She heard the screams before she realised: it was her own throat producing them. Instead her mind was firmly fixed on the heat, and the rope, and the searing pain behind her eyeballs as her flesh melted into the hemp. Closing her eyes tightly to block out the acrid smoke, she tried to gather her last bit of energy in a struggle to get free. The flames licking at her heels were no longer the biggest threat, if she couldn’t get her wrists free from the knots, she knew it was game over. She had always been a fighter but failure seemed inevitable.
He knew this as he threw the lighter into the carefully prepared bonfire, she had set his heart aflame and then torn away any hope he had for the future. He said he would return the favour as he said his goodbyes.
I’m not OK
Not within the weeping of trees,
Or inside wailing caverns,
Nor whilst walking home,
on a Saturday night
after the fight we had under the opaque moon.
I’m not OK in the vast open spaces,
When I come to the end of my time
as a host, as a lover,
as a child,
as a friend.
I’m not OK
in my forced role of parent, or therapist.
Nor am I a sturdy shoulder,
a prop, a raft: left to hold others afloat.
After the day is through and the walls become silent
Hours left to my own devices,
my own thoughts, feelings even
Here – I’m not OK.
You cannot see,
yet in me lies a detonator
waiting for sanity to finally give in.
Silently mocking – willing me to explode
so that every bit of me is opened up to scrutiny,
for both you and me.
And only then,
when my body is wiped from the walls,
and scarlet pools around their shoes
will they claim –
The charred remains of a hollowed out corpse. He looked down in bewilderment, eyes wide and frantic and he turned to see the empty auditorium.
I watched him in the dim light, his face awash with confusion. I almost felt sorry for him as he sunk to his knees and placed his head in his hands……almost.
If I hold my breath and strain my ears I can just about hear the low sobs. The slow gulps of realisation catching in his throat, the raspy whisper of his voice repeatedly stating ‘what have I done, what have I done’. Like a mantra he repeats this to himself, rocking back and forth as if this will somehow force him to regain his memory. Clearly this is not going to work for him, I chuckle to myself as I push up the lever.
With a click and a whirring the spotlight hits the stage highlighting the mutilated corpse and forcing him to spring to his feet.
“Who is it? Who’s there?”
His face drained of colour as he frantically looked around. Searching for an answer, searching for the spotlight’s operator…searching for me
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