The air is stale, Sam wrote in her notebook. She looked up, took another step, and shook her head. She touched the tip of her pen to the page again and crossed out the sentence.
Fear is more alive in the air than the actual people breathing it. I can’t tell if it is a fear of where they live, of the prison itself, or of what exists outside of the building. Maybe it’s fear of how they will continue life after they leave the stone walls of their own guilt or maybe it’s the fear that they’ll never escape it.
My throat burns and my cheeks are wet. With blood? With sweat? With tears? I close my eyes and push my hands against my face, shaking my head quickly so the strands of dirty hair fly wildly. I want to scream again but I can’t take a breath and without air, there’s not much you can do. I want to run but without space, there’s not very many places you can go.
I want it all to end but with so much love, you can’t justify ending anything at all.
With nowhere else to go, I drove to the base of a mountain and started climbing. My shoes weren’t made for the steep rocks and I slipped more times than I’d like to admit. There were no other people around; after all it’s the middle of a Tuesday on a hot summer’s day. No one in their right mind would be hiking right now.
I give it up to poetic justice when I reach up to grab hold of the rock and feel a sting in the tip of my fingers. I yank my hand back to see blood trickling down the palm and onto the hot stone below. Continue reading →
I take a deep breath and push the air out, watching how my lips curl into a delicate ‘O’. I should have warn deep red lipstick, it’s more intimidating. Dad told me not to though. Apparently I need to ease the board into my leadership.
I shake my head and pull my fingers across my skin, from collar bone to collar bone before rolling my eyes and turning away from the mirror. Staring into my own eyes in the extravagant bathroom mirror doesn’t offer the courage I had been expecting.
I lean against the counter and mutter, “Screw Hollywood,” pushing two of my fingers up my nose and onto my forehead. My eyes close and I rub the bridge of my nose, pulling in deep, burning breaths. My phone dings and I flinch before grabbing it from the countertop and swiping it open. Continue reading →
Told from the perspective of five-year-old Jack, Room, written by Emma Donoghue, takes readers on an exciting, emotional journey. The novel opens up to the morning of Jack’s fifth birthday in “Room” where Jack and his mother, “Ma”, have lived for his entire life. Readers explore this world in Room through the eyes of Jack, seeing everything as if it were the entire universe, which is what Ma told him. However, the need to be free after eight years being imprisoned drives Ma to come up with an escape plan. This involves Jack feigning his own death and running from “Old Nick,” their captor, after jumping from his truck. During his “Great Escape,” Jack is able to get away and explain to the cops what happened to him and Ma. The police save her and arrest Old Nick. The story, far from over, continues to follow Jack as he discovers the outside world. Readers see both Jack and Ma deal with the trauma, fear, confusion, and consequences of what they went through. The themes touch on the troubles of one’s reality completely altering, positionality, and rape. Continue reading →
Lynn turns off the alarm clock and turns to stare out the window. The sky has a blanket of clouds keeping the sun at bay. Her hair fans out behind her, spread across the duvet. The dreams linger in the corner of her mind and she rubs her eyes in an attempt to erase them. She runs the tip of her fingers across her lips, remembering the brush of his against hers. Groaning, she rolls over, pulling a pillow over her head.
“Alright,” Lynn huffs, climbing out of bed. She pulls at the blinds and rests her forehead against the glass. A group of birds take flight from the telephone wires they were perched on. Continue reading →
Most vividly, I remember the rain. My hair had been stuck to my forehead and I was shivering from the cold. Running through the trees had winded me and I was struggling to see through the fog and rain. The house was large, hiding in plain sight.
I was scared, lost, and alone. I was also only six years old.
Now, twenty years later, the memories have become distant at best and fictional at worst. Once, I made the mistake of confiding in my girlfriend at the time, telling her all I remember about that night twenty years ago. I told her how the memory of the night feels physical to me, but the evidence of it was never found. Continue reading →