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[personal profile] starrymellie
Title: spirit(s) garden
Word Count: 814
Rating: PG
Summary: when it's colder inside than it is outside.
Fandom: original
Warnings: none.
Author's Notes: i'm new to dreamwidth, and while i also write fanfiction (link on my profile), i also write a lot of these little short stories and this site feels like a good place to share them. a lot is left up to the imagination in my writing-- i'd love to hear what you think. <3

i've been tossing alcohol (whiskey, vodka, anything now) out the window and into the neighbors' stupid fucking flower box. plants are alive. i always wonder if marigolds can become alcoholics just like people. i'm so tired. i'm so tired.

( ) ( ) ( )

lucy approaches me. she's wearing a gray Adidas sweatshirt and a low-cut top. she looks freezing.

"hey," she says.

i force a smile. "hey. what's new?"

she stares at me unreadably. i curl my toes in my shoes. i can't feel them.

"someone has been putting beer bottles into our flower box."

i blink.

"what a dick," i say.

she looks at the rubbing alcohol sticking out of my too-small coat pocket.

"you'll go blind if you drink that, you know," she says gravely, as if she knows i'm the one who threw those bottles.

she knows.

"it's for my--my papercuts," i tell her, holding up my hands. my knuckles are wrapped clumsily in greyish gauze. it was white yesterday. the cuts aren't from paper, but lucy doesn't need to know that.

she nods knowingly, anyway. it's fucking infuriating.

something tiny lands on my outstretched fingertip and i realize it's a snowflake just as another one hits my nose. lucy visibly shivers and i shove my hands into my pockets. my left one doesn't fit all the way in because of the rubbing alcohol.

she looks so cold. i'm cold too but my teeth are chattering behind my closed lips, where no one can notice them. they're busted up anyways. i wonder if lucy can't afford a winter coat, or just doesn't choose to wear one. she's shaking and i see the goosebumps on her scrawny arms where the sweatshirt sleeves are rolled up, on her exposed collarbone, but she doesn't hold herself or even rub her hands together like a normal person would. she's just standing there, her position making both of us block the sidewalk. i mutter an apology every few seconds whenever someone shoulders by.

suddenly her hand is outstretched and she's touching my face. the touch was meant to be gentle but it's not. her fingers are calloused and her fake nails assault my face like tiny blunt weapons. i wince. the bruise on my cheek makes my whole jaw ache. i'm tempted to bite down on my tongue, hard, so i can lie and say my face fucking opened up again and goddammit, i have to go, lucy.

i bite the inside of my cheek instead and she moves her hand away. she looks at me with a choked-up pity. i look down at her face and narrow my eyes. no one fucking pities me. the wind picks up around us and i feel flurries blowing down my neck, wet under my collar. i'm no worse off than anyone else, i think, not even her. especially not her. two businessmen in long coats shove by her, one on each side. their briefcases thump dully against her legs, and for a second she looks like she's going to scream.

a red Camry pulls up in front of the building and whoever's inside honks its horn three times. lucy slumps and sighs, and i imagine the ghosting breath through the air is her soul exiting her body. i puff out a few breaths of my own and watch them dissipate softly. i pretend i'm smoking a cigarette. i really fucking need one. the falling snow gets thicker and i remember years ago, when i was craving to play in the snow banks instead of craving a smoke.

lucy strips off her sweatshirt and hands it to me. her bare stomach looks hollow. if her crop top didn't cover most of her ribs, i'd be able to count them.

"hang onto my sweatshirt," she says. her hands are shaking so much i can't even look at them.

i just nod. i'm hanging on fucking tight. my knuckles hurt. i see a corner of faded pink panties peeking out where her baggy sweatpants are sliding off her hip, but it doesn't turn me on. it makes me want to cry. the guy in the car rolls down the window and honks the horn two more times, fast. he's wearing a white button-up shirt and a black wool coat and shades. the sky is dark and cloudy.

jackass, i think.

lucy places a gentle, trembling hand on my arm for a moment and gives me another fucking pity-look. i try to glare at her but i think i make another face by accident. she turns around and i see her tramp stamp. Gorgeous, it reads. i wish she would listen to her fucking tattoo. i wish she would realize how true it is. she gets into the car.

"take care," i whisper, as if i'm saying goodbye to a family friend. i don't think lucy is anyone's family friend, but i wish she was mine.
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May 2017


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