A Fictional Short

I first noticed I was changing when I was 12. I developed a stutter that hadn’t been there before due to the fact that my tongue sometimes felt longer than normal. Also, I was hotter. Not like that. I mean genuinely warmer. My skin was cool to the touch, but my core was a furnace.

But I didn’t realize that I was different until the morning of my 13th birthday. Not that anything extraordinary happened. I just got my first pimple. Well, I got what should have been my first pimple. From a distance, it even looked like a little red bump just hanging there, right beneath my left eye, high up on my cheek bone. When I first saw it, I was bummed out, but when I leaned it to look closer, I totally freaked.

“This is not a pimple” I said outloud. “It’s a…” I pulled it off. It hurt, a lot. And bled. Luckily my little brother has been the biggest science freak since the beginning of time, so I took it to his room and put it under his cheap little microscope.

“Oh. My. God. It’s a scale.”

A Dream Written

She couldn’t remember why she was on the bus, but she was. And it was hot. She could feel the backs of her arms sticking to the gray vinyl. There was a tear just above where her elbow hit, and it kept scratching her.

This is what she was thinking about when the bus stopped.

It seemed routine. The doors on the bus go open and shut, right? The doors did open, letting a tall, thin, sallow faced man aboard. His eyes were deep and black and wild. His front teeth were missing, along with his left arm. His white shirt was starting to yellow around the neck and armpits.

As she surveyed him, she noticed everything odd about him with the exception of an important detail: the gun.

This was a robbery.

Everything her father told her about armed robberies flooded her mind. Give him the backpack. He can have the passport. Cooperate. Cooperate.

It wasn’t enough. He let a bullet fly into her left lung, then took off. She ran after him, trying to create suction with her hand over the gunshot wound, telling herself that this action would prevent her lung from collapsing.

False.

She could not chase the man. She needed to find a hospital, but first, she needed to orient herself. Looking around, she quickly recognized the Venetian Hotel and knew she was in Las Vegas.

Relief.

Without knowing how she got there, she came to propped up against a pillar in the hospital waiting room, nurses buzzing around her. Could she feel that? Did she know where she was? Could she identify the person who did this to her?

Yes.

He was watching from the revolving door. The entire front of the hospital was glass and sun was pouring in; a sliver of light was resting on her ankle. It was blinding. She shouted that there he was but it was too late.

Was it?

She refused medical treatment. She was not going to let him finish what he started. She would end him, and come right back. It made sense at the time.

She found him crouched behind a dumpster. He hadn’t hidden himself very well. She demanded the gun. She demanded to know why he did it. Apparently it was a cartel thing. She didn’t care. She snatched her backpack back and stomped on his shin so hard a bone broke the skin.

Victory.

She made her way back into the hospital. After all, responsible people don’t let their lungs collapse.  

Just Words.

This evening, the entire nation heard an un-ashamed Trump talk about his sexual assault confessions being “just words.” Just words based on actions.

But harmless.
Just words.
Right?

One day, while walking down the street, two men approached me and were saying things I will never repeat. I told them to stay away from me and they told me they would kill me.

Just. Words.

While I was in an abusive relationship, I was degraded regularly for my appearance, my weight, the portions on my plate, the way I chopped produce and ridiculous amounts of other things. He never lifted a finger – but he moved his lips…just words.

While riding public transportation a man commented on my thighs. Just words.
But, then he touched me.

I was sexually abused as a child and do you know how it began? With words.

Any student who has been in my class can tell you about the power of words. Words said to the wrong people or in the wrong way can quickly become actions.

Words matter. Words hurt. Words spur action. An entire generation of young men will think it’s okay to talk about women this way because they are just words. How long will it be before just talking about it isn’t enough?

How long was it for you, Donald?