Rumors

I haven't shared much of my fiction work on the blog recently. I love the chance to share my work, but trying to submit to contests and get published makes for tricky timing for sharing here.
This piece is a flash fiction that I wrote to share with as many people as possible. It's about bullying and the vicious rumors that swirl both in school and life. I don't want to ramble on, so I'll just say: I wrote this piece because I wanted others to understand how it feels if it has never happened to them, and I wanted other victims of bullying to know they're not alone in how they feel, and their emotions are very valid and very real.

Rumors
In through your nose, out through your mouth, that’s how you’re supposed to breathe. Really, it comes in through your nose in a rush of oxygen and exits your lips in strangled shakes, trying to push the bad out. At least this is true when there are also tears hysterically streaming down your cheeks. I can feel the wet on the curve of cheeks mix with the salty blood from the cut I made in my lip trying to hold back the sobs that have taken prisoner of my body.
When I stop trying to control the steady inhaling and exhaling, I start gasping, fighting the invisible being that has two hands wrapped around my throat. I push my face into my knees, blocking out the harsh bathroom fluorescents, and my hands cover my ears. I want the world to disappear.
But it won’t, because her words keep replaying in my head on an endless loop cycle. All those words she snarled so close to my face; I could feel her spit on my cheek. Accusations that made no sense. Words that had no weight but so much strength to knock me over. I see her face too. So fake, covered with sticky gloss and cheap shadow, yet somehow so much better than my own.
Her features start to twist. Her nose expands and her lips spread wider, thinner, her hair twists in tiny cyclones till the tendrils bounce in ringlets at her shoulders. I shudder at this image, new to the attack but old in my memory. Her words are just as barbed and just as confusing as the last girls. Her anger has nothing to do with me, but she’s yelling like I cost her something great. I feel myself shrink to a bit younger version of myself with eyes clenched tight against the world and lips sealed up in a protective line.
The morphing occurs once more, this time, her hair gets shorter and straighter, her cheeks round, and splotches of freckles crowd her skin. All she can do is smirk and laugh, pointing towards the still shrinking version of myself, now much younger and pudgier, though this me still has something I don't anymore, a tiny glimmer of hope for people hidden behind the wet sheen of tears.
Finally, the face splits into three little girls, all with jumpers and bows glowing with innocence. I appear next to them with a giant grin and a missing tooth. There’s still a chance. I want to run forward and grab this smiling, loving little girl because she doesn’t deserve what will happen to her when she finally reaches those three toxic girls. People are mean, but she doesn’t deserve what she’s going to get. It’s the cycle that keeps turning once it starts, and I know that she’ll never get out. Because I’m here now. No one deserves to get shattered.
But I watch the girl, glowing brighter than a ray of sunshine, tap the shoulder of the tallest of the three six-year-old girls. And it’s too late to stop the slowest train wreck in existence. My mind jolts me forward until I’m back on the bathroom floor, back pressing against the
locked stall door, just struggling to keep breathing. Every time I take a tiny step forward, something stabs me in my chest, too close to the festering wound that has never had a chance to heal. I’m not a person anymore, only a shell of something that once, briefly was.
Everyone should understand their power to destroy. 

I hope you enjoyed this! Feel free to leave comments below. Also, if you liked my writing you can see the other pieces I've posted here. I hope to post more soon!
Links of Interest:
Goodbye: http://www.readingwritingandme.com/2017/06/goodbye.html
Poetry: http://www.readingwritingandme.com/2017/04/poetry-month-celebration.html
Meet Cute: http://www.readingwritingandme.com/2018/01/meet-cute.html
Here We Are Now: http://www.readingwritingandme.com/2018/01/here-we-are-now_21.html


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