Hour 16: Stars Splashed Like Blood

She wakes, covered in blood that she knows is not her own.
The mask she made as a child from mud and twigs and feathers is stuck to her face.

Her yellow dress, her best dress, is dirty and torn and wet with sweat and blood and what she hopes isn’t semen.

The phone rings.
It’s been ringing for hours.
The same song on her father’s old record player spinning and spinning.

Her boyfriend reaches across the bed to her.

“Don’t touch me.”

The phone rings and rings and rings.
The song spins and spins on the record player.

“You’re bleeding.”

“It’s not my blood.”

She looks at the hand he’s extending towards her.
It’s missing.

The phone rings and rings.
The song spins and spins.

“If you want to bleed, like me, just bleed.”

She can see herself, like remembering a dream, in the line at the supermarket.
Wearing her mask and pretty yellow dress, fighting the urge to kill someone.

She places her hand to her chest and realizes there are crude stitches over her right breast.
She looks at her boyfriend again and sees a gaping hole in his chest.

“You have my heart and all the stars, splashed inside of you like my love for you.”

All through the house the phone is ringing and ringing.
The song is spinning and spinning.

She hears a hyena laughing, breathing against the back of her neck.

She removes the mask and screams.
And screams one more time with feeling.

The phone rings no more and she wakes up.
Sweaty and breathing heavy.
Glad it was just a dream.

She runs her hands over her face, leaving streaks of mud and blood and semen and star dust.

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