My nerves throb. They thrum like live wires and it hurts so badly. I can’t hold back a scream, but it’s locked in my chest and it sits there burning. I don’t know who I am, or where I am, but I know my limbs don’t move and I can’t breathe. I’ve been trying to wiggle my fingers and toes and they just don’t move. The air feels warm on my face, balmy as a tropical night, like those long nights in Havana and the breeze is light and just as tasty.
Why is the ground shaking? Or is it me?
Then, I remember. I know where I am and who I am. My name is Delphine and I was ice fishing with my friends on Lake Redbone just outside of town. The party was drunk and the music was fine. I remember Vetta and Jenny sharing a bottle and a kiss, and Vetta tipping me a wink and a nod towards Yancy, my date. I remember how his eyes were a place I wanted to stay. We met last week at the Marché Terra reaching for the mangos. On a whim I invited him and he agreed, to my surprise as he seemed so very much the indoor type.
My heart beats slow enough that I feel myself dying and then it palpitates painfully, thrusting a heavy thread of fear into my mind and an icepick between my ribs. Jesus what the hell…
I recall falling onto the ice. The winter sunsets are dazzling and I sat lost in Mother Natures display, unaware of much more than the music and the drunken laughter from my fellow revellers. Yancy had come behind me and placed his hand my hip and his chin on my shoulder. I was so glad to have him there, close and warm and with the sky on fire it was – it was the perfect romantic moment that I had been seriously lacking. I could have fallen.
But I fell. First onto the ice, then into the large auger hole that we had been fishing out of earlier in the day and sank like a stone in that down parka he had insisted buy and wear. “It will be cold and it will hardly go to waste. Come on, spoil yourself a little Sara.” I gave in, knowing that he was likely right and still the price tag caused me to feel sorry for my bank account. I bought it though, just to see the delighted smile on his beautiful lips.
My lungs burn. They burned, some undying molten flame that grew hotter as it died, as I shrugged out of the jacket and used what little strength I had to swim for the hole. In the dying light, his face looked like heaven as he leaned down and held his hand out to pull me up with an anxious expression and a short glance around. I couldn’t reach him; the water was too heavy and it weighed me down and then my lungs failed. I remember kicking as hard as I could and felt my muscles in my thighs buckle. Then, the small bit of air of been holding onto in desperation bubbled out when I screamed his name.
The world went nightmarish black and daemons danced the Yangon Swing while Mephistopheles himself jerked off above them. The dancers screamed like it was confetti on New Years Eve when he groaned and sprayed molten semen into the crowd. Never once did I dream I would find myself in Hell; I wanted out but there was nowhere to run and nowhere not coated in fiery ejaculate. And then it was light and I still couldn’t breathe or see or move, but it was warm like comfort and then it was fire again.
Blood; it barely flowing as my heart pounds harder in my chest, in my ears. Struggling to thaw the slush in my veins. Cold. I’m so cold that my lips are frozen together and I’m unable to part them, shriek for help or even to whisper his name when Yancy appears above me.
My breath is a thin stream of vapour that hardly even colours the air under my nose and I am watching with growing despair. There is no strength in my body with the elephant perched on my chest. Afraid. I’m so afraid and – Where am I? Why can’t I move? Why isn’t he helping me?
A low humming, flies on a postulating corpse kind of sound, and the air explodes with voices and emotional distress; loud, louder, loudest. Movement and Yancy disappears behind familiar faces and starry skies. Implosion. The elephantine pressure on my chest blows apart and I can breathe again. It is agonizing. It is bliss. There has never been a taste sweeter than oxygen and I drink as deeply as my muscles will allow.
Yancy, He is back, hovering, watching me, lowering his head in sorrow. In laughter? In some sort of dramatic fit it seems and he quickly glances around as each teardrop falls from his eyes onto my frozen face. No…no stop it! I moved! I’m alive. I’m here.
Why won’t he help me? Dead men don’t speak, I know, but I’m not dead. I’m alive and he knows it. I twitch my hand, its such a effort and his eyes narrow, the false sorrow on his face faltering. This time I jerk the old fuck finger with my Swarovski crystal skull ring on it and his eyes narrow further. Again. A smile that never reaches his eyes scorches my hope to cinders.
You know I’m here you son of a bitch god please no god please don’t put me back in the dark I don’t want to go back there again. “You didn’t give me the chance to love you,” I breathe, watching the vapour from my slow thawing lips mist the air. The sweetness turns bitter and the chilly smile just widens further, exposing jagged, rotted teeth that meshes all too well with the sound of the zipper breaks the sudden silence. It masks the sound of his whisper as his face disappears….