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Hyperballad


Cerise
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Hyperballad

 

~ ~ ~ ~

 

She always wakes first now. There was a time when she didn’t, when the nights were too thick with demons and terror and even the sound of her own voice screaming and the bite of her own nails as they ripped into her flesh could not awaken her. During these times, only the calm, soothing voice of the auburn haired man who lay next to her could rouse her from those thick, grasping dreams. But that was nearly two years ago.

 

She wakes first now, still and silent in the pre-dawn chill, the covers long since kicked down around her hips to tangle in between their legs. She lies quietly for a few moments, taking the time to breathe and pull himself from the world of night. The dreams still came, almost every night. They weren’t as bad anymore. Not screaming dreams, as she’d become accustomed to calling them. These ones were silent and light, vanishing with dawn while leaving behind the clinging remains of a fear that somehow had settled itself into a kind of disappointment.

 

Why am I still having these dreams? Shouldn’t it be getting better?

 

That’s what everyone had assured her of. “It will be better in time,” they said. “Just give it time.” She’d given it two years. How much time would it take?

 

There was no good answer to that question.

 

And no point in asking it either, she said to herself. So just do what you have to and get on with it.

 

Careful not to wake the sleeping body next to him, the blonde eased out of the bed, wincing as her feet brushed against the cold wood flooring. She grabbed a sweater to throw over the tank top and loose sweatpants she’d worn to bed. The unnecessary clothing was probably the main reason the covers ended up at her feet every morning but she couldn’t help it. She just didn’t feel comfortable wearing just a nightgown or nothing at all to bed. And T. had wisely never questioned her choice of nightclothes. It was one of the things she was supposed to be getting better about that hadn’t happened yet.

 

She slipped from the room like a shadow, leaving her lover to the warmth of the bed. She didn’t bother to put on shoes on her way out the door, only pausing to pick up a cream coloured ceramic bowl from the kitchen. It was plain and unremarkable, small enough to nestle in her palms without awkwardness, rounded and without flaw. She had bought it yesterday for precisely this purpose so T. would not miss it and wonder.

 

The air was damp and cool against his sleep-warmed skin. She took a moment to look at the sky, a dark blue curtain with a pattern of softly shining stars that would quickly fade with the coming morn. The edges of the horizon were tinged a brilliant purple and the barest hint of an amber sun was just beginning to peek over the hills. She walked out across the small plain, feeling the dew from the grass wet her feet.

 

It had taken ages to convince T. to live in this house with her. It was a pretty cottage on top of one of the small mountains in the region of S---. The view from the top of the mountain was stunning and she had loved it on the spot. Her lover had protested. It was too isolated, too far from everything else. What if one of them was hurt? How would their friends visit them? How would they get their supplies? But she had insisted and T. relented after they had obtained a helicopter in order for quick passage up and down the mountain.

 

She had reached the edge of the plateau. By now the morning dampness had soaked the bottoms of her sweats and flattened her platinum locks against the side of her face in long strands. The cliff was not the highest in the world by any means. She could still see the bottom and the jagged rocks below. She held the bowl to her body, feeling the smoothness of the polished ceramic, the edges warmed from her cupped hands. She allowed herself to think back on the images of the night. A breeze ruffled her hair and she shivered, closing her eyes.

 

Cool dark eyes raking over her body. A hand on her stomach.

 

She breathed deeply, her hands flexing against the bowl. The pictures came faster.

 

A warm, wet mouth on her neck. A cruel smile.

 

Her arms reached out, holding the bowl over the crevice as if in some sacred ceremonial offering to the gods. Her breathing grew faster and her heart pounded in her ears.

 

Pressure on her back. Fear.

 

Almost there. Her arms shook slightly.

 

Pain.

 

Almost…

 

Laughter.

 

“There.” Her eyes flew open as her fingers released the bowl to drop into the crevice. She followed the path of the small object, listening as it shattered on the first rock, watching the fragments spilt apart and scatter like startled butterflies. She saw the delicate pottery break and imagined herself tumbling towards the rocks at the bottom of the cliffs, her bones shattering with that same sound. She imagined T. alone on this cliff. She imagined oblivion…and then very deliberately stepped back from the edge.

 

It had started one year ago, when the pain was still fresh enough to wound openly. Back when the screaming dreams prevented her sleep and touches and kisses were dangerous things to covet. Frustration bordering on insanity and extreme drunkenness had brought her to the cliff with the intent of throwing herself off the side. Instead she dropped the bottle of wine off the cliff and saw the glass shatter and the darkness of the wine as it spread like blood on the rocks. The sight had calmed her, much more then T’s earlier assertion that time was all she needed. She did not want to die. She did not want to shatter against the rocks. She could give the cliffs a substitute, for every nightmare, every memory, every time she had to turn her lover away.

 

The cliff could have her breakables. She was unbreakable.

 

The ritual finished, she became aware of the cold of the day, despite the bright orange sun that was now fully visible over the mountains. She shivered and headed back to the house, carrying the safe feeling that always came with the completion of her morning habit. Shedding her sweatpants and sweater, she crept back into the still darkened room where her lover still slept. She reached for another pair of sweatpants and then paused, watching the slow breathing of the man on the bed and feeling the warmth of the sheets and that man’s embrace calling her. She let out a slow breath and then pulled the t-shirt over her head. Cautiously, she crawled onto the bed in only her underwear, curling into her lover’s arms. T. smiled in his sleep and pulled the blonde closer to him. She froze for a few seconds, but when the crippling panic did not come she relaxed at her lover’s side and gave a smile of her own, twining their hands together.

 

T. had said that she just needed time. Very well. She would give herself time.

 

After all, I waited two years for this. I can wait two more.

 

As the day peeked through the window, she waited for her lover to wake up so they could start the day together, savoring the small victory for what it was.

 

A beginning.

 

 

~ ~ ~ ~

 

Hyperballad - Bjork

 

we live on a mountain

right at the top

there's a beautiful view

from the top of the mountain

every morning i walk towards the edge

and throw little things off

like:

car-parts, bottles and cutlery

or whatever i find lying around

 

it's become a habit

a way

to start the day

 

i go through all this

before you wake up

so i can feel happier

to be safe up here with you

 

it's real early morning

no-one is awake

i'm back at my cliff

still throwing things off

i listen to the sounds they make

on their way down

i follow them with my eyes 'till they crash

imagine what my body would sound like

slamming against those rocks

 

when it lands

will my eyes

be closed or open?

 

i go through all this

before you wake up

so i can feel happier

to be safe up here with you

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