She sat in her room, watching the bright sky outiside. Someone was walking around downstairs, probably her mother. Outside she could hear a few summer birds chirping, and she lowered her eyes from the azure sky to the dying trees. The drought had been going on for five months, and that combined with the intense heat was killing all of the plants, and by the occasional times that she could smell the stench of rotting flesh, she guessed that quite a few animals were dying as well.
She lifted her hand from its stationary position on her pillow, her sweat almost making it stick. As her hand wandered through her hair, she decided that she was disgustingly dirty from sweat and dust. She forced her seeminingly heavy body out of bed, and stood up. Her eyesight dissapeared as the blood rushed from her head. She continued walking without her eyesight, and bumped into the door on the way to the bathroom. By the time she got there, her eyesight had returned, and she stripped off her clothes and stepped into the shower. She turned the knob for the water on, and waited, but nothing came out of the showerhead except a few suspicious gurgling noises.
"Goddamn drought," she muttered as she kicked the basin and stubbed her toe.
"Fuck!" she cried as her toe began bleeding heavily from a previous wound, "I can't stand this place!"
She bandaged her toe and walked back into her room, naked. She put on some fresh clothes and tied up her long, chestnut hair. She grabbed her purse and trudged downstairs.
"Ma, I'm going to the mall," she shouted as she swooped out the door, not caring if the message was received or even if her mother was home.
She went into the garage, and into her car. She pulled out, and headed towards the mall, with the air conditioner on High. Trying to ignore the dead and dying plants zooming by her, she drove the familiar route at an illegal speed. She pulled into the underground parking lot, eliminating all need to walk in the oppressive heat outdoors.
As she wandered through the mall, she could feel the presence of the heat, almost inside, but the forced cold air from the mall air conditioners maintained victory over the dense humidity. Her heart was pounding, and she felt faint, the dizziness spinning through her head. She sat down on a nearby bench to rest for a few minutes. She looked up, only to see the sun glaring at her, permeating through the haze and glass skylights. Its heat attacked her, creeping to her very inner self, and she began to sweat profusely.
She slowly stood up, carefully, so that she would not lose her vision again, and walked out of the sun, trying not to put any weight on her throbbing toe. She knew she was sticky again, and that its scent hung about her like a swarm cloud, so she went into a store, and covered the stench with sample perfumes. She amused herself by trying out every scent that she liked. She wiped the sweat off the back of her neck, feeling its slimy texture. She could feel the salt droplets forming on her upper lip; she could taste it.
She began to run.
She escaped to the basement parking lot, throwing herself against the concrete wall. Here, underground, the heat could not get in. She pressed her face against the cool concrete, her heartbeat slowing to a steady pulse now. Her hands were covered in scratches from the concrete, but there was not much blood. She let down her hair, allowed the cooled sweat and dirt to caress her neck and shoulders, cooling her. She tied it back in a braid, like she usually wore it. She walked over to her car, got in, and started it up. After sitting there and thinking for a moment, she fastened her seatbelt.
A minute or so later, she woke up. She was driving? She was going fast, too fast, when did she start driving? She tried to regain control of her body, succeeded, and slammed on the brakes before going around a sharp curve. She was almost home; it was so close. The car flipped over as she went around the curve, and smashed into a tree just as it righted her self. As the car tumbled, she screamed for her mother, for her God. She clawed at the windows, at the door handle as the car righted herself, then hit her head on the glass after the car hit the tree. The car remained still.
Shaken, she undid her seatbelt, and got out of the car. The damage was not that bad, only some scratches on the roof, and one of the doors ruined. Thunder was growling in the distance, threatening her with lightning. She looked over at her house, just down the street, and she thought she saw her mother in peering out the window like a fleeting white ghost. But everything was so hazy, she could not be sure.
"Liana, Liana." Her mother must be there, she could hear her calling her name.
Then, a silence descended upon the world around her, bringing the scent of nitrogen. The silence was lifted as it began to rain, by the pattering on the pavement sounding. Giant, cleansing raindrops fell onto her face, and she undid her hair again as she ran, free, down the street.
"I'm alive! I'm okay!" and in a burst of realization, she stopped looked up to the sky with tears and raindrops mixed on her face, and cried, "I know who I am now! I'm free!"
And it continued to rain.