It was gone. She had ended it.

She was walking away from a house. It was not any particular house, just a house from which she was walking away. In front of her was a shallow dip in the ground where the rain was gathering, behind her receding into the distance, was a lawn and some perfectly groomed bushes. She was wearing tennis shoes, pink and purple, or they would have been, if they had not been covered in mud. Not a normal mud, a dark, almost black mud, the kind that sticks to everything, and looks solid before you step into it. She had been running, and she had thought just that, it was solid ground, now she was covered from her feet to her knees and on the undersides of her forearms from catching herself, and in her curly brown hair, and the tip of her nose and chin.

She was walking away from the house. The rain-filled puddle was getting closer and the lawn and the perfect bushes farther away. She did not mind the mud much, it was washing off in small trails of water left from the rain that dripped off her hair and the trees around her. She felt calm watching the intricate patterns crossing over her legs and listening to the soft crunch of the gravel under her feet. She did not feel the burning in her calves from running, all she felt was cool drips of water on her body.

She did not mind the mud. It was washing away, at least, the physical reminder of what had just happened. A memory forever trapped in her mind. A memory she had just stopped running from, but not because she had wanted to stop, but because she had fallen into the mud. The mud, the dark, sticky mud. She thought the mud might be a perfect place to hide the evidence that linked her to what had just happened. In the summer the mud turned hard and dried, leaving cracks along the surface. Nobody would think to dig there.

Had she really gone through with it… She flexed her long, thin fingers brining one hand up to her mouth to dig out the dirt from under her fingernails with her teeth. She decided that she had. She could still clearly see the red on her hands if she looked closely, just around the cuticles and in-between the small triangles and squares her skin made on the back of her hand. She could still taste the salty flavor in her mouth and wondered if it would ever go away completely.

Her rhythmic step was thrown off suddenly by the splash of her right foot in the puddle rather than the level gravel. Her thoughts were interrupted and she began talking out loud. She asked if it would ever stop raining because the mud was starting to itch, but she did not want to wipe it off. She feared that if she saw her bare hands again she would lose the little control she had over herself now. The images were burned into her eyes. She felt like she would always see a ghost of those pictures wherever she went and wherever she looked. Her current path was unsure. She felt light despite the weight of the mud. Her burden was gone, after having carried it for so long. It was gone. She had ended it.

One thought on “It was gone. She had ended it.

  1. Maggie Brookes says:

    This is great because I thought I had lost this file and I just today happened upon it on a computer I never remember using but apparently did quite often for a year or two. This piece specifically is in the style of Tim O’Brien after reading “The Things They Carried.”
    I’m so excited that I found it finally. Actually it was the fact that I thought I lost this piece that inspired me to start saving my work on a blog and thus Intranimation was born. Say hello to the beginning of my online presence.

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