Short Stories

Short Story: Gunned Down

I think I’m losing my grip on reality. I lay on the floor; my cheek pressed hard against the wood. The thin cheap carpet softens nothing. I follow the path to the kitchen riddled with dirt, dirt from my cat’s litter box. I can’t be bothered by it. When I’m like the normal people, standing up like this ape body has morphed to be, I dance around the cat litter, trying to wipe it clean after it has stuck on my socks. But now, all I hear are the sirens and the howling cries thousands of miles away. I think about the bombs dropping from the sky and feel the pressure on my jawbone. Here, I can’t get up. Here, my life or family’s life is not sold out for capital, ideologies, and land. I snort. Or they are not at least tortured, beaten, and gunned to death. To think all those minds who had come to exist to end up into dead flesh, having never witnessed any good.

I consider masturbating; I’m already on the floor. I only have to tug my hand between my legs to get that short elation. If I even wanted to release myself, the booming noise of some game stream coming from the apartment next to me disturbs any want. The thin walls block nothing. I wonder if I moan aloud, would they turn the volume down? I never will. Instead, I’m distracted by the sun lighting the falling dust going up and down over the floor, spiting the logic of gravity.

I picture myself inside the botanical gardens, feeling the controlled moisture and heat nurture me as I draw my lungs full of air. There the sun doesn’t show how gravity is fluid. There the sun is rooted on the ground, creating life through the colossal tree trunks. Again I hear the sirens and the cries, but not from thousands of miles away. These are coming from the apartment next to me, accompanied by laughs. Laughs celebrating violence. Two different worlds stuck in an infinite loop of regret. Regret which cannot be taken back. Regret ignored.

I draw a line on the carpet—the outline of my left hand and arm. Like in those old movies, I become a corpse. But no, I won’t be gunned down to death, but they will be.

Thank you for reading! Have a beautiful day ❤

© K.A. Ashcomb

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