#232 Rainbows

by Tracey Glasspool

An explosion of colour—like fireworks, streamers, spatters of paint. It out-shines the stars. A rainbow of life.

Maddie stretches her hands up and out. She laughs with the joy of it, her body snaking and swaying in time with a silent beat only for her. She reaches high—red-tipped fingers clutching, grabbing. Trying to trap the ribbons in the sky before they disappear.

But she is too slow, too late, too far away.

She lets her body fall back to touch the ground, watching as the rainbow comets fade into black. The stars are revealed, no longer competing, their beauty undimmed. She feels the blackness descend until it covers her, smothers her and she heaves a breath of mourning.

The cleaner finds her next day, curled on one side, syringe discarded. His humming stops, is replaced by a shout of horror.

She lies there, foetal, her womb a filthy toilet. Her arms are rigid, knees convulsed to her chest. On top, facing the sky, her skin is white, almost blue, like translucent china. Beneath, pressed to the tiles, she is bruised; purple and clotted. Vomit pools beneath her hair, spreads into cracks and depressions. Her red-tipped fingers clutch at nothing. A rainbow of death.

1 comment:

JRVogt said...

Quite the vivid use of color here, in such contrasted contexts.