(Continues from Upside Down, Downside Up)
It’s the simple things we forget: a warm, welcoming hand handshake, a peck on the cheek on the sneak, an unexpected attraction during a job interview—but I digress. Loving him was simplicity, leaving him was hell. And that’s where I was—dangling upside down outside hell’s casino.
Yeah, hell has a casino, and the currency it deals in is souls. Yonder knife scything towards me was the only knife capable of carving up a spook into tidy bits for distribution.
Slot machines chime a jackpot dirge
it’s the simple things our minds purge—
spiritual tethers submerge
until they’re stretched and we diverge
my tether’s no longer a scourge
and feeling it gives me the urge
to pull myself back from the verge.
But first, I need a surge
gotta electrocute this scourge
then my tether and I can merge.
Gripping my tether, I pulled and miracle of miracles, its anchor held. But I needed something to get me out of here. I reached into the tether and almost drew back when my hesitant touch sparked images in my head. Each link was a story. A crazy idea occurred to me. But first I swung an arm to block the knife diving toward me. I slapped it, knocking it aside and buying me time.
I worked a link free from my tether. In my mind’s eye, a wedding band spun on a pitted bar. A wasted version of the Goldilocks I’d met earlier pushed the ring across the slick wood veneer to pay for a bottle. Neon lights made the diamond flash. Her sorrow was smokey saltwater vaporizing in my mouth, and I felt the spreading heat of hard liquor, a whiskey maybe.
I threw it at my captor, and it screamed dropping me, but I didn’t fall. I had one hand on my tether, and my off hand joined it. I jack-and-the-bean-stalked it up my tether and out of that hell hole, shedding links as I went. And how cathartic it was to return misery to its maker.
For OctPoWRiMo, 31 poems in 31 days–all part of one story. Watch me do it.
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