March 2019

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He said he never planned to take a hostage, but the way I looked at him down the barrel of his gun made him realise I needed to escape as much as he did. Now here we are, with our new names, counting our money. Fearless, free and no longer lonely.

- - - - -

You listen because you have to, but you hear things you don't want to hear. Putting a bullet in someone when you've heard them tell their kids they love them takes some getting used to. You get better at it, but it never gets that much easier.

- - - - -

You learn how to orient yourself underwater or after your car flips or a gun goes off next to your ear and you become unshakeable in the face of immediate physical trauma, but 4am finds you staring down a bottle, trying to forget your own name.

- - - - -

Anything in the wrong hands is a weapon, so I steeple my fingers and push until my knuckles crack, eight small crunches of wrong, while I absorb the potential of the room. Nothing sharp, nothing heavy. But there's a lamp and sometimes you have to improvise.

- - - - -

When the details matter, when it's life or death, you don't risk someone else fucking it up. People tend to overlook things when they aren't directly affected. You pack your own parachute. You load your own gun. You make your own coffee.

- - - - -

He used to try and get drunk on mouthwash or high on cough syrup even though there was whiskey in the kitchen and god knows what in the box under his bed. He said it was the principle of the thing, but he never elaborated. He assumed I understood. I didn't.

- - - - -

The better you get at fitting in everywhere, the less you really belong anywhere. You get so good at switching between versions of yourself that you forget who you actually are. After a while, you see a stranger in the mirror and you don't even care anymore.

- - - - -

Too cool to say anything like, "My face is the last think you're ever going to see", she stands over him, smiling down, one foot on the ground, the other on the handle of the knife sticking out of his chest. Even unspoken, the sentiment is true.

- - - - -

The epitome of elegance, there's a dance in his fight, romance in the way he tilts your head back to slice your throat wide open, and tenderness in how he lowers you to the ground and holds you as you bleed out, reaching for reasons in his eyes.

- - - - -

I look for my star, the one glittering dot out of countless millions in a sea of darkness that wraps the universe in mystery. An icy chills falls through the cloudless sky and my breath is mist in shivers. No wishes tonight. I'm just here to say thank you.

- - - - -

"It's too quick to feel anything," isn't a justification as such, but it always seems like an attempt to make all this sound slightly less awful. I don't believe it though. I mean, I'm sure it's all over in a second, but you'd definitely feel being shot in the head. 

- - - - -

It starts as a sketch, an idea rushing into being, from a spark to late night rapids of words frothing over slippery rocks. You stretch out your arms at the edge of the waterfall, waiting for voices that are not your own to tell you their stories.

- - - - -

Approach gently, because there's no threat here and this is not a fight. Instead of "Don't hurt me," try "I won't hurt you." And when you bare your teeth at yourself with the learned growl of a frightened animal, offer only love, however foreign it may feel.

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