Guess who hurt herself doing Zumba again? Thankfully, it wasn’t as bad as last time. I’ll be back at it tomorrow!
I didn’t think I’d have time to post today, but here we are. It’s been a while since I participated in Our Write Side’s Coldy Calculating prompts, so I’m glad to have a chance at one again. This one just fit too perfectly into Provisional Freedom and gave me the chance to explore Paola’s character a little.
Prompt: Seven deadly sins.
I picked Wrath. Enjoy!
Content warning: Contains violent imagery and suggestions of gore.
At the base of the mountain, there’s a cave.
“I thought you said the way out was at the top?” I crane my neck attempting to take in the site of the mountain in its entirety. It’s a pretty steep climb, and I’m not looking forward to it.
“Yes, but the way up is in this cave.” My mother is already a few feet into the tunnel, not stopping to wait for me this time. Grateful that I don’t have to climb up the side of the mountain, I hurry in after her. Like everything else in purgatory, the cavernous tunnel is unnatural, but not in a man-made way. Something about it, much like the mountain and the surrounding terrain, is supremely off-putting. It isn’t until we go deeper into the tunnel that I realize what that is.
The walls, the ground, every surface inside the cave is made of bone. Human bone, if I had to guess. My mother doesn’t say anything, just continues forward. I don’t notice how far behind I am until I’ve lost sight of her.
Running deeper into the tunnel and ignoring my surroundings, I come to a fork. There’s no way to tell which way she went, so I got with my gut and take the tunnel on the left.
I haven’t taken more than a couple of steps before I’m blinded by a burst of light. When it dims, I’m in a room that’s somehow familiar to me, but I can’t place it. It’s empty, save for a single metal fold-out chair, some rope hanging from it. My eyes hop from the chair to the brown stains on the cement floor. Something weighs heavy in my hand and when I look down I see a bloodied knife, every inch of me covered in the same crimson.
My heart tightens with a primal fury that, like the room, is familiar. It’s almost comforting. I feel safe in my rage, like a warm blanket has been draped over me. Someone enters the room, and I don’t hesitate to attack, plunging the knife into their chest with barely a glance at their face. Even if I could stop myself, I don’t want to.
Someone else enters the room, and they’re dead at my feet in seconds. A part of me feels remorse (or tries to?) but it’s so distant and I’m so far gone it doesn’t matter, barely registers in my conscience. The process repeats until I can no longer see the cement or the brown stains. Despite the release, I’m still angry, furious for reasons I don’t understand. I know the feeling of betrayal that sits on my chest, the need for vengeance that eats at my gut, but I don’t know why they’re there. Why am I so angry?
I try to release the knife, but the thought leaves my mind as soon as it enters, and instead my grip on the hilt tightens.
“Paola?” My mom’s voice startles me, and I jump. I expect to hear the knife clatter to the cement after it leaves my hand, but it doesn’t. When I turn to face my mom, I’m not in the room with the chair anymore, but in the bone cavern. “Are you okay?”
I can’t really bring myself to answer. Am I okay? My body is no longer covered in the evidence of my violence, but I can feel the weight of it deep in my chest. That urge to lash out is there, just not as strong anymore. In an effort not to worry her, I respond. “What happened? I lost sight of you.”
“I’m not sure. This cavern messes with your mind, I think. Come on – let’s try not to get separated again.” She offers me her hand and I take it, unwilling to experience something like that again, no matter how tempting the fury feels.
And there it is! I’m still playing with why she’s so prone to rage, and I have some ideas. Might even put that particular trait to work later. We’ll see! Paola and her mother are approaching the way out, so maybe next week we’ll see some plot advancement, prompts willling 🙂
Friendly reminder: Round 5 of #TuesFlashFicTrain is well underway! What are you waiting for?
As always, think happy thoughts!