Heaven poured out its angels.

With eyes screwed shut, inky shapes in thought stretched out to stranger perspectives. They were impression buried beneath reality, like memory. My free hand burned then as I clenched it.

I inhaled.

Blackened oil roiled in my mind, the sight of it washing pink flesh, permeating and staining it sallow in the dark contractions of my lungs. I really should quit, I thought.

My eyes opened.

Cold breath appeared on a plume of smoke. Heat and moist air came against the frigid breeze and distant light in a drifting fog. I took another intake, the rain pattering lightly around me. The plastic umbrella over my head was propped against my shoulder, my leg pulled up against my chest to brace it as I sat.

The midday gloom was hanging low, flowing overhead between the concrete heights of the school. The thirty-foot tall red sign for spicy noodles blazed across the street. The playground was only just around the corner from where the buses were loading. From the top of the slide, I had an eye on them.

Only a moment more to breathe.

I had one more drag before dropping it, strangling a cough as I did. That last exhale sputtered out. I picked up my legs and slid, the wet slide soaking me on the short ride to a quick stop.

“You look stupid.” Continue reading