Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Prompt: Falling up

Thanks to Mukti Echwantono for permission to use his hauntingly beautiful photograph, "another dream"!

Kezhuan’s long, black hair hung in a curtain, or a cloud, in front of her face. Looking down past it, she watched her feet walking, moving one after the other from under the simple, white gown she didn’t recognize. Each step on a rubber mat, shaped like puzzle pieces, fit together across the ground as far as she could see. Which wasn’t far, under her hair. She swept it up and away from her face, and felt the water flow past her arm. She took a deep breath and felt it fill her lungs. Already full, none of the panic of that first drowning breath. Dreaming then. Or was this the reality? She didn’t know any more.

She could see nothing in the water, besides the puzzle floor. It was dark, but clear. She thought in light she would see forever. But up, up she could see lights dancing. Small, bright white, bobbing, floating, spinning. On the surface of the water, or above it? Close, or too far away to reach? Stars? She thought about the word, but could not remember what it meant. Small white lights, perhaps.

Stretching her arms wide, Kezhuan stopped walking and let herself float. Her face drew toward the surface, the lights, as if drawn by them. Her body stretched toward the puzzle floor, her toes pointed as if they could stretch a little farther and still touch. Her heart beat faster. Her lungs felt full. Full of water, longing for air, clean, cold, fresh air. A moment of panic, chaos. She closed her eyes and felt the water’s embrace. Safe.

What lay beyond? She knew she knew, but didn’t know. Could she breathe the air when her lungs were full of water? Too late for caution, she rose to the surface and her face pushed against the thin layer of water-and-air that held them apart. Head hanging back, hair pulling down. Go back, go deep, go safe. Her whole body yearned for the water. But her spirit longed for the air. She opened her mouth and breathed…

Dogs in house
Houdini, Brindle

Time writing
~20 minutes

December word count

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