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Shimmer Then Shatter

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The girl in the red ball gown shimmers as she glides across the gold floor.

Her long, skinny fingers spread atop her partner’s shoulder like the legs of a spider.

He lowers his head and whispers in her ear.

Probably saying how beautiful she looks tonight.

She lifts her head up and smiles at him.

That beautiful smile that seems to light up the room.

But it’s not in her eyes.

They’re black.

Empty.
Cold.

He doesn’t seem to notice; he just keeps leading the waltz on the gold floor.

She shivers.

It’s a quick movement.

Almost like it never happened.

But I see it.

And I feel it.

She’s cold.

Her dark eyes flicker to me.

And I see they’re panicked.

Afraid.

Hurt.

She isn’t smiling.

There’s worry in her lips.

Fear dims her face.

Anxiety stiffens her long, skinny fingers

Faint, thin lines dance along her wrist,

But she quickly turns so I almost don’t notice.

Almost.

She whispers to her partner, and he walks her to a table

Where she sits elegantly with beautiful folded hands in her lap.

But she shivers.

First unnoticeably,

Then, violently.

Suddenly, I feel the cold coming off of her although she is well across the room.

It flies through the air like sheets hung outside to dry and splashes me like freezing waters.

I want it to stop.

I want to help her.

I want her to be warm again.

Slowly I stand, and my legs lead me through the sea of eyes from the other couples

Watching me as I walk to her

She’s hunched over in her chair now

Trying desperately to guard her bare arms from the cloud of coldness that surrounds them.

But no one notices.

Only me.

When I am close enough, I reach out my arm and touch the soft, but frozen skin of her shoulder.

Her black eyes attack mine, and, for a second, I feel as hallow as she is.

But she disappears.

And so does the sea of eyes

And the gold floor.

And I think I do, too.

Because all that’s around me is

The red fabric of a ball gown

And pieces of glass from a shattered mirror

Where I see myself

Shimmering in the red ball gown.





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