31 comments

Speculative

Your fingers are bleeding.

The bright red liquid drips from your scars like teeny tiny waterfalls, dripping all the way down to your palms. It’s warm and sticky and familiar. And it hurts.

You loosen your grip on the rope, but it does nothing to ease the pain. Gasping, you wipe each hand on your clothes in turn. 

One.

Right hand.

Two.

Left hand.

You’re wearing white clothing.

It’ll stain

You can hear your mother scolding you in your head. You can see your father shaking his head. You can feel the stares of everyone. Everyone. The sky is dark black like ink and the only word you can see written up there is why written in the smoke like eraser marks in the air. 

You can’t breathe, because the air is getting thin. The walls are getting thick and the world is getting small. But you force yourself to inhale and exhale and repeat, like your mother taught you right when you were born. No one said it’d be this hard, this living thing. It’d be better if they’d have asked you before they took you out as a baby. You would’ve said no and you wouldn’t be here today.

Your leg is burning. 

The knife wound is still not fully healed though it’s beginning to scar. Each climb that brings you closer to the top is agony on your fingers, and each time your feet hit the rope you bite back a scream. Your clothes are ripped and you’re crying and bleeding and you wish you could just yell and let them find you. 

Let them kill you? Pathetic.

Your mother’s voice echoes into your head and you stop moving. Your fingers have numbed and you stare at the top of the rope. Or, towards the top of the rope. It’s too high up to really see the top. Your stomach aches and your heart thumps fast and light. It’s a ticking clock to your death and you want to silence it. 

You drag your toe at the ropes and imagine it’s sand, falling through them. The beach. The water.

At the very thought, you’re reminded of the dryness of your throat. You swallow your spit and choke back more tears as you climb. Tears waste water supply. Tears will kill you faster. 

Tears make you pathetic. 

You are nothing.

Your ankles are sore from the shackles and your eyes do not adjust well as it gets brighter and brighter. Your skin is deathly pale and dry and your stomach is empty. The last thing you ate, the last time you ate….these are things you cannot remember.

Your memory itself is patchy. You can remember darkness. And screaming. 

What you cannot remember, however, is if it was you screaming or someone else. 

Your throat is hoarse and you almost sob as your weak arms manage one more climb. 

Your mother’s voice fills your head again, but this time, it’s good things. Her stories. She wasn’t always mean to you. Harsh. 

There are islands. Far away from here.

That is where you will go. The islands. 

That is where you will try to go. Where you want to go. When was the last time you got something you wanted? When was the last time you tried?

Wind flows by and you shiver, almost falling. It isn't a strong wind, but it doesn’t need to be. Your skin is papery thin, your bones feathery light, your muscles as frail as an old woman’s. You are light as a bird, fragile like glass on the inside and out.

You do not feel sad. Or mad. You feel empty, and you have to remind yourself to keep breathing, to keep going. Each climb kills you and each heartbeat brings you back to life. Nothing that could happen to you could be any worse than what has already happened, so you strangely feel no fear. 

You are not strong. 

Not mentally, and not physically. You cannot fight anymore. You will not fight anymore.

There are so many decisions that have been made for you. How can you learn again to make them for yourself? You are used to being told what to do. You are used to good and bad things being forced upon you. 

You are used to being ignored. 

There are tears on your cheeks and blood on your hands and doubt in your mind. You are cold and hungry and tired and you want to let go of the rope and fall. Fall even if it kills you. Especially if it kills you. 

An eyelash is lodged into your eye and you blink fast, trying to remove it. You cannot remove your fingers from the rope or you will fall. It tickles and you want to take it out with your nails and you want it to stop.

You’ve forgotten the color of your eyes. Brown or green or blue or grey, all the colors are just lost in your mind. You haven’t seen a mirror in days. Weeks. It doesn’t really matter though, does it? They're doing their job and they’re letting you see so it doesn’t matter. They could be the same color as the water but that won’t make your tears stop. They could be the same color as the grass but that won’t give your feet comfort. They could be the same color as the dirt but that wouldn’t make your clothes less dirty. They are what they are and you do not care. You have never cared.

Even when mirrors were allowed. When you looked at yourself. When you saw yourself. It didn’t matter. Because as long as your legs can walk and your hands can hold and your mind can dream, then you’ll be okay.

You climb higher and higher and maybe you’re almost there. Maybe you’ll make it. 

The islands will be so lonely without you.

You have to keep going.

Perhaps your mother was wrong. Perhaps it is not always best to listen. What is it they say, that rules are made to be broken? Like ropes are meant to be climbed and eyes are meant to cry and maybe, maybe, like you are meant for greatness. 

You look up and shield your eyes from the sun. 

You have made it. A laugh falls out of your throat as you land on clouds and finally stop climbing. The blood on your fingers is gone and the tears on your cheeks are dry and around you, the island you have sought. 

March 01, 2021 23:04

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

31 comments

Niveeidha Palani
23:50 Mar 01, 2021

You started so smoothly, describing how painful it was to climb. The title seems a little bleak, but then again, I suck at titles. I usually ask Charles Stucker, for suggestions (lol). Fun read, got me a new phobia! Climbing! (Kidding.)

Reply

Amany Sayed
00:06 Mar 02, 2021

Thanks for reading! ...I have no comment, I actually have NO ideas on titles, so suggestions welcome. Ha!

