I woke splayed awkwardly on a thin membrane that stretched as far as my eye could see. Disoriented at first, I realized there was no sound in this new place. I screamed; nothing echoed back to me, nothing but the sound within my own head. I stood and realized I was tethered to something, but I couldn’t see what. A rope protruded from my midsection. When I grasped it, I felt an overwhelming pain; it was slick and streaked my hand with filth. Quickly, I released it.
I began to walk on unsteady legs; the tether seemed endless and I walked for hours. The membrane beneath my naked feet bounced in concert with each step I took. There was a strange tangerine light here, one that shone brighter on the horizon. I traveled toward it, but it seemed the further I walked, the further away it continually became. My foot hooked on something and I stumbled. Looking down, I saw an arm. Startled, I fell backwards and landed with a soft pwoof on the surface – the first sound I’d heard since I’d arrived. Looking around me, I could see the membrane was littered with debris, most of it human offal and limbs. How did I not see any of this before? How had I wandered unhindered for so long without stumbling until now?
I knelt, wobbling as I did so, on the taut surface. I inspected the arm that had initially tripped me. Reaching out, I grasped it. There was a wedding ring on its third finger; it was clad in blood drenched fatigues. I ripped at the fabric like a madman until I finally uncovered the forearm. And there, where I had seen it so many times before, was the name of Pete’s son tattooed on the baby rattle he’d had inked on him the day his wife had given birth to their first and only child back in the real world. I began searching through the remainder of the wreckage. Bits and pieces identifiable; a magazine, shell casings, glasses, boots – photographs. More things than I cared to recognize. Still holding Pete’s arm, I crouched forward and wailed in despair and rage. This time the sound split the air as it slammed its way through this world, shattering the silence.
I reached down with my free hand and yanked on my tether – no, not my tether, my umbilical, and pulled it free.
© Copyright 2014 Nina D’Arcangela. All Rights Reserved.
Coffin Hop Goodies!
How do you get them? Comment on my Coffin Hop 2014 posts on this blog – I’m posting something new each day, so keep coming back for more chances to win. When will they be announced? When the hop ends (after October 31st). What are they going to be? A surprise! I like surprises, don’t you? ;}
and the Sirens Call Publications blog:
The Sirens Song
Plus all the other amazing hoppers!