She grazed through a patch of lavender fields, disoriented and lost. She reached out to grab one of the purple sprouts, only to have it cut through her palm like a shard of glass. Blood dripped down her arm, almost reaching the sleeve of her sky blue top. A singular thread dangled from the sleeve, effectively dying it in the shade of her blood. As she stepped forth, trying her best to be the strongest woman she knew how to be, she put all her fears in the back of her mind. She wasn’t afforded the luxury of being the scared little girl she had always been up to this point.
The sunset matched the golden bands of wheat that gently strangled the lavender. She counted each step as a way to keep her mind off of the situation she found herself stuck in. One – I’m stronger than this. Two – I can do this. Three – Fuck, no I can’t.
She plopped down on of a patch of dirt in between rows of flowers. Fighting back tears, she let out a harrowing scream that scratched and clawed its way from the depths of her soul. She had no clue why she was here, but she felt that if she trekked on far enough, the answers would reveal themselves. Her denim jeans were stained with blotches of dirt all over both sides of the legs. She attempted to rub the patches out but only ended up making it worse, much like everything else she had experienced in life.
Being your own worst enemy had a way of making you confront your demons even that much harder. It was never an easy thing to accept that you were the one wearing the horns the whole time. A part of her was tempted to feel around her skull for anything protruding, but laughed off that ridiculous notion. She laughed more, mainly because she didn’t know what she found so damn funny. She was in a strange place, one she’d never been before, surrounded by nothing by purple flowers and golden skies. She was lost in the most gorgeous place she could ever dream of, but the powerful seed of dread continued to grow inside of her.
For most people, this would be all you could ever ask for. There was no pressure, no expectations, no stress. Free from it all. Just blissful paradise, more than she ever felt she deserved. Maybe that was the problem. She felt undeserving, and didn’t know how to get away from it. She’d been to many places like this one, but not one quite as perfect as this. A part of her never wanted to leave it, but a bigger part knew it was only a matter of time before it ended up a decayed and dying patch of what once was.
Maybe there was something she could do to prevent it. As she stood up, she heard the tune of a mockingbird in a nearby bushel of lavender. Her sense of direction told her to go northeast, and she did just that. Walking forward, now stepping to the cadence of the song rather than positive thoughts she didn’t believe, she approached the bird. Instead of sitting on a bush or a nearby tree, she saw it singing from inside of a cage on the ground, to the left a wooden bench. The bench was under a tree, shrouded by shadows. The arms of the tree extended far past the bench, giving an extra three to five feet of shade.
As she made her way over to the cage, the bird stopped singing, and dropped dead where it stood. She gasped and took a few steps back, horrified at what she had just witnessed. She kept repeating to herself, “I didn’t do anything, I didn’t do anything,” and as she finished it repeating it a third time, a man in a straw hat touched her shoulder from behind.
“That’s not why.”
She gasped and woke up, staring at her ceiling fan spin on low speed. The first thing she did was wipe the cold sweats from her forehead, and reach for her phone on the end table on the left of her. One good morning text and a few notifications she could focus on later. She threw the blanket off of her and tossed the phone on the bed beside her.
She laid there still for a moment, taking it all in. The nights before, everything leading up to it, and everything that would come of it.
She breathed it in, like rain.
As she walked towards her ceiling to floor curtains, set pushed them aside to take a look at the city five stories below. The sea of both machinery and humanity complimented each other quite well on this morning, and she didn’t put her finger on why. She didn’t have anything against technology per se, but recognized that we were heading to a dangerous place, as a society. Our reliance on it was only removing us further from nature, which was an integral part of being human.
She slammed the curtains shut and climbed into the shower one room away. As the water sprayed across her, she titled her head back to soak her hair that now looked more brown than blonde. After washing and scrubbing every inch of her, she stepped over the top of the bathtub and onto the placemat directly below. The steam in the room prevented her from getting a true reflection of her, but she was more than ok with this. That was sometimes too much for her to endure, especially on days like today.
She reached for her short sleeved sky blue top and put it on. As she looked down at her sleeve, she noticed a singular thread, dyed in the shade of her blood. Her mind and heart both began racing like a racetrack in the deep summer, forcing her to relive what she had just woken up from.
Grabbing her purse and phone at once, she stormed out the door and rushed towards the elevator. She mashed away at the button to summon it to the fifth floor. After three or four attempts, she hastily decided that it was taking too long. Her panic attack was too strong to wait for this damn thing. She raced towards the stairs and flew down them, faster than she had ever run in her life.
Eventually she reached the exit door and swung it open, almost blinded by the extreme sunlight. She shut the door for a moment to allow her eyes to readjust to what she’d be stepping out into. After doing so, she heard the common place pitches from street vendors all over the sidewalks. One man across the street caught her eye in particular.
An elderly Native American man sitting at wooden table, silently. He wasn’t screaming or gesturing for anyone to buy his products, which made her even more interested. He must be confident in whatever it was he was pushing. After waiting for traffic to slow enough for her to cross, she walked up to his stand to check it out.
He was selling authentic Native American dreamcatchers and sweaters for the fall season. He looked at her in the eyes for a second, and took a deep breath before kicking his chair back and standing. He bent over the table and reached for a royal purple dreamcatcher. He held it up to her.
“You take this. Free of charge. You take this and go. Finish what you started.”
She looked on with ‘confused’ written on her face, not knowing what to make of it. Who was this man and what did he know? How did he know? She extended her hand and took it at once, rushing back to her apartment. As she walked in, the elevator was waiting for her, doors open and inviting. She stepped inside and pushed the fifth floor button and took the ride up with no stops in between.
As she walked into her apartment, she noticed that everything was different and rearranged. Her bare walls were now covered with floral wallpaper. She wanted to be offended, or maybe even freaked out by whoever did this’ lack of respect to her privacy, but she loved it too much. As she walked up to feel it, take in some of the texture, she looked down at her dining room table to see a postcard from Oregon that merely read the words, “finish it.”
It wasn’t signed, nor did it have a return address. She couldn’t recognize the hand writing either. Next to the postcard rested two singular white oval shaped pills. She picked them up and examined them, and took a stroll to her liquor cabinet. Once she pulled out the bottle of vodka, she placed it on the counter and reached for a cup from her shelf above.
She sat in a chair after bringing both the alcohol and the glass with her, and began pounding the pills to dust. Once they were powder, she cupped her hand and slid them into the glass, followed by half a cup of vodka and drank it straight until she passed out right where she sat.
She grazed through a patch of lavender fields, disoriented and lost. She reached out to grab one of the purple sprouts, only to have it cut through her palm like a shard of glass. Blood dripped down her arm, almost reaching the sleeve of her sky blue top. A singular thread dangled from the sleeve, effectively dying it in the shade of her blood. As she stepped forth, trying her best to be the strongest woman she knew how to be, she put all her fears in the back of her mind. She wasn’t afforded the luxury of being the scared little girl she had always been up to this point…