Twinkle Toes by Rebecca Gomezrueda

August 19, 2013 Comments Off on Twinkle Toes by Rebecca Gomezrueda

It didn’t come all at once. It came when she was nine, blown up on the TV and then forgotten. It came again at twelve with the rest of the ballerinas, bruised feet in pale pink sheaths to protect their potential. The pink wore to pearl, and it went again. It came back at fourteen, wedged between two sheets of glass, and made a mad dash into her blood.

It still wakes her up in the morning, leaves her flesh and bone as a mocking act of charity. Torn from sleep and stolen from lucidity, she trips over her own feet whenever she walks. In the afternoons, she sits beside her father at the dinner table, an arm’s length to the right of him and worlds away.

When it comes, it doesn’t come alone. It comes with vomit churning in her breath and bags beneath her eyes; it comes with a ragged desperation that caves to exhausted discontent. The pearl wore to bone and shattered soon after.

Her mother had liked to pat the spot beside her on the bed and tickle her feet. She came and went with a story time tune on her tongue.

There was an old woman who swallowed a fly…

She came and went then left for certain.

I don’t know why she swallowed a fly.

The porcelain doll that slept in her bed once took a mallet to the soles of her feet. Now even the sugary treats taste like rot, she says to herself in the mirror as she watches the slide and flick of a dry tongue that no longer feels like her own. The bile wears the pink to pearl.

Perhaps she’ll die.

It comes with chances, and goes with miracles. It comes with pity and revulsion. It brings pamphlets and kind squeezing hands, a father’s voice weighed down with age and grief and helpless begging and pleading.

Her daddy still smooths down the covers to his left when he sleeps, and every night she stays to watch the sheets ripple and roll. She knows what he dreams about and can’t wrap her mind around why he would ever want to sleep.

She’ll die, she’ll die, she’ll die. 

Oh yes, she hears it clearly.

© 2012 Rebecca Gomezrueda

Rebecca Gomezrueda is a high school student from Pennsylvania. She enjoys writing over most anything else. Her work has also been published in The Apprentice Writer, The Surreal Grotesque, and The Camel Saloon.


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