All Black By Grace E. Bialecki

January 20, 2014 Comments Off on All Black By Grace E. Bialecki

After the accident, she had two black eyes. Thick rings like charcoal around each socket. She stared at herself, mystified.  This wasn’t her. It was a trompe l’oeil. She went back to bed and closed both eyes carefully, deliberately. Lids touching lids. It was all a bad dream.

Except the second mirror confrontation offered no consolation. Deep black still there, and now, as she peered forward, she saw black irises. Colorless voids. She stayed indoors and avoided mirrors.

It had all happened so fast, and afterwards, she’d simply gotten up and walked away. Still in a daze and so light headed, it felt like floating. She’d left everything in the road — strewn possessions glittering beneath a  layer of glass and blood. She expected someone to stop her, but no one did. The clumps of people gathered along the edges stared through her. Sharp elbows and stretching necks to look at the real wreckage.

Now, when she tried to replay it all, moment for moment, she couldn’t. Mostly, she remembered the light, fragmented and flickering in her eyes. Shadow, bright, shadow. She remembered a noise, sharp and hard. Close, then distant, then, nothing. All black.

All that had mattered was getting home, but she’d done that, and now she wasn’t sure what mattered. Time expanded in her apartment, slipping away from her, leaving her grasping at air. There was something wrong with her hands, hairline fractures, maybe, and she’d always had weak wrists. She couldn’t lift books, open cabinets, hold a glass. Her failures frightened her, so she stopped trying.

Her eyes stayed black — she checked, just once. No doctor would be able to cure that, she knew better than to waste her time. Besides, there was nothing wrong, really. Just black eyes and weak fingers. Once, an old lover had told her she had luminescent skin. He hadn’t been a lying — she saw that now.

Her black cat didn’t do much to keep her company. She swished her tail and skittered away, avoiding all advances. The cat used to sleep in her room, or at least sit on her lap, but maybe that had only happened once.

Staying indoors wasn’t a problem. She hadn’t gone out much before, and now there was no reason to. She didn’t eat or drink, and eventually she stopped trying to sleep. She was always conscious, mind refusing guidance or restraint. She watched the shadows moving across her apartment, light refracted, then converging. Shards of energy, there then gone.

She didn’t know what was wrong, but maybe nothing was. She didn’t blame anyone, and she wasn’t angry. She had two black eyes and one black cat.

The cat cried, and dust gathered, and she kept to herself. After the accident, nothing changed, really.

© 2013 Grace E. Bialecki

Grace E. Bialecki lives in Bushwick, Brooklyn and enjoys playing the saxophone as well as writing short fiction.

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