I came home early. She wasn’t there. Or rather, she was.
I knew straight away she had the Sleeping Sickness because she was still in bed, sleeping.
She looked so young, like the beautiful girl that had saved me from my self-destructive battle with the city, from my self, saved me and made me laugh.
She lay, peacefully sleeping; unmoving, memories filled the room, eluding me, half forgotten, whispered, clipped-winged memories.
Her hands were over her stomach. The walls were breathing for her. The beautiful silence stopped me crying out.
I didn’t understand Sleeping Sickness. I do now.
Two men followed Sadie through back alley shortcuts, stepping softly, gradually closing.
In a gap between garages they struck: hand over her mouth, the other grabbed her arms.
She bit through fingers and palm until teeth met, head shaking side to side; knee then foot into the others balls.
One scream, one groan, fingers spat out.
Then she spotted the dropped knife.
“Cunts!” Quietly spoken.
Retrieving it, she tore gashes through the stomach of one then smashed the blade repeatedly down into the face of the other.
Tears came as she walked away, shaking. But at least she walked away.
Trying to see which buttons not to press on these feral girls is like learning Chinese algebra in Braille. Wearing gloves.
Sadie tends the wounds she inflicted on me with compassion. There’s no apology for the attack. Why should there be? I’d pressed that button, she’d reacted. The logic was unquestionable. Painful, but unquestionable.
I know nothing of her history save what little she reveals. She’s a wild animal, trying to be tame in a wild society that pretends to be tame.
And I’m too naive to see the buttons she’s shown me. That’ll be my loss. And her burden.
/Motion. This way/That. Darting. Rapid-Move: quick. Dart/Dash. From shadows. Swift in light, flash movements, jog to steal/ to pocket/ to sprint. Return. Back to shadows./
I’d been beaten by the city. The City tried to hammer me into shape, but I was too rebellious, so in the end it just hammered me. And that’s where they found me, these angels, in a doorway, so cold I couldn’t stand.
Warehouse-warmed. Restored. /Wildcats, they prowl/. Perfect. Teach me your beauty.
I’m faster now. In/Out. Go/Get. Retrieve. All actions by reflex. /Like thought/ Flash. Return. Back to shadows.
I'm learning. Slowly.