When she breathes, she lives. Her hair almost white from the glow of the lights outside her window where she likes to sit and remember, remember the feel of grass against her cheek.

So close. So close she could almost taste it on her tongue and for a moment, just a moment, she wonders why she never did before shaking away the insanity and sitting back into the cold of her chair.

"How are we doing today?" The woman asks as she leans down in front of her; won't look into her eyes anymore.

She doesn't know why but sometimes she has to fight back the urge to grab the person behind that cheerful voice and shake her, scream at her. Or she knows quite well through the rage why she does. She feels imprisoned here. A dog too wounded to fight back when it would fight the most; cornered.

How do you think! She wants to shout. But she's just too tired these days and her eyes fall into the glass again where they're swallowed and drown.

She closes them, tunes the enthusiastic small talk out. She doesn't want to hear it and doesn't know, or cares to know, why.

When the glass of water is held to her she jerks her hand out with as much strength as she can, hate swelling up in those eyes, only to be knocked lightly aside by stronger ones. And she has to wonder why everything is betraying her. These are her limbs that are stiff and lifeless.

"Now now…" The lady starts up her banter once again.

Like background music, or the simple melodies she remembers dancing to as a teen. Her legs would carry her anywhere then, up stairs and through fields and they'd run, they'd fly. Not sit lifeless under her like wooden planks tied to her for show.

She wonders how ironic it is to know that through all her life she had kept her faith. But now, given the time to sit and reflect everything it would abandon her, make her vengeful even; now when she was hardly full of life to live.

And some days she wakes up so impatient. Like a woman close to bringing a child into the world. Will this be the day I no longer am waiting? But her intentions for the thought are not as beautiful at all. She wishes to take life, not give.

And sometimes she's fearful of that as she stirs from sleep, but more and more these days it's an ache, a need. Please let me out of here, she begs.

She wonders what she did to deserve this, what sin did she commit to have made some God this unhappy. But then she remembers she gave up on gods. The thought still swings there calmly back and forth. Like the swing in a grandfather clock moving time forward, unseen but never stopping.

And she knows when she opens her eyes; when she breathes –she lives.

I wrote this for College Writing last semester as a short story. It had to be five hundred words or less and I think I wouldn't have liked this as much as I do if I hadn't been forced to only keep the barest and most important words.

Hope you like it.