Sinew

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Hollow, frosted sleet bludgeons the quivering window. Shades of black and grey squirm about the apartment, struggling to curl up in a peeling corner but utterly unable to, for these corners are occupied. In the closest, the phantom memory of an incident with a burgundy bottle opener writhes and slashes, discontent with its forced oppression. Nearby, the death of vanity crouches. It reaches out and swipes at the wispy entrails of consciousness as a female figure passes by.

This strange woman is, to her horror, of the tangible flesh that her memories so loathingly crave. Taking a few more delicate steps, she finds herself pressed against a frigid sheet of glass, blankly watching the taxis below. For what may be moments, for what may be hours, her dark unfocused eyes contemplate.

Eventually, the grand presence of a vital memory lost to her during a surgical mishap leans on the outer side of the glass. It in turn pushes the woman, in its own way. Before she hits the trodden carpet, it passes through her, latching onto another critical element.

Her skull makes a thick solid thud as it imprints the dirty carpet. She does not flinch.

“Bang bang you’re dead,” she mutters through a half-grimace-half-smile, and chuckles. The memories titter and guffaw, leaning over her. At least they understand her humor.

She sighs and lets her eyelids fall, allowing the grim, unfurnished room to wash away from her thoughts. The Canterbury Tales begin to play out on her resting lids, bringing subtle humor and mellow distraction.

Having worn out their giggles, the still-hovering memories find their dignity and grow frustrated. They prick and scratch and tug at her sealed eyelids, murmuring nasty little things. The woman will not acknowledge them. She taps the heel of her boot along with the rhythm of the knight’s tale, taking amusement when appropriate and sorrow on occasion.

The phantasmal presences collectively decide they no longer find her ignorance entertaining. Meshing into one, then swarming the still body, this mass drags the woman back to her feet so that she once again is leaning on the glass. Without warning, the conglomeration rushes through her. It catches hold of her heartstrings and tears, releasing the memories trapped within. They explode from her being, with the strength of a human life forcing them through the tissues and sinewy muscle. The small apartment is instantly overwhelmed.

The pressure of the compressed memory and the destruction of its course left the woman’s body limp. The mass of oppressed memories that had once lurked in the corners flits about the room, bashing the walls and ravaging the windows. No longer being held up, the body crumples to the floor again. Its heart beats and its lungs expand. And that is all.





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