It begins like a smooth creeping black film
which seeps through my body. Drawing in
through my legs and making me convulse,
gently at first, the praying mantas taunts and
lures, momentarily I am deluded that it may
just subside and draw back – let me have
some respite. It is always undefeated. It
embeds itself in my stomach, churning,
curdling and then winds itself in my chest,
coiling round my throat, choking backward
and forward, slowly, but with the capacity to
create a huge sense of urgency throughout
me. I am now under its spell.

It is the darkest demon which consumes me.
My chattering brain with its fierce tongue now
incinerates my beautiful thoughts and
reduces me to a shivering wreck. I am no
longer Gabrielle, the vivacious, confident,
kind soul I am so fond of. I am a lost child.
Abandoned in an unforgiving forest with no
hope of finding my way home. I have no way
of regaining my strength, all there is to do is
ride it out. Wait, I do. Time is like an infinite
chasm, it teases me but it will never arrive.

I want to run away from my mind. I want to
tear my soul out of my body and bury myself
where I will never be discovered. When the
tears arrive it is a relief, I feel almost
comforted by displaying my despair. I am
now inconsolable, I stampede in circles, not
being able to venture outside but desperately
wanting to hurl myself out of the window.
Shallow breaths are all I can manage and I
boil up until I am shrieking and thumping
myself to try and eradicate the evil. I force a
state of utter manic screeching. I encourage
the franticness surging through my body, I
want to display my helplessness, to
elaborate my feeling of disrepair.

The icicles which were once my fleshy
fingers kneed together and scrape at my
skin, the blanket that contains this monster. I
attempt to scratch and pull, as if a gap were
to be made then the misery could evaporate.

I want to transport someone into my body for
just a drop, so they can experience this
feeling of utter hopelessness. There is not a
soul in the world who can rescue me. I know
it will dissolve, will seep away. It will shrink,
but the hours will only manage to tumble by
like huge boulders that can barely roll under
their own weight.
Every time it eventually releases Gabrielle
and sucks itself back into that manageable
dot deep within me, it draws a piece of my
loveliness with it.

Sometimes I am worried I may not reappear.

Gabrielle Trundley

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