Lightning flashes in the hospital window. The sign it will happen tonight.
They bring a capsule that you tongue against your gums to keep it dry as you suck water through a straw. Alone in the dark, you hide it with the others. Without the capsule you can dream.
His shoulder brushes yours in the motel lounge. The swimming pool sparkles without end. He climbs on the bar and executes an elegant dive. You follow, butterflying in the blue water. As you reach for him, he turns on you with a demon grin. You spin away from him, cocooned in water, unable to call his name.
You perch on a rock overlooking the sea, emblematic, like a woman on a vodka label, smearing your breasts with lipstick. And shriek with joy, knowing he will come.
You drink with him in smiling communion. The goblets, the table, everything is made of glass. Shattered by his laughter, it cuts you to pieces. You kneel on the hotel bed. The mattress is a shallow bowl brimming with lotions and cosmetics mixed in a lurid soup. You plunge in the bowl and begin to swim and then realize you’re covered in blood. Even in sleep you feel it, sticky on your skin.
You crushed his skull with a lamp, they say. In your rage you smashed his face to pulp. They say you had a motive, as if you understood what that is. But you’re not guilty, only broken.
You tremble between sheets that nothing can soil or soften, that contain all kinds of suffering and death. The time has come. No more dreams, no more storms, no more addictions or pride. While the nurse works her Sudoku and the stomach pump stands helpless, you’ll swallow the capsules and set yourself free.
“Lorelei” is my entry in Cherie Reich’s 2nd Annual Flash Fiction Blogfest. To read the other entries, please click here.