Meeting Myself

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Gritty fluorescent lights coated me as I was escorted down cement halls that coughed out humid puffs. Face to face with my counterpart, hunched over on her slab of a bench. She darted her eyes toward me as soon as my boots landed in front of her cell. I stared back at myself, a chill coated my spine. She let out a blood-curdling scream and began to rattle the bars. Her feeble hands grew tired swiftly and she sank to the ground. She crawled back and forth along the ground’s edge, laughing, as goosebumps rose on my skin. “What happened to you?” I let out with a shake. “You mean, what happened to you?” She smiled, revealing blackened teeth. Each act I committed when the moon cheered and the sun looked away slapped me across the face; the cement memories leaving my cheeks coated in a shade of blush that didn’t suit my skin tone.  She winked at me. “I whittled away the filth from my bones. I have a dulled pocket knife if you’d like to do the same.” She hurled her head back and instead of letting out a laugh, black mold grew.  “This is who you are,” she sang over and over again. She began to skip in circles to her melody. Her gums bled and I poured out of her. The beat of fear whistled in my ears. I sprinted, as fast as my body would let me. Eons away. She was a caged raven. I would emerge as a dove, even if my wings needed patched. 
 
I turned to look back
and it was I 
who stowed in the cage.

This flash fiction piece was published in Coin Operated Press' Hallozine Part 2.

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