighty pounds. Black suit, blue shirt, silver tie.

The door opens. Black suit, but the height is wrong. Leftover drops from the brief but consuming rain splatter against the hood of the car, reminding me of the fire escape above me. My own escape if things get messy.

My phone dances in the cup holder. I pick it up and open the text message.

You pick up. Stuck w boss til late.

Crap. Not today. A change in plan means I make a change in plan. I take a quick look, then step out of the car and go to the trunk. Swap the SIG for the Beretta. Screw on the silencer. Another look around. Slam the trunk.

The door opens. Black suit. Blue shirt. Tie could be silver. Height and weight spot on. He lights a cigarette and takes a drag. Looks at me. The cigarette spins on its fall and I’m up on him before it hits the ground. One in the chest, one in the head.

I get back in the car and drive until I’m out from under the cover of rain clouds. A brown sign alerts me of Gold Mountain State Park. That will do. When I reach the park, I follow the signs to a trail head and park. I put away the Beretta. Strip off all my clothes, replace them with sweatpants, a hoodie, and walking shoes.

Three trails available. I choose the longest one. The forest hums with life. The ground is spongy under my shoes and the squirrels are partying in the trees. I take off my sunglasses to enjoy the luminance of green. I could walk off this trail right now and be lost. So lost I’d never find my way back.

Three point five miles later I’m back at the car. I drive back into town with the windows down, and when I reach the parking lot, it’s almost empty. I hope he’s not upset.

He’s the last one, but he’s not upset. He shows me a watercolor he painted. I get his backpack, and walk him to the car.

“Is mommy going to be late today?” he asks as I’m strapping him into the car.

“Yep. But you and I are going to play some video games and eat some junk food.”

I see my grin reflected in the window when I slam his door. Another success. Let’s hope it holds until he’s in bed.