Reply

Niveeidha Palani
00:22 Mar 02, 2021

My pleasure. :)

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Niveeidha Palani
04:13 Mar 02, 2021

Amany. You're definitely not average. With stories like these? Dang, no. You've got everything wrong. Being a violinist and playing the flute? I don't honestly think one could go wrong with those choices. Everyone is special, for a reason. Maybe you haven't found it yet, but I have. You have amazing talent, you wow everyone with your fun plots. Don't stop writing. ❤️️

Reply

Amany Sayed
15:30 Mar 02, 2021

Aw, Niveeidha, that's all really kind of you to say. Your comments seriously motivate me. <3 I won't!

Reply

Niveeidha Palani
23:47 Mar 02, 2021

Glad to help. 🤗

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
00:31 Mar 02, 2021

wow. w o w that's really all I can say, but i'll try to say more :D the second-person-present-tense thing went really well, and the metaphors described everything so well! the little information you gave us throughout the story made it more mysterious and intriguing to read :) I have a few weird title ideas you could pick if you like (remember, these are *weird* XD): Wishes and Dreams Finally Perseverance (I thought of the rover XD :P) Bleeding Dreams If Only great job! :D ~ Amethyst

Reply

Amany Sayed
00:37 Mar 02, 2021

Thank you so much, Amethyst! I'm glad you liked it. Yay! Y'know, I like Bleeding Dreams. I'll have to sleep on it. thanks!

Reply

01:40 Mar 02, 2021

:D okay!! np!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Dorian Gray 📖
23:46 Mar 01, 2021

OK WOAH. You are definitely deserving of all praise... this was awesomcredimazing!!!!! I read Annabelle's comment and I do respect your omission of commas in some spots, made it kinda Hemingwayesque in a certain respect. As I have stated, I normally HATE second person, but this had a more first person feel to the "you"s which I felt made it amazing for me. That was an incredible feat, congrats. On the other hand, description I think is a good thing when you make it special and like a gem in a mine: amazing one the rare occasions you find som...

Reply

Amany Sayed
00:05 Mar 02, 2021

Lukeeeeeeee, thank you sooo muchhhhhhh. You literally made my day, you have no idea. I'm glad you liked it :) And thank you for the critique as well.

Reply

Dorian Gray 📖
01:33 Mar 02, 2021

Noooooooooo problem!!! I was surprised at how much I loved the POV so imma use that trick of personalizing it in second.

Reply

Amany Sayed
02:28 Mar 02, 2021

Well I'm glad I could open your eyes to more second person!

Reply

Dorian Gray 📖
12:45 Mar 02, 2021

:DDDDDDDDDDD

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Dorian Gray 📖
23:43 Mar 01, 2021

Ok before I read, what is this new second person thing going on??? I'm strongly of the 1st and 3rd... and nOoooooo to fUture tense.... but I'm sure you'll make it shine...

Reply

Show 0 replies
Arwen Dove
22:13 Mar 02, 2021

A great story! I love your writing!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Sarah 🖤💖
01:39 Mar 02, 2021

I- am SHOOKETH. Need I say more?

Reply

Amany Sayed
02:29 Mar 02, 2021

Nope! Thanks for reading ;)

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
23:33 Mar 01, 2021

Ok, this story CERTAINTLY helped with my ongoing depression phase (actually, it's not a phase. It's more of a lifestyle 😀). You used 2nd perspective!!! Nice. I think this is the first 2nd perspective story I've seen on Reedsy, and you pulled it off with style. I loved the descriptions. This story had me at the edge of my seat! Question: Why is the title not capitalized? Was it intentional or not? Annnnnd MINOR ERRORS POLICE, OPEN UP!!! *smashes door* "An eyelash is lodged into your eye and you blink fast trying to remove it." --> "[.....

Reply

23:33 Mar 01, 2021

Jeez, this comment is long 😂

Reply

Amany Sayed
00:07 Mar 02, 2021

Happy to help. Hope it gets better :) Lol, it's all good! Thank you so much! and thanks for the edits. The title is on purpose, yes, I like to decapitalize the titles of stories that are more emotional/poetic.

Reply

00:21 Mar 02, 2021

:) Yw!! Ok, that's good to know.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Jakin Files
13:15 Mar 12, 2021

This was so good. I love these kind of stories. And your style of writing is like none other. Keep it up! :)

Reply

Show 0 replies
Willow Byrd
13:17 Mar 04, 2021

Oh gosh, Amany. Where to begin? You totally pulled off the 2nd person bit, ( which is something I could never do) The fact that you didn't feel the need to drag the reader back into the past and explain who "they" were that were trying to kill the narrator made what was happening right in the present that much more powerful. Seriously, this is a-m-a-z-i-n-g!! I have a new story out that I'd love your feedback on if you have the time!

Reply

Amany Sayed
19:38 Mar 20, 2021

Never say never! Thank you Helen!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
20:44 Mar 03, 2021

Wow beautiful!!! The second person was great too! Surprising you wrote it without switching it back! The descriptions were super realistic and the ending was...frightening did he just die? And go to heaven? Thats how I interpreted it lol. But this was sooo good! Keep writinggg!!!

Reply

Amany Sayed
19:38 Mar 20, 2021

Thank you <3 Haha, thanks! That is what I meant it as, but I left it for interpretation. Thank you so much, I will!

Reply

00:11 Mar 21, 2021

Of course!!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Cam Croz
19:40 Mar 18, 2021

❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME A...

Reply

Show 0 replies
Cam Croz
16:25 Mar 09, 2021

WOOWOWOWOWOOWW! amazing amazing write! You handled second person so WELL!!! I got chills reading this, you did amazing potraying different emotions with the writing style as well!

Reply

Amany Sayed
19:37 Mar 20, 2021

Thank you so much! :D

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply