In The Depths

Loneliness is like a deep dark void, with nowhere to go and nowhere to hide. As much as I try, I just get deeper into the depths of loneliness, and into the depths of my soul. I just want to get out. I don't deserve this.

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25. Blue Veins On A White Canvas

It’s beautiful, if you actually look at it. The flames reach towards the heavens with desperation. Red against gray; blood against linen. They crackle with so much such force that my ears ring.

Harry’s brown hair shines, the magnificent light reflecting off the curls. He gasps for breath. Sweat sticking to his skin.

“Francisco’s fine,” he gasps. Smoke sits on his lips like acid. “The paramedics just wheeled him out.”

I open my mouth but only speak silence. For some peculiar reason, that news doesn’t bring me joy. It just feels like a cold, hard fact. Like the weatherman just said, “Oh, not to mention, tomorrow will be seventy degrees with a one hundred percent chance of Francisco being alive. Stay safe.”

It’s hard to be optimistic when the house continues to burn down. It’s only fifteen feet away from us, crawling under our clothes and trying to kiss our eyes. The fire, like nature’s knives, stares at me and cackles.

“I need to check on him,” Harry barely whispers. “Need to make sure he’s okay.”

Again, I don’t answer. I just stare at the house. My eyes begin to water as ash and smoke enter them. My feathery hair is fragile to the touch, thinned by the angry heat.

Harry’s gone. He’s run off to the older man, who, fortunately, has been saved by some doctors.

That’s the least of my worries.

Next to me, Will is shaking with such ferocity that he’s doubled over. Hot tears trail down his cheeks, desperate for escape. I could see it in his dark eyes. The pain and suffering is written in calligraphy on stained paper.

“Will,” I gasp, finally getting in enough oxygen to speak. “Will, are you okay?”

He gets on his knees. The poor boy shakes his head. I notice that his hands are clasped into fists. Blue veins extrude against his pale skin. He whispers something under his breath; a wisp of smoke in a forest fire.

What?” I bend down next to him and rest my hand on the small of his heaving back. “What did you say?”

He lets out a small whine. “I don’t belong.”

“What the hell?” I blink ash and dust out of my eyes. “What are you talking about?”

He breathes in. He breathes out. In. Out.

“Will.”

He vomits. Thick, putrid, hot liquid is hurled out of his mouth. He chokes in a deep breath that shakes his ribs and his head. Projectile, all over his jeans and hands.

I back up. He stands up, looks towards the fire.

“Louis,” he cries. Dark brown liquid trickles down his chin. “Louis, look at me.”

He turns towards me. His pupils are blown out to the max, making his irises look black. Ash, like black chalk, is plastered on his lemon hair. He smells like whiskey and fire, and he looks like a broken boy.

“Louis. It’s been nice knowing you.”

I swallow a thick wad of mucus down my throat, suddenly very aware of my tongue in my mouth, heavy and big. “W-what? What are you- Will. Shut up.”

He reaches his sticky hand out and shakes mine. I try not to wince when hot vomit touches my skin.

I blink.

He’s running.

Have you ever seen Animal Planet? You know when the cheetah runs and the camera slows it down and the fur is rippling and you gasp because it’s going so damn fast? That’s what Will looks like.

His sneakers hit the grass, making dirt spray through the air. The fire gets closer and closer to him with ever stride.

“WILL!” My squeaky voice rips through my esophagus. “WILL!”

My feet are planted in the grass. I feel like I’m being pulled down by quicksand. Tears threaten to spill down my cheeks.

I try to take a leap towards him, to pull his shirt collar back and throw him on the ground. Something is holding me back. I physically cannot move.

“Will.”

It’s a whisper now.

“Will, do me a favor and live.”

The flames consume him within a second.

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