HEAD START

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It was so fucking hot outside that the crickets had taken their instruments deeper into the crevices of the earth. Their muted echoes were intermittent and sounded a bit like what I thought dying might sound like.

I was resting in a field, legs together and bent, digging my toes into the crispy grass. I sat there in my pink satin nightgown looking up at you. You said I looked like Courtney Love with sweat gluing my hair to my face.

You took a picture of me and the flash from your phone caused my eyes to glow red. You made a nervous joke about how you finally captured real evidence of my demons.

I don’t think I thought it was funny.

You took off your clothes and threw them in my direction for safe keeping before darting off into the dark. You left me alone.

You left me…

Not alone.

I first heard her speaking from your pants pocket. I fumbled to find her urgent voice trying to get your attention. She was afraid but you would never hear that fear.

“You must stop!”

“Please, stop!”

Like a recording she cried over and over again with short pauses of shaking breath between each demand.

I put the phone to my ear and her frantic voice had become a whisper as if she knew I could hear her. I said “hello” but it wasn’t my voice. If a voice could be sugary then this voice was salty.

She stopped whispering but I could hear her stifling a cry.

“You… must…. STOP” she blurted once more before hanging up.

She wasn’t talking to you but to me…

Well, not to me but to…

I laughed with my salty voice as I stood up.

I had given you enough of a head start…

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