Tree Branch This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By
   Sometimes - more often now - the images came back to her. She'd struggle to see them, to touch them, to catch the faintest glimpse of light in her world of eternal darkness. Tree branches, laughing children, a swimming pool so clear that she knew it had to be crystal - they were those, and others. They were her only memories of her "last summer." Long ago, it seemed, so long it was nearly unbearable; but she wouldn't, couldn't, let herself forget it. As the images came more frequently, they served only to torment her as she lay trapped inside the prison that was her own body.

"A tree branch," they said. She could hear them perfectly, did they think she couldn't? Adults could be so silly sometimes. "A big, thick one. So sad, so very, very sad," they repeated, over and over. There was some screaming, too, and always crying, always, but seldom any laughter. "It fell right out of the sky. It landed right on her. It crushed her. She was so small...how? why? Tell me why!"

At first when she heard them, she would scream inside her head. She screamed so loudly, she thought they'd have headaches just from listening to her. Surely she could be heard halfway down the hall, maybe even upstairs. But the weeping never ceased. And after a while, a long, long while, she grew increasingly exhausted after each failed attempt at communication. She knew she must be losing her mind. She longed to run, to laugh, to play. She wanted to sleep in her big, soft bed, to play the piano once again, to watch "Sesame Street" with her little sister, to go to school. And mostly, most of all she wanted to - such a little thing - to open up her eyes. For the images were forever growing and the more they talked about the tree branch, the more panic stabbed her as she thought of it, the more she could see it falling through the air, hear the crack of bone and the wailing of her little sister.. So she prayed, each day, would she be able to open her eyes this morning? Please?

After all this time, all the crying and screaming and whispering, it hadn't gotten through to her; she didn't understand. Maybe, someday, she would come to see - "see the light" - they'd say, but of course she couldn't - and she'd know. She'd know that the cramped compartment where she was trapped was not a brief resting place - as she so hoped - but a prison. She was locked inside of her own body; hers was life in the midst of death.


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






Join the Discussion

This article has 1 comment. Post your own now!

Karamel This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 13, 2010 at 2:53 pm
This is nicely written. I wish you had been more specific about the problem at hand, though: what happened to the girl? Keep up the writing, though, this is very good.
 
bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback