Ben Muster, Grade 11, Red Cliffs Secondary College -
Excellence In Writing Award in the 'Horizon of Dreams 2018' competition
There is a rip inside you.
It lies somewhere untraceable, someplace where you’ve never felt anything before. It is small at first, a slit, one that seems to breathe as you do, opening and closing, expanding and contracting. It widens and deepens only to mend itself just as quickly, shrouded in the network of electrical signals, back and forth and back and forth. The feeling is hazy and lost.
But gradually—almost spitefully, as if angered by the thought of its denial—it nears the surface, like a pocket of air that wavers and shimmers its way out of the water. Then It sharpens, taking shape and form, far bigger, and blinding in its brilliance. There is quiet in the moments before it rises, before the water swells around it in a bubble destined to burst.
Rapture. The slit explodes into a chasm, and a thousand different bubbles burst free, swirling and soaring up a red carpet until they collect and combine and begin to quake before they break the hinges of your jaw and erupt from between your teeth in a sound that shatters the walls between worlds.
Your throat starts to chafe and your vision grows rimmed with blackness, even when someone wraps their arms around you hard enough to crumple your ribs. You want to tell whoever is making that awful scream to stop it because your bones are weak and the Earth is swaying, but it doesn’t take long to figure out that it’s you.
Your face is on fire, and you’re drowning in whatever it is that’s coming from your eyes. The salty beads baptise your cheeks, and soon you’re swimming in them, they stain your skin and cloud your eyes and fill your mind. Your head becomes heavy, and you fall, between the set of arms that swoop in underneath you, through the floor, into some place where it’s just you and him just you and him just you and him just you and him and there he is, standing at the edge of it all with his killer smile and wicked blue eyes.
But it begins to dwindle, that thick, sweet blackness where there is both nothing and everything at once. It hurts you more that way, to watch him fade so slowly from in front of you. He’s not gone, not yet, you won’t believe it, you can see him, you can feel him. He does not reach out for you, does not scream for you as you do for him. His eyes are empty.
And with one final heave, you’re torn out.
Your spirit shudders and spasms with some otherworldly malice, and you tell it to come out come out wherever it is and to bless the world with its chaos and to find all those who had ever kept you from the other boy and tear off their heads and tear out their throats and tear out their hearts.
Death smiles, and turns its back on you.