Five Steps

Her hands are long and grey and shaking. There are five steps between us. One; two; three; four; five. There are five steps between us. But I don’t think her legs will carry her down.

She’s holding something red against her face. And her eyes are looking at me as though I’ve done something wrong. Something terribly wrong. But I’ve only just got to her.

The door frames her and her hair is sticky at the ends and her eyes don’t stop looking. I want her to move before I have to. If her legs can hold her. If her legs could just carry her down.

She’s holding something white against her face; there is a small patch in the cloth that is not yet soaked in blood. She moves her long, grey, shaking hands to show me.

I want her to cover it again. The bottom of her face is a grotesque, swollen jack o’ lantern. She tries to speak through liquid. She’s telling me it was an accident. My sister has had a terrible accident.

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