No One Lives Here Anymore

Elizabeth Elin, C’23

The smell of skinned tree trunk bitter around me, I feel hands, loved and yet now livid, on my hair, hands on my heart. The mud squishes and seeps into my face. Is it mud? My mind is full and I do not know. Soil or blood? It runs down my face, down my back, down my leg, down the driveway. My hand is too far from my heart. I cannot pull the knife out; my arm does not reach. Then my fingers tremble and lie still.

The machines, annoyingly, are still alive. Beep, beep. Beep beep beep. Beeeep. They rush into the room and all I see is a spinning blur of white. There are hands all over me, pressing, pushing. I chokingly turn away, their hands crawling over me like blades of grass. I am transported to the mud. It drowns and it liberates. I’m flying, my wings caked with blood, no longer lying facedown in the eerie night. The strange sensation shakes me and now they’re gripping my shoulder bones, pulling me back to the reality I don’t understand. The hiss of skin, my flesh crying at the injection. The pain is familiar but again I can’t pull it out. Get it out of me, stop stabbing at me, don’t kill me. There are screams radiating down the hall. It’s funny how the voice sounds so similar to mine, even though they always said I was “unique.”

They ask me my name, my birthday, my address, anything, but I don’t know. I hear the noise of the machines dim and suddenly their coats go dark. Then I hear a detached voice, far away and in my ear. It is quiet now, the screams restrained. The cry is guttural, hoarse, reverberating off the cold tile.

“Leave me alone.”

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