LXXXIX | Some Room

I locate the study room—

It’s the source
of the fire.

The shelves are on fire.

(Everything inside actually.)

It’s now a factory
producing smoke.

My skin melts.

Hands haul me



The siren screams at me.

I fight.

(I don’t realise I’ve collapsed.)

I kick another canvas-clad nurse.
My wet towel is gone.

She’s still in the studio.

I struggle,
fighting this canvas-clad


She hasn’t escaped!

I’m being dragged once more.
I’m screaming again.

He can’t hear me.

I writhe and kick.

My nails
sink into the canvas.

My fingers bleed

but I rip at it.

The siren
like I do.


Let me go!


Both of us

I’m on top—

His hands release me
to break his fall

and I’m gone.

Stumbling into walls,
crawling past the heat.

Something explodes

but I only hear
the siren get louder,

and then
I’m thrown

in the direction of Tammie.

I think I knock my head
(still can’t hear)

but I’m not sure,
everything’s black.




Someone’s replaced my blood
with lead.

I can’t move.

My lips part

a mammoth exertion.


I blink,

I can hear my voice.

The word
is a hoarse croak

but it’s no longer

the sound of a whining siren.

I lift my heavy head,
looking around.

There’s debris


I’m lying in the ruined corridor,
covered in white ash.

Dust dances

in the air
like flies.

Amidst the clouds.

I’m too late?

I drag myself up—
as fast as I can

with lead in my body
and my head spinning.

The studio

is right
in front
of me.

I catch the doorknob

with one hand,

haul myself up,
leaning on the door.

Sharp pain
shoots up my leg,

an agonised cry

fills the silence.

There’s the sound of shattering glass

and water spills
from the bright sky—

the ceiling.

The lights go out,

plunging me
in shrouds of smoke
and steam. 

The stiffness in my limbs

is now stinging

with sharp shards
of water.

I press harder

against the studio door.

A wooden crack
and I’m


The door crashes
to the ground

with me on top of it.

Splinters pierce
my skin

and an overwhelming rotting stench

fills what little air is left.

It’s dark
in the studio

and I don’t know

where the wood
is cutting into me.

(Everywhere just hurts.)

And I’m yelling,


I hear my own dry sobs,
the sound of spitting sprinklers

and the muted echo
of my cries.

I’m stepping over

the broken wooden door,

hands outstretched
in the darkness,


I bump into something wooden and flat.

I know what it is.

Relief washes over me.

This place
is still intact.

I open
the cupboard
of leotards.

Groping around
with numb fingers,

I find mountains of fabric,

something solid
under the mountain.


And then

I hear

a very familiar giggle.




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