kikei [dot] net >> [r]evolution[s] >> prose fiction >> echoes



"Home alone, and the lights out, you never know, what trouble a teen can do... a teen that's high on lows, and low on highs, a teen who's spirit groans and sighs, as the night muffles the silent cries. Trailing blood, pain blocks out that other pain, if only for a moment."

The figure lay on the cold, hard floor, the moonbeams that filtered in through the window spilling over onto the still body. He stared up at the ceiling, unblinking, crystalline rivers trickling down the pale skin of his face. No sounds broke the silence, save the heavy, ragged breathing of the boy who lay on the floor.

He turned over on his side, the bare floorboards creaking under him as he moved. The small wisps of blond hair that fell over his forehead in a messy fringe looked like icicles in the faint light that shone in through the window, his eyes two deep, dark pools. He raised a tired hand to his tearstained face, wiping at his eyes with the heel of his palm, the dampness cool against his skin.

Outside the darkened room, he heard the sound of voices. Harsh laughter echoed from the next room, the slurred words traveling through the wood of the door, the sound muffled. Footsteps walked over floorboards heavily, tramping through the apartment. A door slammed hard as the men left the house, their voices ringing out through the still air of the night.

He was alone.

Slowly, he pushed himself up, off the dusty floor, spitting out the coppery taste in his mouth. His arms hurt, bruises marring the pale skin. He carefully pulled down the sleeves of the threadbare sweater he wore, shivering as a cold gust of wind blew in through the open window. The curtains fluttered softly in the breeze, like the wings of some night angel that would have been sitting on the windowsill, watching the struggling figure within the room.

His eyes were puffy and swollen from crying, the large purple discoloration on his face standing out clearly against the skin. He sniffled softly, raising one hand to his face, wincing as he felt the pain spasm through his jaw.

"Fuck…" he hissed between his teeth as he tried to get to his feet, pushing himself up, failing miserably and falling in a heap on the wooden floor. He knew that he had probably sprained his ankle, the pain throbbing through the joint from his attempt to stand. For a few moments, he laid still, his cheek against the cold, polished wood, his eyes closed as he took a deep breath, letting it out slowly. Again, he pushed himself up, this time reaching out and grabbing onto the metal back of a nearby chair for support. His fingers curled around the iron rod as he leant his weight against it, trying his best not to injure himself further. Gingerly, he placed his foot on the ground, testing it, biting his lower lip as an expression of agony crossed his already pained features.

"God… not again…"

Half-limping, half-dragging his injured foot behind him, he somehow managed to make his way towards the bathroom, the sound of low groans echoing through the room as they escaped his lips. He furiously blinked back the stinging tears of pain, shaking his head as stars crossed his vision.

Why did I let this happen again? Why didn't I stop him? He questioned himself as he leant against the wall, his hands trembling as he balled them up into fists, the fingernails digging into his skin. Resting one hand against the wall, he propped himself up, pushing the door open with the other as he caught onto the wooden frame and dragged himself into the small bathroom. His feet moved noiselessly across the tiles, the only sound that penetrated the nocturnal silence being his own raspy breathing, the silence shattered by the sickening sound of the boy dropping to his knees with a heavy thud and throwing up violently into the bowl.

His knuckles were white as he gripped onto the sides of the bowl, the bitter taste of bile mingling with the metallic taste of blood in his mouth. A tear escaped his tightly shut eyes, the tiny droplet falling down his face and over his lips as he retched, his stomach having nothing else to expel from within itself. The tissues of his throat chafed together painfully as he gagged on his own vomit.

He painfully maneuvered himself to the side of the bowl, leaning against the wall, resting his bruised face against the cool tiles.

Why do I put up with this?

He shook his head as he wearily opened his eyes; the dull browns looking at everything around him from under a blurry cloak of unshed tears. His eyes wandered around the tiny, confined space, from the half-open door to the white porcelain washbasin… to the shiny, glinting metal that lay upon the edge of it. He blinked twice, trying to clear his vision, craning his neck to look at the object that had suddenly caught his attention as it reflected the dim light that lit up the bathroom.

He could see it now… the small metal blade sat there, glittering silver against the stark white of the sink.

If I could just get that blade… I would never have to put up with this shit anymore.

He had thought about it a dozen times before, each time dismissing it with a shudder as he wondered what it would have been like to run the metal against his wrists, feeling the razorblade kisses against the thin skin. He had tried it countless times too, cutting enough to leave a tiny trail of crimson against the crisscross of white scars, but never deep enough to actually feel any pain. He was too numb to feel any pain.

Holding onto the wall for support, he somehow managed to drag himself up, pulling himself towards the basin, his eyes riveted on the blade that sat, so tantalizing, just out of his grasp. He felt his fingers touch against the metal; the rough tips feeling its shape as he dragged himself in front of the mirror and held it up to the light.

In the mirror, a sullen, battered face looked back at him. The wispy hair, the color of straw, the all too familiar honey eyes… he looked away in disgust as he saw his father's features staring back at him, his reflection mocking him for who he was. Again, he forced himself to stare at the mirror, taking one long look at the face of the man he hated so much, at the face that he couldn't help but look at everyday… whether it was like this, in the mirror, or jeering at him as a large pair of hands would brandish a belt, the metal buckle leaving a large welt against his bare back.

He gritted his teeth as he looked down at the tiny blade he held in his hand now. He could see the faint white scars from before, ugly zigzags on his skin. He glanced back, over his shoulder towards the door, then at his reflection in the mirror, staring back at him in all its broken glory.

It's now or never… I'll never get a better chance than this.

He drew the blade against his skin, letting out a sharp breath as he felt it tear under the razor's edge. Blood seeped out from the cut, a thin, red line.

Not deep enough.

Again, he ran it across his arm, this time moving in a fluid stoke down the length of his exposed forearm, pressing the blade harder into his skin, watching with an almost child-like fascination as the first large droplet of blood trickled away from the cut and ran down his arm, spattering itself against the smooth white stone of the sink. He looked up at the mirror, smiling crookedly.

"Goodbye, dad," he whispered, raising the blade again, the blood on its edge gleaming in the light. Outside, an old man sitting on a bench pulled his coat tightly around himself, cocking his head tone side as he thought he heard someone laugh, high above him. He shook his head, ignoring the sound as the laughter grew, before dying away, losing itself in the echoes of the night.



© Marziya Mohammedali, 2001-2013