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She stood up and turned to look at where she had fallen. A line had been drawn around her body in the time between the blow that knocked her down and the shock that pulled her up. No one else was there. You’d have thought someone would have stayed, but she stood in a space that was something like silence, pushing against a gravelling hum some distance off.

She was in a rough clearing with a bushy forest at her back. She could see the city far away and did not know how she came to be out of it; how did she cross the highway, or even get up the drop between her and the bank of lights marking its shape?

Her memory was sluggish, she dragged up the sensation of her hand squeezed tight ‘round a rock, and some rush of light close to her face, a noise beating with it. There was no more than that. Except, maybe a movement of flesh, loving skin: a man, and there a women. She shook her head: this was not a memory she felt she wanted.

It was time to go back. She’d got there, so it was possible, and she made to begin but stopped, aware suddenly of sharp pains in her arms. She twisted them up and saw two lines sliced into each, halfway between the elbow and wrist. These, the quick rushed back, marked a story out. They were open and she licked them without thinking, tasting the iron of her blood and making them clean.

She walked for three days and finally crossed the edge of the city, back from the dead, back from where she had been left, ready to start again. She did not expect, as she turned through the streets, strangely unfamiliar, the small posters on doors and lampposts with her face shown on them and ‘missing’ scrawled beneath. The posters were everywhere and she followed them on. Each had a different image but not one she remembered. He hadn’t dared to take the photos, of course, but kept them imprinted: these were the moments he remembered and he tore them from his brain, pasting each onto to blank paper, scrawling the word and posting it up.

She found him under a bridge; the one where once they had danced: you ought not to have left me like that, she said. And he, wet eyed, waved his arm at the posters and had nothing to say. They fell down after the dropped pages and pens, lay together tangled and squeezing and scared to let go. His arms, she saw, bore her same bloody lines, but marked a different path that ended here, in the same place.

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Written by elikafm

February 4, 2011 at 10:51 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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