Word Count: 542
Minka kicked her feet gently over the edge of the roof, her heels hitting the bricks with quiet thuds that reverberated up her shins. Her stomach twisted every time she looked beyond her knees, but she reveled in the feeling and took another swig from the ever-dwindling bottle of whiskey in her hand. Holding it up to the last dispersing beams of artificial daylight she frowned; she’d already gone through most of the bottle and the stores would soon close. Everything hurt, particularly her soul, and she wanted nothing more than to fast-forward through the agony of the gnawing hole in her chest.
She knew it had an end, everything did; and for a long moment she simply stared at the darkening projection of sky and thought about the future. She wondered how long it would be before the pain receded and she could breathe normally again, before she wouldn’t need a bottle of whiskey to let her sleep at night. She tried not to think about how the whiskey’s effect was growing less useful with each passing day; soon it would be a bottle and a half, then two. The gap in her life still burned like a fresh wound and it had been three months. Three agonizing, messy months. How many bottles would it take before it went away? Before she filled the cavernous pit that had developed in her? Did she even want it to? It reminded her she was alive when she shouldn’t be. It reminded her she was a coward, and Minka never wanted to forget that. She was only twenty years old and she already felt the weight of time and space and eternity pressing down on her, she could taste sorrow and loneliness in the air like wet copper.
The evening wind began to rattle between the buildings; the artificial atmosphere needed to have the carbon dioxide filtered out regularly and so, every evening at what everyone still called sunset, the fans were turned on and the air was filtered. Her hair whipped about her, long ghostly curls reaching over the edge of the roof into open air. With another long gulping session from the bottle, she had the courage to stand with the wind at her back, urging her forward. She breathed in a lungful of air open-mouthed, felt the cold rush into her throat and down into the gorge of her chest cavity, and suddenly she was lighter. She wasn’t anchored to the roof, to her life, to the world in which she lived, as if gravity itself didn’t have a say over her body. She held her arms out at her sides, the nearly empty bottle of whiskey held carelessly between two fingers, glinting in the light of the streetlamps as they lit up the streets below.
She wondered if she jumped if it would hurt if she simply sped up time. Would she even know she was falling? The cryptic phantom that had nestled into her subconscious came to life, whispering, that’s too easy; a killer should suffer, Minka. You know you deserve to feel the impact, that every trillionth of a second should be an individual splinter your bones.
“Excuse me, Miss, but you can’t be up here after dark.”