Creative Writing · Fractured Earth · Stage 1 · Stories

Stage 1 – Take 1 – Day 24 – Fractured Earth – Hurts Like A Mother

Today’s piece continues from day 17 (wow, was it really that long ago that we last heard from Chelsea?). For those who need a reminder, she’s the runner with the weird purple lines on her body.

Chelsea did the only sensible thing one could do when faced with an unusual health concern. She googled it. Unsurprisingly, she found no useful results – just a bunch of pages about skin changes that sometimes happen alongside the glow of pregnancy.

Chelsea briefly considered a trip to see her doctor. Two things stopped her. It would cost money she didn’t have. And it would probably result in a stay in a psych ward. And once in a lifetime is enough for that experience.

Plus, the lines had faded now. She was probably just tired. Distracted by having a bad day.

And so, she did what she always does when life got difficult. She threw herself into her routine and used exhaustion to forget about her woes.

After her post-run shower the next morning, when she saw the lines again, she just ignored them. And the next day and the one after that. And every morning for a week. Some days the lines were vibrant and fierce. Other days dim and subdued. The further she had run, the stronger they were.

A week after they first appeared, she awoke in the middle of the night from a bad dream. Walking to the kitchen, she stubbed her toe. It hurt in that all consuming way that only a stubbed toe can. And the purple lines flared so brightly they lit the room. She cried out in pain and frustration and anger and thumped her fist against the wall. Purple power welled in the palm of her hand, she could see it flowing in from where the purple line met her wrist. A glowing purple ball formed, reaching the size of a grapefruit in under a second. And then it silently exploded.

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