Just Breathe

Air is suddenly gone, replaced by rushing, liquid death.

You try to yell, but no sound comes out. Or maybe sound does come out, you wouldn’t know. For you, there is no sound anymore. No light or smell, just the sensation of thousands of tiny droplets hitting your skin and battering your lungs.

Your lungs… are they still there? Can you feel them? What about your heart? Do you feel it beating, sending your life force throughout your waning body? Or is it all gone, all feeling replaced by this terrible, unkillable enemy.

Don’t stop thrashing. You almost did, for a moment there. You’re weak, muscles wanting to collapse under the lack of oxygen. But if you stop fighting, it will take you. And it will never let you go.

Finally, your head breaks the surface. For a split second, you get cool, refreshing air. You see nothing but red, the liquid streaming off your hair into your eyes. Then you are pulled under again.

You can’t take it much longer. You can feel it. Starting at your fingers, moving up your body, taking everything you once owned. Your arms and legs are no longer yours now. They belong to a force much larger and more ancient than you could ever hope to be.

It has you now. You know it. Your brain fights, will fight until the very end. But you know it’s hopeless. You feel the pull, begging you to go somewhere else. To leave behind the fighting, the pain. To join it, keep it company in its eternal darkness.

You can’t remember how you got there. In fact, where are you? What are you in? What-

You gasp. There’s a light now, and you are free. There is no more liquid, you can breathe air again. But… no, that can’t be right. You aren’t breathing. Your lungs are free, you are sure of it. But there is simply nothing to breathe.

Before you can panic, calm hits you like a wave. You walk forward, going wherever your feet may take you. They are not yours anymore.

***

Nobody hears your sister’s scream when she enters your bathroom. You are not there, no. She can’t find you anymore. That’s not why she screams.

It’s the blood pouring onto the white tile floor.

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