when you thought you’d never stand out

by deej

The door burst open in a resonating bang and like a manic marathon runner this headless husk of a human flew out and onto the streets.
It was hard to control her movements because of her missing head. She could not see, nor hear; all she had to guide her were her instincts and the movements of the wind.
“Run,” they said.

She could not see the looks cast upon her by the people on the street; disgusted, discombobulated and horrified, at seeing a headless body running past their very eyes.

She could not hear the toe-curling yells of these terrified individuals, screaming for their gods in blasphemy at this literally running headless chicken.

Luckily, she could not. In her panic, it really was the last thing she needed.

All she knew was where she needed to be.
She felt the searing warmth of the bodies she grazed past, against her frozen skin.
She felt the cool moon rays on her bare arms and feet, chilling her bones.
She felt the pull of her belly leading her in a direction that her feet seemed to recognize and she gave in to Fate.
She knew it would take her where she needed to be.

The concrete continued, harsh on her bare feet, with twigs and things that strayed the path.
She gave no mind to it(no pun intended).

She felt a hook behind her belly that commanded her to stop and her headless frame swayed a little as she regained her balance. She shivered, cold from the night air.

“Hey, you left your head here…
Oh that’s right, you probably can’t hear me,”

Her hands reached out, sensing a familiarly peculiar warmth and her heart calmed.
She felt friendly fingers gently wrapping themselves over her small hands.
But suddenly, without warning (how could she have known), a sharp and shooting pain struck her in the neck.

She buckled over, howling in agony, as she held her neck, pressing hard as though the pressure would ease the pain.
She felt big strong arms catch her and a soft whisper beside her ear,
“I’m sorry, I had to pop your head back on,”

The arms cradled her as the pain dulled to a slow throb. She rested her head against the warm torso as she steadied herself.
She heard the heavy heartbeat beneath it.
Encouraged, she took her first breath.
And then she took her next breath.
She stood quite still, her chest heaving, circulating the oxygen to her tired frame.
She felt the arms firm around her, guarding her, and bravely she opened her eyes.

Soft orange light flooded her vision, spilling from a dragon lantern and she felt soft lips press against her forehead.
She sighed.