I wasn’t fooling anybody – she must have noticed the way I looked at him sometimes. The way I’d always outstay my welcome.
The way I wanted, desperately, to feel just a fraction of the things she felt. The disgusting, drunken passion of course - but also the accusations and recriminations and, maybe, even the fear.
Because wasn’t it better to row and fight and love and hate somebody than to feel nothing at all?
Yet when he finally touched me that evening I had recoiled – repulsed by my own desire and what it might undo inside me.
Again, I began to run. Away from them, away from the cabin.
Then, all of a sudden, I was flying. For a moment no part of me touched the ground – an empty, weightless feeling cut short by thudding pain as my body connected with the earth once more and I plummeted down the steep wooded bank.
I’m not sure how long I was unconscious. It felt like less than an instant - but the blood had caked slightly by the time I lifted my face from the tarmac.
By hedgehog, on blogspot
I must have sat up too fast. The world went reeling. I gripped my head, trying to hold everything together.
The road was bare and straight, a slick, black line that seemed to run on forever in both directions. The forest rose dizzyingly on either side, monochrome walls of trees and snow, unravelling gradually to grey. My chin was sticky, and the money taste was back, lining my throat, but I was numb. Hardly daring to hope.
I touched the tarmac again, my fingers shaking. The road was cold and real. I felt the engine before I heard it. A small, quivering life beneath my palm.
Somehow, I managed to stand as the car approached. The trees rippled and whispered. The white sky pressed closer. I staggered forwards, waving my arms. I was keenly aware of every brittle movement and yet everything was happening at a distance, as if to someone else.
The car, small and blue and battered, slowed and then pulled over. The tarmac twinkled between us, laden with stars. Stumbling across them, I caught the ruddy health of the driver’s bearded features. And then I saw the woman with a baby in the back.
Your turn . . .