Past the Gate

Steel hummed beneath her ass, feet dangling on the ocean side of the rail. Wearing dark leggings and a hoodie she doubted drivers would notice her. Or care. Out of options, out of sight. Out of mind. She tucked closer to the cable strut to which she clung. When a gap opened between cars, the road noised dimmed and she could hear the surf thrash the rocks below. Her three-pound ankle weights, she was told, would pull her under the waves until gasses built within her and ballooned her back into the light. She visualized her swollen, pale belly, stretch marks pulled tight, bobbing in the swells.

Looking down, city lights shimmered on the black waters of the bay. At this time of night the wind held steady. Past midnight it would die leaving the surface calm. Should I wait? Shatter the mirror? No, I’m freezing to death in this gale. A macabre chuckle half filled her throat.

The tide ran faster than she could walk — in hours it would carry her miles out to sea. But not if she stayed embracing the wrist-thick wire. She smiled as she measured the metal with her body: Thousands of steel wrists bearing the weight of the bridge, straining to keep her high above the Sirens’ lanterns, their faerie light beckoning.

Best not keep them waiting. Their song grows sweetest, some say, as you fall. Provided your screams don’t drown them out.

5 thoughts on “Past the Gate

  1. No turn, no commitment, another lost silhouette. Well drawn, well crafted. Find a stick of dynamite and blow ‘thought’ and its associates out of your vocabulary as it’s a monolog tag. Write it so we know who Shannon is and make the internal seamless with the whole. I’d go on but I’m done with critiquing. Most people didn’t have Martha Truax for their senior year Great Books teacher who told me “Most insightful, Mr. Huston. Come back when you have developed commentary on Henry James’ work with more depth than Mayonnaise.” Which set me up for a life of lit evaluation. So…why fucking bother. Mayonnaise is the limbo bar and I am an anachronism. Write on.

    Liked by 1 person

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