Author: xxALICE PM
We all wish we could be someone else sometimes. Winner of the NCTE Achievement Award.Rated: Fiction T - English - Fantasy/Supernatural - Words: 1,047 - Published: 10-07-12 - id: 3063701
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Sameen Elahi best 5
Megan draws a circle on my thigh sometimes, to turn me into someone else. Five-inch sugar-dipped nails are gliding into my skin, three hundred and sixty degrees of iron-deficient sangre fading in. Such a perfect circle. Perfect triangles inside a perfect circle. And a perfect moon, inside the most perfect of the perfect triangles.
And they're gone. Healed.
I look up. Head rush! Sometimes, when the problems are bigger than my field of vision and the neurons fire too much, I want to be someone else. Then Megan will give me a circle in which to fall and emerge from before the night is out, and I can go somewhere else, reborn.
Blink, breathe in, breathe out; blink I'm invincible now. I survey my surroundings with new eyes; around me is a room with slate grey floors. Faceless bodies crammed against each other, dancing, and barely visible through the pulsating, colorful lights. Voices barely audible above booming bass, rhythmic synthesized beats. Tangerine, magenta, sunshine yellow. Warmth flows through my veins and the energy is mine, too, and I'm one with this nameless crowd. I belong here.
Among the sea of skins is a pair of eyes, searing through air towards mine. Unblinking and changing in color, I recognize Megan instantly. There she is! Pushing through the bodies proves useless; their feet are obviously glued to the floor. Funny, they were all moving a moment ago. She's staring at me, beckoning. I have to find her. She needs me.
Finally, someone gives, and then someone else. Before I can reach Megan, the crowd has parted and she's gone. Another room. Pale blue tiles beneath me, rod-shaped fluorescent lights above me, walls washed-out green like a sickness. Metal stall doors. Dirty mirrors. This must be the bathroom. Something clangs behind me and I whip around, toxic fear has its fingers wrapped around my neck, choking me momentarily. Megan? Scratched metal cabinet doors are recovering from the movement. Megan isn't here. I can't feel her.
I can hear my shaking breath and the rubber of my boots suction against the damp floor, but nothing else, as I walk towards the sinks. Something smells. Wincing, I lean over the dirty, metallic surface to see a long-dead victim of the food chain in the sink. A squirrel. Knowing what it is, I'm less afraid.
There's more. I shudder and kneel and swing open the door in a single fluid movement. Another animal, this one bitten into and twitching grotesquely. Megan; I can feel her now.
I inhale the death in the air and push my head into the cabinet, peering around. Multicolored eyes are staring at me again, pupils dilated now. Megan is afraid. And I am fearless.
I squeeze into the cabinet. The squirrel's blood is on my face like war paint and I need to catch her. It's the most important thing right now. It's a good thing I'm small because I can run at top speed along the bottom of the cabinets. She's on all fours like an animal but she's not as fast as me, I'm gaining distance on her. Our steps are pattering along the metal like raindrops during monsoon season, I can feel her tail whip my nose and I'm almost there, just reach out and grab it—
And she's gone. Where did she go? Frantically, my eyes scan the metal surface before me and I take in the damp, dirty air in desperation as my precious runner's high depletes.
Wait. The ceiling. Fresh adrenaline pulses through me. There she is: curious, amused. Megan-eyes are taunting me. I'm fast. But I can't fly.
I need to find her, have to have her. She's mine. I am not hers. I'm frustrated and outside now. Regular-sized, regular old me. Never Megan. God, I want to be her. Not someone else, now I need to be her. The air is damp in a clean way out here and I breathe it in like a drug, but nothing will satisfy like being Megan. She's everywhere, and taunting me again. Helplessness is replacing my ebbing anger and I walk towards the pond. A night breeze washes through me and I wrap my arms around myself, taking a seat. This is exhausting. I tear a tuft of grass from the ground and toss it into the pond. Waiting for the sadness to drain, I lean back and pull a daisy out of the ground. Bizarre – it's withered. They're all withered.
In a single moment the trees seem to have shed their leaves. I try to catch my reflection in the pond but it's covered in algae. Life?
I can feel her in the air above the water. It's steaming like hot springs but the surface is placid and I know what needs to be done. On impulse, I step inside and sink straight to the bottom, my boots slipping against loose pebbles on the pond floor. She's here; this is it.
I walk for some time until the water is darker around me. The moonlight can barely penetrate here, and this is Megan's world. Dry fear pulses through me for a moment but I will it away. I need this. I hear her tell me it's coming true, it's all happening. I can be her now.
There she is, face barely visible through a wall of pond-floor foliage. Her eyes are wide like a child and a nervous thread inside me senses something wrong about this. Regardless, I dare to take a few steps forward and brush the seaweed out of her face. A fan of hair floats up around her and her eyes are cold again. Just one color – red, like the circle on my thigh. Deep red. Old blood.
Megan eyes her reflection in the pond's surface. Animal eyes, red-black hair flowing over pale shoulders, nails like knives. Heat pulsates off her body, burning grass beneath her feet. The girl was delicious, so confident, yet so vulnerable. She marched right to her doom. But Megan is still hungry. Leaning down, she pulls a daisy from the ground and bites.
"You're beautiful," she says to herself.
Starving for more, she turns to seek out her next prey.