Monday, July 16, 2012

Green Inside

Green Inside "Don't be stupid," the old woman told me. "The forest can kill you. Go around." And I should have listened. But time was short, and in my heart I knew I would be fine. So straight through it I ran: underneath the barrier trees, over the mossy morel banks, into dense thorn thickets and out the other side.

Not twenty minutes later I was smiling, for I had already glimpsed the light from the fields shining golden between a last line of tree trunks ahead. And then it happened: My hand brushed past a reaching bramble, and one of its tendrils snagged at my fingers.

Ever since, something has been... in me. Something growing. I can actually hear it.

At first there was only a slight itch, under the skin between my knuckles. Scratching did nothing; on the contrary, my efforts seemed to aggravate it further, for within moments the itch had traveled to the base of my wrist and become quite maddening. I quickened my pace but immediately regretted it; the faster my pulse throbbed, the more... excitement I felt emanating from the trespasser.

I broke out of the forest and the sun's rays warmed my sweating scalp. A bitter taste had fouled my tongue and my ears were buzzing. The thing inside me was growing faster now; I could feel it charging through cartilage, winding around bone, pushing aside tendons and penetrating muscle tissues, relentlessly seeking a pathway of least resistance. Then a sharp ache deep in my shoulder brought me crumpling to the ground, and I knew it had found an artery.

I lie here at the edge of this field, my vision too darkened to see the sunlight anymore. I can feel the intruder still branching, still spreading through me, still taking over. The buzzing noise is deafening now. My chest is tight, but I can't cough -- I can't even throw up; the thing will not let me. I can feel its tendrils sliding into position, sending out hundreds of tiny roots to dig deep into the flesh of my heart like so many planted flags, readying for a final squeeze.

I am green. I am conquered. I am gone.

1 comment:

  1. I like the imagery in this story a lot.