Strung Out

    The sound of the TV was static; you had to smack the side of the tube when it started up. A rabbit-ear antenna swayed as little feet padded against the TV stand, where a little girl lay on her back, small, rounded face tilted up toward the fuzzy screen. Her legs stretched out over her, vertical and in alignment with the tall pine stereo case. A bright bubble gum coloured Chapstick was grasped between her fingers, the cap of the small bottle smooth and perfect as she unconsciously ran it over the skin of her top lip. Eyes flickered back and forth, the vibrancy of the screen reflected over her irises.

    The carpet was rough against the back of her shirt, rubbing against alabaster skin where it rode up, and the voice of Simba crashed through the speakers. The sound of rushing hooves as antelope ran through a deep canal on the screen and the rising of an electric tide began in her belly. She watched on, reverent as her face met the face of a lion cub stricken with grief, and her pupils widened, a sweat beginning on the back of her neck. She tilted her head back, looking upside down and acknowledging her surroundings. The damp basement was filled with the light from the screen, the only other light being a small bulb in the corner where a man sat, face weary and hair filling with grey. A saggy green couch, buttons hanging off in places, sat behind the TV, between her and the man that was her father. Her head snapped back, the sound of a tree branch cracking making her jump, hair prickling uncomfortably on her arms, and Simba was thrown into the rocketing abyss of running hooves. Her hands clasped together as she sat up suddenly, head now wobbly and full of spiders. She watched on as Simba hung between Mufasa’s teeth, and was launched to safety, a tingle wracking her nerves. Starting out slow but gradually building with the stinging waves, unknowingly she held her breath. All at once, as the king of the savannah dropped from the grasp of his brother’s claws, her lungs were empty, and the dam burst.

    Her small limbs were twisted, and she stumbled as she leapt up to her feet. Sticky, biting hands flew up to her face, pushing at the hair that caught on her arid lips, gasps choking from her throat. Weary grey eyes shifted over to her, and she ran to them as fast as her tripping feet would carry her, but flailing arms and tearful eyes couldn’t carry the message.

    Standing there, she panicked.

    She was overtaken by the anguish of a body with wide, watermelon eyes, and slipped beneath the torrent of electricity.  Her body rocked, ached, and pleaded until panic ceased. Eventually, the monster’s grasp inside of her let go of her heart, and blue eyes blurred back into focus, collapsing against her father’s aged arms and she was free. Simba’s sobs continued to echo through her crackling mind.


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