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Mystery Drama

She loves the sound of her heels on pavement. Each confident stride echoes a steady staccato of reassurance and repeated mottos to convince her that her life, like her shoes, are great.

Click clack.

My heels match my dress and purse-

Clack click.

-which I bought with my own money and-

Click clack.

-money I earned and didn’t get from him-

Clack click.

-because I don’t live with him anymore and I have seized control of my life from his clutches and-

She shakes herself from her thoughts, re-pasting her smile onto her face and continues striding down the street in the gorgeous red strappy heels that she’d once seen on her hands. Not the heels, the colour. She glances down quickly to inspect her nails, her eyes growing wide behind her large sunglasses as she watches the red trickle from her nails down her hands all over her arms and onto the pavement.

Without missing a beat, she wipes the red onto her dress, grateful for the colour coordination today. She pretends she doesn’t notice that the red from her hands doesn’t quite match the red of her dress. It’s dark and sticky. Not a foreign concept for her.

As she struts, she ignores the feeling of the red from her hands weighing down the fabric of her skirt that had been previously light and flowy - perfect for this lovely summer day. It now hugs her legs and torso, drenched with a sickening dark red. She flips her dark curls over her shoulder, desperate to cool the heated skin on her exposed back. Thank God her dress today is a spaghetti strap. A gorgeous floral red dress, that matches her equally gorgeous red heels. 

 Click clack click clack-

She focuses on the sound, her eyes not matching the sweet smile frozen on her cherry painted lips. Behind the sunglasses, her vision is starting to blur. She pretends that she isn’t seeing her hands held out in front of her, with a red that wasn’t quite from her nail polish - it would take a lot more red for it to spill out of a broken neck and onto the floor.

Click clack click clack. Click Clack. 

She stops at the corner of the street, waiting for the pedestrian light to turn green. Her favourite bakery is just across, and she decides to treat herself to a chocolate croissant. Her errands could wait. 

Until she sees him waving at her across the street. The red starts gushing, slowly creeping towards him. He is supposed to be dead. The red reaches his feet and soaks his white sneakers. He is supposed to be dead. The red slithers up his body and stains his smile as he continues to wave. He is supposed to be dead. The red curls around his neck and splits the skin. 

She adjusts the tote bag on her shoulder, red marks on her skin from where the straps are digging in. The weight of her laptop and planner lightly bump against her hip as she sways ever so slightly, the world fading as her vision zones in on the man who is not dead and is waving at her across the street.. The weight is calming. It is the weight of a thick binder holding her planner together, the pages layered with post it notes and business cards and important documents. The weight of her laptop and charger which she could never leave home without. The weight of security that wherever she went, she would always have tools to keep her life tangibly in control. 

The sharp pain of the strap of her bag digging into her shoulder, much like the sound of her heels on pavement, brings her power and security. After all, if she can feel it and hear it, it must be real. Not like her red soaked dress and hands - those aren’t real. 

Pain is real. Sounds are real. 

He jogs over to her and gives her a quick hug. He is real. He is not dead. He is real. 

“It’s been so long since I saw you!” he gushes. “How’ve you been? It’s like you disappeared, you know?”

Her mouth moves in reply with automatic responses, practiced lies. Lies that were supposed to be about him but he is real and he is here and he is not dead. Her body is on autopilot, smiling and laughing and responding to this not-dead person’s questions. 

And she finally asks.

“Where’ve you been?” Her heart is pounding. “I haven’t seen you since…”

He blushes and laughs nervously. “Yeah well.. That was definitely a party, huh?”

She nods and forces a laugh. “Can’t believe we did that!”

Gasp.

Pant.

Moan.

Grip.

Grip.

Squeeze.

Tear. 

Red.

Gasp.

Grip.

Squeeze.

Scream.

Red.

Red.

Red.

“Yeah, I didn’t think you were that kind of girl,” he continues. “That was some grip you had on me!”

Blood drains from her face, but she keeps the perfect cherry smile on her lips. “I didn’t hurt you did I?’

“I mean, I was more upset  that you never really got back to me after that, like that wasn’t something . You ghosted me remember?”

She let out a squeak. Ghosted. But he was very much not dead. 

“Yeah, that’s my bad. Wasn’t feeling that great, went through some stuff.”

Of course by some stuff she meant locking herself in her room for 4 days because her husband was outside the door threatening to kill her. Those were red days too. 

“I know you were with Tommy that time,” he begins, looking guilty. “Did he ever…?”

The images are now whizzing through her brain.

Red. 

Smash. 

Scratch. 

Scream. 

Bang. 

Red. 

Red.

Red.

“It doesn’t matter. I left him.”

He nods understandingly, and sighs. “Well, I’m sorry if I contributed to that.”

Red. Smash. Scratch. Scream. Bang. Red. Red. Red.

“No it’s okay, it needed to happen,” she reassures him.

“Hey if you’re ever free sometime, hit me up alright?”

She nods enthusiastically, returning his hug. 

Grip squeeze grip gasp tear red squeeze tear red red redredred-

They part ways, and she finally crosses the street. The red is now sloshing and splashing at her feet, streaming in from all directions as he walks away.

See you soon, not-dead person.

By the time she reaches her croissant place, she is gasping for air as the red rises and closes over her head.

July 31, 2020 07:49

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2 comments

Jade Young
11:34 Jul 31, 2020

I'm so glad I'm the first person to like and comment on such an amazing story :D All I have to say is WOW! I love the descriptions in this story. You painted very vivid imagery for me. I could easily put myself in her shoes and her past. I could feel my heart racing at the effective use of short sentences, especially "He is supposed to be dead" and "He is not dead. He is real". Very well written ;)

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Jamie Limbaga
14:16 Jul 31, 2020

Thank you so much for your kind words and I'm glad the imagery got to you! I wanted to make it as vivid and graphic as possible without outright disgusting the reader with all the metaphors for blood haha I'm so happy you enjoyed this!

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