"What I've Become"
A Short Story by Deserae McGlothen
I am an airplane.
At some point, maybe it was on Dursley Road or on Autumn Lane or perhaps it was in the park or by Reginald's Flower Shoppe... At some point, my feet just know what to do, and I can move without moving--- think without thinking. I can go without knowing where I'm headed. And that's good. Because if I knew any better, I wouldn't be going, would I?
I am an elephant.
I crush every leaf, every thing in my path. I don't mean to be destructive, but I am. The state of my being proves it, I think. The crude cut of my hair was done by my own hands... the red scars on my legs, made by my own self... I tuck my arms under my armpits to keep my jacket closed. I don't want to hurt anyone anymore... anymore...
I am lost.
I have finally found the place where she left me. My sister. The one good thing I have--- had--- in my life. When I realize where I am, a hand shoots to my mouth and I clutch my heart with the other. Hysterically, I fall to the forest floor and pull my legs in toward my body to keep me warm. I cry. I don't know what else to do.
She was here. She was laying right here when it happened. And now she isn't. Now she's gone. And now I'm in her place. And I've done nothing but hurt,
myself and everyone else I've ever met.
I am crazy.
I must be.
Because the earth feels warm, inviting, and so soft... And I... I'm so cold. I reach behind me hoping to find a blanket, but all I find is ground. I scoop it up and sprinkle it on myself anyway.
I imagine myself standing up again. In fact, I decide I am a ghost and watch myself do this very thing. I get up. I wipe my face. I take a breath. I move on.
But then suddenly, I am nothing. I am no one. I am me. The tears keep falling. Rage boils inside of me. Pulling my legs closer to my body, I choke back a sob and I sing.
"Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday, my Maria. Happy birthday... Happy birthday... Happy... birthday?... To you."