A very short story…
Dreams mean nothing anymore. There is no place to go, no more wishes to be made. The knife I’ve been using all afternoon to cut vegetables suddenly takes on new dimensions. Somehow it’s shining just a little more, the newly sharpened edge reflecting the light coming in from the window. The handle, now so warm in my palm, is part of me, an extension of my arm. The blood pumps through my veins and now flows freely into my knife. I’m giving it life. It begins to breathe as I breathe. Soon it will speak to me. But I already know what it will tell me, what I think I’ve known for a long time. It will help me now.
I run my finger along the edge of the blade. Gently at first, then slowly I apply more pressure. It takes a moment for the blood to begin to appear from the thin slit in the tip of my finger. I touch it to my tongue- so sweet, I want more. I run my finger along my lips.
I press the side of the blade to my cheek. It’s cool against the heat that has risen to the surface of my skin, expanded from the center of my body.
I close my eyes and tilt back my head. There is so much pressure now, from within me and without, that I cannot tell the difference. I want to explode but there is no room. All the space is filled.
Slowly again I can feel the edges of my body, the solidness of it.
I surrender, allow the blade to slide down my body and plunge the knife into my flesh. I can hear the tissue rip as I push it toward my heart.
I pull it out. I feel only heat now, there is no pain. The warm blood spills over my body, so red, so thick. Everything I see is red until……
I take a deep breath, my last. I am amazed as I realize that I no longer have to breathe.
“MOM! I NEED YOU!!” My child cries and the spell is broken. Faster then I can bear, I am brought back, awakened from my familiar daydream, my peace shattered. I have responsibilities, I hear the voice in my head explain. So, I tend to the child, and once my duty is fulfilled, I go to complete my ritual. And this night, as always before, I take off my clothes and sit on the bathroom sink in front of the mirror. I search the face of the woman in my mirror for some answer. My head is pounding and I want to smash it against the glass.
Instead, I concentrate on her face, her eyes, nose, mouth. I want her to speak to me, to finally cease mimicking my every move and look back at me from within her own soul. I reach out to her. I’m not sure why I bother, since I feel what I always have, the cold flat surface of the mirror. But, I don’t stop this time. I lean my face into hers and close my eyes as our lips meet. Cold glass, as I expected. But then, just as I’m pulling away, I feel something warm and soft. As quickly as I can, I open my eyes, desperately hoping to see some change.
I even blink and the vision remains. She no longer sits as I sit. She smiles even as I drop my jaw. And it is she, not I, who now raises her arm and propels it forward by the force of some will that is not mine, urging me with those once dead eyes, to join her in this action. I have to follow her, my heart pounding so hard that each tiny increment my hand moves is shaken with its pulse. I keep waiting to feel that icy barrier, but it never comes. I think I should be frightened, terrified, but I can’t find any place for fear. Even if this brings total annihilation, it will be a welcome relief.
First only the tips of our fingers touch. It’s real, as real as anything I’ve ever felt. Next, our whole fingers and then palms are together, flesh to flesh. I stop questioning the truth of this impossibility and instead surrender to it. There is so much heat between our hands, it seals us together. I cannot pull away. The only choice is to hold tighter, to draw the heat up through my arm and into my whole body. Our fingers are now interlaced and white-knuckled. The terror begins to rise in me. I shut my eyes, concentrating only on the sensation of that hand, that other flesh. Now, I know I must look on her face, but I have no idea what I will see.
As I lift my eyes, I expect to see some demonic version of my own face. Instead, I find a peaceful expression, an invitation, coming from the woman waiting patiently for me to join her. The mirror has melted into a silver puddle all around us. There is no more separation.