Monday, 8 December 2008

Josie and the H-Bomb

He came at me warm. I couldn’t see, not really. I thought I saw the bones of people. No skin, no faces. Just bones and shaded-in bits where lungs and other organs were. They glowed red in the upside-down of my eyes. For a fraction of a second. Like a stammer. Like time catching itself up after a big, forget-everything shock.

He had something to prove. It’s how it always is with these things. One step and then another, and before anyone knows what’s hit them there are atoms splitting and colliding and the world is forever changed. He changed everything.

The stammer interrupted a noise that was a thousand aeroplanes taking off, and the slamming of every single door, and the cracking apart of the continents, and. Think of the loudest thing you can possibly imagine. Multiply it, and multiply it again. And then, just as you feel your eardrums begin to implode and your bones start to shatter, imagine a silence so great that it’s hard to believe there even is a world, an earth, a place for your feet to be standing on left.

There was no hand holding with this one. He lit up the molecules of me. And he shook me until everything I knew had fallen away. Until all that was left was the in-out, in-out of my breathing, and the idea of me, smaller than a grain of salt but still pregnant with possibility.

I think I shielded my eyes. I think I covered my ears. I think I buried myself in the sand or burrowed into the guano. I was trying to keep myself safe. I knew what was coming. It was bigger than both of us. Not land, this time. Not bodies. A few thousand birds heartattacked and dropped from the sky. A few billion fishes disappeared where they swam. But this was safe. Necessary. Part of a bigger plan.

And I stretched out in the dryness, felt the crackle of the breeze. And knew this romance, this new thing, could only ever end badly.

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