9.4

The water is a seemingly unending creature. The river swallows the surrounding land; it has forged its way through the dense forest landscape. The drop at the far end of the swollen river lends toward the power of it all. Crystal clear water. The smell of it permeates everything.

A swallow shoots across the spotless blue sky. It dips low, almost touching the water. With its wings spread out, it sails parallel to the surface. When the floor drops off and the waters crash downward, a devastating plummeting of mass, the swallow continues forward, now hundreds of feet in the air.

The shores of the river are perilous. An oak tree slips into the water, and disappears in an instant. Loose dirt and visible roots show a history of the waters disregard for permanency of the surrounding boundaries. The waters push forward and the world is sucked in. The river refuses to quiet, it refuses to allow its surface to turn to glass. The currents swirl. The trees shift. The water drops.

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9.2

She smiles warmly. Welcoming. The light doesn’t reach her eyes. She’s the kind of friend you think you miss. She dropped out of high school when she was seventeen but she’s all knowing. She tells you she’s better off. That you’re better off beside her. She’s comforting, at first. She’s freshly baked bread and warm hugs. Until she’s not. There’s a sense of familiarity that echoes off her skin. She says she wants to make you a better person. She holds you to your promises. She ties you down to forgotten values, to past versions of yourself. She tries to stop time. Her body is aged and she moans when you make your exit.

9.1

The sky is low and full of clouds. Beneath the sky a woman sits on a tabletop at a park, picking at a scab on her knee as she waits for some unseen person. A car pulls up to the lot beside her and she smiles, her resolve already fading away. He sits beside her and they laugh and they talk and she is not alone and it is enough for the day.