Untitled (2017-01-02)

“Hey,” she says to herself in the mirror, one damp hand wiping away the steam from the shower. Drops of water trickle down her temple, down her cheek, onto her chest.

There are bruises on her face, dark and furious and new.

“Be more careful,” she says to her reflection. In the mirror, the woman with her face blinks and looks away guiltily, hand raising to cover her own unbruised face.

“I know walking away from fights unscathed is your thing,” she continues, “but I have to go to work and this is getting suspicious.” She’s running out of cover up, too, running through it like water in a desert.

Her reflection nods, thoroughly chastened, before disappearing from the mirror.

She looks down–at the rest of her inherited wounds decorating her body–and begins the arduous process of hiding her cross dimensional connection.

When I die, cremate me.
Destroy me, completely,
until nothing but ashes remain.
Preservation so futile against the march of time.

Take those ashes and return me to the earth,
mixed into soil,
into the roots of fruit trees.

Apple and plum and lime,
avocado and pomegranate.
Reaching high and burrowing deep,
breathing, growing, living once more.

She is at work when the injury comes, blood blooming bright across her shirt. A gasp punched out of her as she grips her side, pen softly clattering against her desk.

“Shit,” she breathes through the pain, leaning heavily against the back of her swivel chair, “shit.”

Mirror, mirror. She needs a mirror.

Her free hand shakes, groping through her bag. She has a compact in their somewhere, but it’s as if everything is water slipping through her fingers.

Or blood.

“Serena, what’s going o-oh my god!” Daniel, from the cubicle next to hers, nosy but friendly enough. “Oh god, that’s a lot of blood! Oh jeez, oh god, oh jeez,” not exactly the calmest in an emergency, but she doesn’t exactly blame him.

She’s panicking, too.

“Ambulance,” she wheezes out, finally the touch of cool smooth metal beneath her fingertips.

On the cover of her compact is a never ending circle, impossible and crossing over itself, a single line with multiple paths. She flips it open, glass revealed, and even before her reflection appears, hisses,

“What the hell did you do?”

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