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The entirety of this story (approximately 2008 words) was published in Bare Bone. Excerpted here is the very beginning of the story, and a little tiny segment from a bit after that.

Flow Like Rain
By Jasmine Sailing

She watched the rain fall, pitter patter, into the earth. Rain, or blood flowing from the weeping sky. So many times she wished she could let her blood run, the salt of her veins mixing with that of the earth. Freeing her.

The world's insanity was not her wish, not her dream. Her own dreams were dead, fodder for worms: never more, never less. Locked in a cess pool called society. Why should it matter? Nothing was real anymore. Love and families became power trips, tools of stature: "Fuck him, he's with the band." "Leash her, she's a babe to look good with." "Give me that kid for a tax deduction."

Sensitive nerve endings turned to cold decay as the world coiled and twisted in monotonous attempts at biting its own ankles. Beheading itself, contorting mindlessly.

So she watched the rain as it fell, knowing that it at least wouldn't cannibalize itself. A sheet of liquid could blow in a slant, spiral with the winds, but never would it violently consume its own self. Water combined passively with other droplets upon contact, just as it combined with the earth to form mud. She fingered a carpet razor and pricked her finger tip, wondering, wondering: "Can I flow with the earth and rain any more than I can with life?"

She could. Such were the granted simple reliefs.

She wondered what would happen if she were to find a child's corpse buried in the mud. Probably nothing. No surprise, no shock, no fear, no nothing. All systems go, proceed as planned. "It's a dog eat dog world and fuck all the rest of you because I'm the giant purple worm having doggy bag dinner."

She couldn't feel like that though. Not really. She could shiver in the freezing rain, drenched, hoping for a cold to make her sleep more. The cold never penetrated her mind though. It never touched her soul. She could become more numb, she could accept it that everyone screws everyone and nothing is ever new. Nothing changes. Employ the hardy, make them your slaves. Trod on the fragile, the helpless, the babes in the mud, until they become so much more mashed pulp to scrape off the bottom of your shoe. Only to be scraped off, naturally, if it doesn't give you new height and leverage.

Numbness, breaking down, shutting off. She could dig her own hole in the mud, she could disappear into it. Then maybe she would rot, maybe her bared nerves would become truly cold. Frozen, ice in the winter. It would no longer matter that the world craved the slashing of its own throat, that life was nothing more than a tool to drain and discard. Forget everyone. Become like everyone. Meld.

Perhaps a babe in the mud was actually fortunate. Its life, and its body, and its essence, had been freed to flow with the earth. Perhaps, for the first time, it wouldn't be alone. Wouldn't be alienated. Wouldn't be confused and reaching out for nothing.

She pricked another finger with her blade. Feeling the pain was preferable to feeling dead, feeling worthless, feeling alone. The sharp sweet feel of severed nerve endings shooting through her finger, the red trickle of part of her life and being fading into the earth. It was the only moment of beauty she could truly find anymore, if ever indeed she had previously found any.

"I give of myself to understand this world, and to become part of it."

Finally, for once, perhaps forever. She gingerly sawed the tip from her pricked finger and fed it to the mud—the mud hungrily sucking at her knees as she knelt.

"I'm part of you now."

It could have been relief, but it was only further sorrow. While deadened nerve-endings encased her body, only the slightest severed portion had become free. Likely (definitely) she was no better than anyone else. She couldn't give of her entire self, she could never shed enough rain from dripping finger tips, she could never wholly stop moving. Never truly feel. Yet a fire burned in her carved finger and the dainty red drops continued to fall, to combine, to create mud. More mixing for the babe.

She imagined the babe's life, though it wasn't really there and had never truly existed: Did Mama and Dada love you? Did they carry you home from the hospital to a fuzzy teddy bear and a comfortable crib? Did they sing lullabies and name you the true meaning of beauty? Did they coo with you and dream of the first day you would talk? Or did Mama and Dada take you home to the sterile toys, the animated swing, the bottle prop? Did they sometimes remember to sing to you, simply because the crying babe would never shut up otherwise? Did you revere the visage of those who held you, even if it was only while carrying you between chairs? How was it babe? Did you finally feel peace when you died?

Perhaps it had been buried while still alive: The tears, oh the tears, my babe is missing. How could such a thing happen to me? How can such a thing happen to I, who can do no wrong, who is climbing the corporate ladder and doesn't need a little bundle of joy slowing me down? Heed ye not that thought, and close your eyes, for I can no longer shed these false tears. I loved you, babe, but the world comes first. Not the helpless, not the useless ones.

She halted the images in her mind, those of the world she knew. The world she didn't want. The coldness, the competition, the automatons. The deadened nerve endings. She dug through the mud, seeking any sign of her severed finger tip. Had it dissolved into the rain/blood/mud? Could it feel, or was it cold? It was one with the earth now.


She was amazed by the pain still burning in her legs. Feeling. She could never shed a tear for physical pain, not for anything which removed the dead feeling inside. It was love for her, and release. So many others cried from pain. The stapled finger, the bump on the head, the stubbed toe, the severed leg. Cry for that, if for nothing else. There was nothing else. Everyone was dead. Everything. The world was being trod upon by an army of relentless corpses, refusing to let go and give of themselves to the earth.

So went "life".

"I can feel."

And for that she could cry. Not for severed nerve endings, not for flowing blood. Only for loss, loneliness, desolation, for reaching out to nothing. It was useless, though, and she could feel herself deadening inside. Becoming just another automaton, just another plodding corpse. The thought of which could only make her tears flow more.


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