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  • Sahana Rao

MY IMPLAUSIBLE DEATH

Waking up to my cat scratching my hand was the routine, ugh Monday mornings, a complete nightmare. It was already 7:30, late for my run again. I went down and made myself some coffee and switched on the TV, nothing new on the news either. The same story from last night about David, the nine-year-old kid that went missing. I heard my stomach grumble. I opened the cabinet to see an empty box of cereal and some pancake mix. If I was going to go to the grocery store, maybe I could walk there to get some exercise. I quickly hopped in the shower and got dressed to leave the house. I jogged for a good 15 minutes until I reached the cross-way, I should take the shortcut. It will save me a lot of time but that area is quite shady, it's fine. I held my house keys in my fist and continued to walk through the narrow lane. There were few small houses on that lane with gang signs and graffiti on their walls. As I passed one of the houses I heard a loud wailing. It sounded like a woman. I should have walked away and minded my own business but curiosity got the better of me and I approached the window at the end of the house. I peeped through the glass pane trying not to be seen. It looked like a kitchen. I was terrified, inside I could see three figures. A woman was on her knees crying, her voice cracked as she yelled the words “let him go” repeatedly. The man towered over her with a revolver in his hand and a young boy was standing behind the man as if he were frozen in time. There was no expression on his face, but the man’s face sent chills down my spine, he smiled with his yellow teeth on display. In the age of affordable beauty there was something that made me uncomfortable about his complete lack of it. He looked at the woman the way a tiger looks at his prey, without remorse. He brought the gun to her temple. I ran past the window in fear but within the blink of an eye, three shots were fired.

The windowpane shattered and the glass shards pierced my skin. I looked down at the rapidly spreading red spot at the left of my abdomen, I collapsed to the ground, I couldn’t bring myself to think of anything, thoughts kept rushing through my brain but none stayed, how did I end up here? My sight was blurring as I saw the blood on my hands, the distant noise of the police siren echoed as my eyes closed. It all went blank. I opened my eyes to a crowded room with loud chatter all around, I looked down to where I had been shot, and my blood-soaked pants were replaced with a pearl colored silk dress as if I were dressed for a party. I looked around. There was music playing, men dressed in military uniforms with their wives, pictures were being taken, couples were dancing, people were laughing and enjoying themselves like a war had just ended. I was lost.

I walked up to a woman and tapped her shoulder but she didn’t react, I called out to her, “Hello, miss?” She continued to talk to someone else. I frantically moved around the room asking people,” Can you hear me?” What’s happening here? My surroundings were not affected by my shouting. People just walked by as if I weren’t there. I realized, maybe they were right. I yelled at the top of my lungs but no one heard me, tears streaming down my face. I looked at my glove to see it covered in blood, my blood. I just want to go home; I closed my eyes as it all went blank once again. I heard someone calling my name, “Jane can you hear me? Jane, are you paying attention to what I'm saying?”. I opened my eyes to see my laptop in front of me with my boss talking; I was sitting at MY kitchen table, in MY house. I shut the laptop and stood up to look around. What’s happening, is this a dream? I had just been shot. I looked down again, I touched my abdomen but felt no pain; there was no blood on my hands either. Feeling dizzy, I ran to the T.V and switched on the news channel in the hope of finding some answers, my face went pale as they were talking about how the lost boy David was found in a house with his captor and his mother who had been shot, the man was taken into custody. They showed the shattered window but my body wasn’t there. One dead. Not a mention of me. I had just died there, the same man had shot me but here I was, alive.

“Unbeing dead isn't being alive” -E.E. Cummings.

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