Now She Could Breathe – Flash Fiction Story #15


By Mary Wright (me)

She expects that when she pinches her arm, it will tell her that she is awake. That is what all the movies tell her, and so she believes it to be so.

She grows up learning that fire is hot, and can burn, and that water is cold and is supposed to make you feel refreshed. Exercise is good, and she knows that adults think that veggies are very important to eat.

She feels the fabric on her skin, because she is told that the fabric is supposed to feel a certain way, and her skin is supposed to react to certain outside temperatures and actions in very certain and distinct ways as well. She feels itchy once in a while, because that’s what bodies do sometimes: they make you scratch your arm or your leg or your nose.

She’s a girl, a woman when she is alive long enough. She is supposed to like pink, and like skirts, and while they’re not her favorite, who is she is question the status quo of everything?

One day, she wakes up, and realizes that she’s been sleeping all along. The fabric of her walls of her bedroom are disrupted lakes, circular splash points going farther and farther away from their original center.

The ceiling is red, but she knows that she is not in danger – has a strange calm about her, how she’s home, how everything’s going to be okay. She feels her brain wiggle inside her head, and walk along the floor – which is actually the red ceiling, here.

At home, she is.

There has been so many constructions of ideas put together to make her think that her life, her reality was just that. But it wasn’t. It was her brain making sense of things – it was other people telling her how her life should be going. Her brain gave her those people, to make this whole canvas and wrap herself within a thick heavy curtain of illusions. She was home. It was calm.

She closed her eyes, tried to imagine those people. But they were just a dream. So much time she spent with her imagination, but now she could breathe.



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