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White Clouds This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   She lay asleep on the glossy hard wood floor. She lay on her back with arms above her head, pale delicate hands clenched in fists, long black curly hair lying flat on the floor above her head. She was tall, thin, almost too thin. Her long bare legs bent at the knees lay sideways against the floor. And her face ... it was the most precious. Like a piece of delicately sculpted ivory. Her small but full lips painted red. Her eyes closed sheltered by thin black eyebrows. To the beholder she was the essence of beauty. But now she lay alone, porcelain face tainted. Marred by rivers of black mascara. The river's source her eyes. That day she had cried alone, screamed alone, screamed for fear, fear of the men in white coats, men that beat her and forced her, forced her to take pills, pills that were supposed to help her, help her, not hurt her. The pills just made her feel numb, inhuman, and sick. That's why she didn't take them that morning.

Now her aqua eyes opened wide. She was confused. She had no idea how she had gotten where she was. She gazed up at the lush green leaves that formed canopies over her head. She could hear the calls of wild chimps playing in the tall trees. As they jumped, soft warm drops of water fell to her porcelain face. She smiled faintly. Now she took notice of the yellow and purple butterfly dancing above her. The creature proceeded to land upon her frail hand. Now she realized that she was lying propped up against a massive mud-covered hill. She pried herself from the sticky earth to study further the winged creature with which she was so fascinated. As soon as the girl moved, the brilliant creature fluttered away with surreal grace. She extended her arm in angst for the beautiful creature to return. Instead it danced upwards until it was lost in the lush green canopy. With a sigh she fell back hard against the muddy hill. Gazing upwards she listened to her surroundings. She heard a distant hum. Like water breaking hard on earth. The sound bathed her ears and made her sleepy. The sound was so overpowering she almost didn't notice another sound. Several yards in front of her leaves rustled and brushed against each other. Her head snapped quickly in the direction of the sound.

Through the green leaves she saw solid black. Black fur of a panther cat. Poised with pride. Shoulder muscles protruding. Yellow teeth extending from blood red gums. Black eyes fixated on her own. He was smiling an evil smile.

She moved first. Prying herself from the hill once more, prying herself from the hill once more in utter angst. Time stopped around her and the panther. She hurled her frail body with all its force to face the hill. Now the only sound was his paws pounding the sticky earth. Like a heartbeat, the rhythm louder and closer it came. She was scrambling up the incline of what now seemed a mountain, grabbing for weeds and roots to propel herself forward. Her bare feet slipped relentlessly in the wet earth. And the heartbeat louder and closer it came. As she reached the summit the beat pounded her eardrums. The girl raised her head and couldn't believe her eyes.

The water she had heard. Crystal water fell in torrents to the ground far below. The heartbeat as loud and intense as ever. She turned sharply in reverse to catch one last glimpse of the cat.

Then she fell like a feather. Like part of the water. Where the water met the earth, great clouds of white surf rose. The white pillows ... the white clouds ... the white surf caught her fall.

The white net. The white net the doctors, policemen, EMTs had set up. The white net at the base of the thirty-story apartment building had caught her fall. The stairs, the hill. The black panther, the policeman in blue, trying to coax her gently down.


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






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