“Up to Our Ankles”
By Vanessa Reed
aka Eve Brigid, psd.
It was hot.
She was wet.
Everything was wet.
Huddling harder into herself,
Soggy chest pressing against hard bone.
It never stopped raining anymore.
“This is as bad as it gets”
The voice of her father.
It was a year now.
An orphan to The Storms.
A lot of people died.
Trying not to think about it.
All she thought was how wet she was.
Seemed like it’s always been this way.
In a world where the sky won’t stop.
“Adapt or die:”
The need for fire.
But fire is hard when everything is wet.
The roof is gone so the rain gets in anyway.
A constant mist except when it rained even harder,
Pelting your jacket like rocks,
As if it was mad at you somehow.
Voices rose up all around her.
Most of the planet dead.
Swirling energies in a dark place.
Hard to exhale.
All that was left was the living and the dead and the living outnumbered.
Looking up at the shredded ceiling,
She lets the mist hit her face,
Almost in defiance.
When you’re stuck living with something you hate,
You find a way to love it.
Part of what she carried.
Too wet to be of any use.
Gathering it up anyway,
Carrying it all in her arms.
Yellow rain slicker coming apart at the hood;
The need for stitches.
But all the wood too wet to burn now.
The planet found a way.
Protecting itself even from us.
The hostility of the constant rain.
Trying to stop the onslaught.
This new world.
The ice storms were worse;
Frozen water falling like daggers from the sky.
The Storms wouldn’t stop;
The water just kept coming.
Just a kid went it started.
No one knew why.
The doctors got sick.
The nurses stopped showing up.
Then everybody just stopped showing up everywhere.
It used to be just hurricane season.
Each year it was worse and worse.
Then it was just all the time.
The weather had shifted.
No one knew why.
The Storms became a cancer.
The skies unleashed itself.
And now the world was over;
You have to watch
Or the broken road
Will trip you up;
You’ll pitch forward and fall.
Another sad little strip of town.
And now a final dream in the dark forest.
The air thick and heavy.
Trying to move like being underwater.
A strange voice in the wind.
It called to her.
She walked barefoot,
The ground beneath her covered with dead butterflies,
All wasted radiance beneath her feet.
They crunched as she walked.
A voice called again.
The smell of deep, rich soil.
A woman with eyes made of black oil grease,
Covered in dirt,
Packed onto her body,
Made of solid earth.
Long hair dark as a raven,
Teeth of pearl.
Her tears making oil streaks down her cheeks.
And then the woman with oil for eyes pointed her long arm up toward the skies,
All at once,
The skies fell down on them both.
Find out more about Vanessa Reed here.
Categories: Short Stories