by Damien Quade
love stalks innocence, then ruthlessly strikes it down when it forgets its place
|A girl without eyes, nose, or mouth, yet flesh that burns and hair as smooth as silk. Her form is as real as fresh roast on a cold winter night. Life is in her, is her, only her; but I can’t recognize her.
A mysterious figure stands over by a rack of clothes in the market – we’re both in the clothing section. Earlier, we were in the soup isle, the restaurant, and at customer service. She’s following me. As I walk towards her, her back turned to my cat-like approach, and her black hair and clothes concealing her form – which I could only merely discern as petite, thin, and fragile, rage wells up inside of me. I stop short of her position and ask in a curious and slightly irritated tone:
“Are you following me?” She starts.
At that point, I became fully aware that she wasn’t browsing for clothes, but fondling with something she had in her hands. Her head, even now, was bowed down slightly, in observing the unknown object. “What is it?” I wondered. Just as the thought passed, she turned her head down and to the right, so that her gaze was now upon my slack right hand. I could feel it and clenched my first. She did nothing but stand there. In a partial furry, I repeated my question:
“Listen. I know you’ve been trailing me since I arrived here. I’m not blind!” I paused as I noticed the heightened tone of my voice. I calmed a little then continued:
“Now tell me…” She moved slightly further to the right, so that her gaze fell towards my stomach, giving me pause for a split second. Her front was now visible, along with her pale jaw and smooth skin concealed by a cascade of jet black bangs. Her clothes were not unlike what one would wear in a gang: her hands, which were now done by her side and clenched, were fitted with black leather and etched with some sort of white symbol – apparently an Asian character. The rest of her outfit consisted of black leather as well. It looked good on her – not cumbersome at all. A natural fit.
I continued: “what do you want?” She stood still in silence for what seemed like five minutes. I didn’t say anything; instead, I stared at her in condemnation, as I was passing rightful judgment on her. She broke the silence, walking away without the answer I so eagerly awaited. I was infuriated and, not knowing how to properly respond, I grabbed her right arm as she passed by me. She responded, seamlessly turning her body towards mine and quickly bringing her right arm up to the hand that grasped her. It lightly passed over my wrist and returned to her side, creating a pain so intense I was forced to release her, after which she proceeded to walk casually as she had before toward some unknown destination. It was obvious she’d done this before. My wound gushed blood as I held it fast, trying to prevent its bleeding. Frantically, I searched for the restroom to clean up and make sense of it all. At this point, I didn’t care who she was anymore. My instincts told me to escape and seek aid, and so I did. Eventually, I managed to find the restroom – and without anyone noticing my hectic state, thankfully. I washed off the wound and tried bandaging it up with some paper towels and rubber bands, but to no avail. The blood wouldn’t stop pouring out. I feel to the floor, unconscious, ready to embrace my end. It was all over for me.