Archive by Author | Lydia Prime

Kids Will Be Kids

As I stepped outside my office building, I was greeted with the sight of my lonely car in the black and white sea of asphalt. I’d parked further away than usual not intending to stay later than the sun’s curfew; I was beginning to regret my decision. I checked my watch and saw it was just passed nine. My eyes scanned the surroundings, most of the sodium vapor lights were out. Sighing I began the trudge towards my tiny coupe.

My heels clicked loudly, the echo severed the night air. Step by step I skillfully evaded the cracks in the worn ground. I couldn’t shake the feeling of eyes upon me. A quick glance over my shoulder revealed I wasn’t alone; two children in hoodies stood where I was only seconds before. Odd, why would kids be anywhere near here this late at night? I sped up and heard the methodical patter of feet behind me. Don’t panic. Keep moving, don’t look back, I told myself. My car never felt further. For each of my strides there were two of theirs. Just a few more feet, a few more steps and I’ll be safe.

As I reached my junkyard reject, my mind screamed they were right on top of me. A tear ran down my cheek, They’re just kids! What am I so afraid of? My heart drummed against my ribs, I looked at the reflection in the car window, no one was there. Quickly rummaging through my bag trying to find the keys, adrenaline infused dread coursed through my veins from head to toe as I finally yanked them free. Struggling to jam the right one in the door, my shaking fingers slipped and they fell clattering to the ground.

As I bent to grab the keys, my eye glimpsed ratty Chucks standing near the passenger door. Bolting upright, I shoved the key into the lock.  A quick glance over the roof, no one was there; my breath quickened. What the shit? How’s that possible? I just saw their fucking shoes… The lock clicked loudly as the door gave way. I tumbled inside and frantically reached for the lock. Petrified, I stared wide-eyed out the passenger window as I shoved the key into the ignition.

“Excuse me,” came a faint voice from the glass next to me, I jumped out of my skin. How did they get there? The engine ticked but wouldn’t turn over. Come on, come on, start you piece of shit!

“Excuse me miss, we need a ride home. Can you help us please?” I could feel my heart pounding in my throat, I didn’t want to look, but I had to.

“I-I-I’m s-sorry, I n-need to get h-home.” I stuttered as breath came ragged and my vision swam. Warmth and salt swelled in my eyes as I tried to look him in the eye. Hood covering his face, he put his hand on my window; I couldn’t see the other one.

“Please miss, we’re just kids. Won’t you help us?” He said, more stern this time. I tried starting the car again, at last the engine roared to life. Somehow he felt even more dangerous now.

He growled and banged his palm against the tempered glass, “Let us in. Our parents will be worried.” Shaking, I gripped the steering wheel tighter. I peered into the rearview mirror, his friend was running around to the other side. By the time he reached my passenger window, his hood had fallen off. I stared into a pale face with eyes black as coal. No iris or sclera, pure darkness where there should have been light. A toothy grin parted his lips as liquid fear poured down my cheeks. In unison they began chanting, “Listen lady, let us in. You have to let us in!”

Grabbing the shifter, I slammed the transmission into the first gear available – reverse. Even as I felt the car thump over the body I was too terrified to stop. Shifting into drive, I looked back for the last time. Both boys stood where my car had been, black eyes gleaming, teeth still bared in dual snarls.

∼ Lydia Prime

© Copyright Lydia Prime. All Rights Reserved.

 

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Spiritual Malady

Desperate for the pinch that would bring her escape, she sought refuge in a dilapidated house slightly hidden by an overgrown yard. Squeezing through a paint-chipped opening, she entered a once loved home; now a desolate shell. She tiptoed through the crumbling building; fitting, however ironic it may have been, to have found a location almost as decayed as her. A few rodents scurried past and a disillusioned smirk crossed her chapped lips. A wave of cold sweat coated her from head to toe and the cramps in her muscles became too strong to ignore. Illness coursed through her brittle body; the remedy within her grasp.

Empty glassines scatter amongst the debris; almost instantly her vacant eyes glazed over. Collapsing into her surroundings, her back slid against exposed drywall. She stared through the broken window before her. The skewed view of an unkempt backyard swirled with gray matter. A memory washed through sullen eyes as salty tears trickled down battle-scarred cheeks. The enormous oak tree cast shade upon the little ones as they giggled in the grass; a time almost entirely forgotten. In that second she could feel the sun’s gentle warming on her skin. Pigtails and lemonade seemed so far away, droplets of melted mascara and misery spilled onto her tattered shirt faster than they could be caught. A swift jolt of pain deep beneath the flesh followed by a surge of pure bliss wrenched her into the present.

Despondent and motionless, she slumped over, barely propped up against the wall. Truths that could never have been told, let alone forgiven, silenced without warning. If she called out, would anyone even care? The gruesome truth beneath the surface of burned bridges and voluntary exile were all around her. The only company to be expected now were the rats to clean up her mess.

That haunting memory grew stronger; a skinned knee and the scent of antibiotic ointment permeated the air. Her pain was gone, then and now. Ghosts of her past pranced through her brain and banged against her skull. The sun beamed upon her face a final time as she welcomed its familiar burn. Her deep inhales grew shorter and more shallow until a stillness resonated through not just the decrepit shelter, but her ever wasting body. The withered land she’d hidden in would swallow her whole before she could be found. Iced coffee and nicotine lingered in her mouth — the last flavor of a life willingly let go. An accepting smile rested on the corpse who had no other home. Her once beautiful pale face now a brilliant blue.

Tranquility filled the darkness as hours passed, followed by weeks, until the months began to pile on. A skeleton picked clean by vermin, intertwined for eternity with an abandoned home. The idea of redemption dissolved; though her tomb was secret more would surely come. They’d follow in her footsteps and dwell on their misguided past; lives just as lonely and hearts concealed by frost.

∼ Lydia Prime

© Copyright Lydia Prime. All Rights Reserved.

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