Genie Pendant

She is the type of girl who puts feathers and flowers in between the leaves of her Bible. Her own skin is ink pressed and crinkled with age. A cigarette hangs between her calloused fingers. Girl or woman, I can’t tell the difference. Her body shows signs of age, but the way she talks is as if she’s back in middle school experiencing her first love.

She is the type of girl who knows she is dirt, but “start dust” is what she calls herself. She will smile and show her crooked, nicotine, yellow stained teeth. Although, nothing about her shines gold. Actually, she is rather bronze. Maybe back in the day she wore a gold medal, but I can’t tell. To me she is more like a sticky penny from 1988. 

She is the type of girl who sits on a whicker basket behind a blanket full of timeless wares. She clasps a necklace around me, and tells me that the pendant was once home to a genie. For a second I think she is the genie. She tells me stories about all of these things, wounds from her past, that she is avidly trying to get rid of. 

She is the type of girl who bled gold once, but it tarnished overtime as she slowly forgot her worth, and here she is trying to earn it back; and here I am, dragging knives across my skin, paying in blood, creating wounds, that I too will sell in the future.

At least I get a genie pendant out of it. 

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Story Time

The Dragon Sash

I still wore the veil held in place by a jade comb, but I refused to wear the elaborate headdress. I relented to wearing everything else. The shoes I was wearing were made with a soft red fabric. Green turtles were stitched into the sides. The dress I was wearing was white with a red robe. The sash tied around my waist was also white but with red dragons stitched into it. It was the final piece to the whole ensemble. It was a gift, he had asked me to wear it.

We were out in the peach grove under all of the blossoming trees. I was in a palanquin, a light silk fabric screening my face from him. I came from just as much a royal family as he did. Surrounding me were twelve men. He was alone. We had only meant twice before and those times were only coincidences. He held out both hands. Folded over them was the sash. He said he would be honored if I wore it. How could I have refused him? It was probably the most beautiful gift I had ever been given. However, I should have known the intentions behind it, especially since it was coming from him.

It was only a few weeks after that, when I found myself sitting in my room surrounded by maids. They were all combing my hair, touching my skin, trying to decide how to paint my face. I turned to them and said, “Dress me how you want, but you must choose whether I wear the headdress or the sash. I will not wear both. I will not let others seal my fate when I am perfectly capable of deciding my future for myself.”

I was without the headdress, but the sash suddenly felt too tight. I wanted out of the Bridal Chair and into the open air. I wanted out from behind the curtains and the veil. Looking ahead I saw the palace doors open. Looking behind me, I watched them close. With the gates behind me and the crown prince somewhere in the palace in front of me, I knew the dragon sash tied around my waist had tied me to this occasion. I now had little to no part in my own future. I knew that whether I liked it or not, I was now bound to the crown prince and his future the moment I accepted the sash, something I never should have done.

Story Time

Thirty Seconds

“Choose one.”

On the table in front of me was a razor blade, a pair of scissors, a steak knife, a bottle of Hydrocodone, a bottle of Oxycontin, a syringe filled with Dilaudid (which is eight times stronger than morphine), a Colt 1911 .45 caliber pistol, and a picture of my family whom I slaughtered. Behind me in white uniforms stood two men. In their hands they held long black staffs. The man standing behind my left shoulder raised his staff and hit the back of my head. I brought my head back up, flipping my hair over my shoulder. I rolled my eyes. “Only one? But they all look so fun.”

“Choose one.”

I raised my cuffed hands. “Do I get to administer my own death or am I even denied that pleasure?”

The man on the other side of the table in front of me slammed his hands down. His eyes were wide. I imagined that if they bulged out any further than they would pop right out of his head. “Any pleasure you have been denied is because you sacrificed it.”

I nodded toward the picture on the table. “Are you referring to them being a pleasure?” His right eye twitched. “Because, if so,” I leaned forward and rested my elbows on the table, “I didn’t find them pleasurable.”

“Choose. One. Now.”

“Pistol.” He reeled back and grabbed the pistol. He aimed it at me. “But, then again that would be too simple wouldn’t it be?” I smiled. He slammed the pistol on the table. “The steak knife, now that would be messy.”

“Choose one!”

I stretched my arms out and lightly ran my fingers across everything in front of me. “The medicine. That would be painless, but boring.” I brought my arms back and looked up at him. I pouted my lips and gave him the best doll face I could. “Don’t you have anything more fun than this?”

A vein in his neck began to pop out. I snorted as he got closer to my face. In a low voice he said, “Choose. One.”

“Syringe.” Before he could grab it, I snagged the needle in my cuffed hands and injected it into his neck. He quickly reached up and pulled it out. His elbow began to shake and eyes began to close.

I had thirty seconds before he collapsed. I snagged the gun. He fell onto the table. I stood up, and as I turned, I kicked the chair behind me. Both men easily avoided the chair. I shot the one who had stood behind my right shoulder. The one to the left was on me in seconds. He brought his staff down hard on my wrists forcing me to drop the gun. He quickly dropped his own staff and grabbed my wrists. He forced them above my head while he pushed me back onto the table. He placed one hand on my shoulder holding me down while He grabbed my wrists and brought them down to my abdomen. He flipped me over onto my stomach. The razor blade, the scissors, and the steak knife were right under me. I squirmed underneath the pressure of his hand on my back. He pressed harder. He pulled out a walky-talky and started calling for backup. There was a reply in seconds.

The pressure on my back lightened as he yelled orders into the walky-talky. He was giving the person on the other end a rundown of what I had just done. I squirmed a little more, maneuvering the steak knife into my hand. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the handle that I grabbed. I could feel the blade cutting into my skin, and I could feel the scissors pushing against my arm. I closed my eyes and took a deep a breath. I opened my eyes and began kicking at his legs. He momentarily lost his balance. I took that moment and was able to get my hands out from under me by moving them to the left. His hand slipped off my back and he fell on top of me. I quickly flipped the knife around in my hands so that I was holding the black handle. He braced his hands on the table and was about to push himself back up when I started repeatedly stabbing the steak knife into him. I was only going to count to five and then stop and push him off, but in my anger I lost count and continued stabbing him.

When I realized he wasn’t fighting to get up anymore, I shoved his body off of me. I took a few deep breaths before I got up myself. I dropped the knife and looked around the room. The man I had shot was lying on the floor. He had a hand pressed to his chest. Blood was bubbling out of his mouth. His lungs were filling with blood, and he was struggling to breathe. I picked up the gun and shot the man a second time. This time, I didn’t miss his cranium. I put the gun in the waistband of my pants. I moved back over to the table. I rolled over the man slumped on top and began rifling through his pockets. I pulled out a set of keys and pocketed them. Then I slid the picture off the table. I folded it in half and slid it into my pocket with the keys. I looked around the room before I left. It was time to go clear my name. I didn’t slaughter my family; they were still alive.