#184 Somniferum

by Tucker Cummings

He opened his eyes, then shut them quickly against the glare. He opened them again, squinting against a riot of flashing lights. Slowly, the burning around his eyes receded. He blinked the world into focus.

Billboards? Street lights? There was some cacophony of color in the distance that roiled his brain.

His forehead was cold. Why was his forehead cold?

A window. His head was pressed against the glass.

His body ached from sitting slumped on the floor. He leaned back to take it all in. There was a crack in the window where his forehead had been resting. In the square below, people darted from corner to corner, their faces obscured by a haze of rain. Was it Times Square at his feet, or Shibuya?

He blinked again, and his eye stung fiercely. He pressed his hand to his face, and came away with red-stained fingertips. His dim reflection in the tempered glass showed the cause: his forehead was bleeding.

He turned and saw the ravaged suite behind him. Overturned tables sat in splinters. Shattered liquor bottles punctuated the floor, tiny icebergs in a sea of shameful choices.

At the center of all the destruction: a still, pale girl on vast, cold floor. He tried to wake her. She blew white foam across her lips, and was gone.

Too shattered to scream, he left her side.

He started to flush the rest, but saved one gram.

Just once more, he told himself. Once more, and then never again.

1 comment:

Wendy said...

This is really powerful. I especially like the image of the bottles like icebergs and the part about the foam across her lips.