The Reality of Introspection

They silently slipped passed the trees. 

"Look," he said, "it’s fantastic." From far away, the landslide was stunning, bouncing off the closing sun, and riding the rocks. The sun started to disappear, making the shadows on the trees fade into the sky. They chose the biggest rock. Her hands tangled together, shaking as the air grew cold. Between the howls from below and the smoke from above, she couldn’t understand what was happening around her. Losing herself in the dying sun and staring at the sky, she tried to block out the world for a minute. She kicked her shoes off, forgetting that nothing was there to catch them, and she watched them fly. On their way down they hit a few trees, knocked off a few pines, and kicked some rocks. By now, she couldn’t see anything. 

The air around her was hazy. She squinted, and the rock grew smaller as she ran. Her arms started to itch and her feet leaked red as she painted bright footprints on the trail. Soon the trail became unfamiliar, and she started to make her own. Her hair, which was once white, had been blackened from the smoke and dirt she carried with her. 

The world was spinning so fast and her heartbeat pounded in her chest and she couldn’t control herself anymore. Her arms twitched and her legs kept moving, but her mind could only focus on the shadow that followed her. She continued. Eventually, she found herself on a bridge. The water ran with her, rapidly and violently. She jumped in to catch up. The bridge was a place of safety, but she was forced to catch a branch to keep her from damage. She floated and watched the sky fly past her. She grew wings for herself. The winding river cleansed her, and her black hair turned white and her pale skin flushed. She forgot about how the river would end. She forgot about how he was waiting for her up on the rock, unaware of her escape. She remembered how she was meant to walk back home that night, with her lost shoes and ripped skirt. Her feet bled in the water, leaving her mark to diffuse. 
She gained the courage to wake up, and found herself sitting on the rock as he slept beside her, with her toes dangling on the cliff, and her shoes still tied on her feet. 

By Izzie Ramos-Foley

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