Crawling to Death

Tiffany reached. She stretched her body, willing herself to grow longer like a cat too lazy to get up and play. Tiffany wasn’t too lazy or tired. She was damn near broken into bite-sized pieces. Blood dripped from her nose in a steady beat. Her shirt stuck to the floor with blood. Her right ankle had already swollen and the pain rang up her leg until she thought she’d go deaf from the pain. She tried to push herself up on her knees and crawl, but her left arm couldn’t hold her up. With her left toes and her right hand she tried the wimpiest army crawl the world had ever seen and she cried like a baby all the way through it. She sobbed and screamed. She wanted to roll over and throw a first-class tantrum like no one had ever seen, but she knew it would hurt. She knew she had limited energy. She knew people were dying every second that it took for her to pull herself across the three feet to push that damn button.

She’d push that button and then give herself permission to die. Ah, death! A  drug that she craved from deep within her.

She lifted her head to locate the black box and opened her mouth to scream as her vision went blotchy.  She clamped her mouth shut and pushed her frustration into her belly and down to her toes. And pushed.

She paused to pant, catching a glimpse of the dirt that was clumping to the blood on her fingers.  What would her friends think when they found her, if they were still alive. What a mess! They’d say. And that would be okay. She was a mess and she didn’t care. She sucked in a deep breath and lifted her head and pushed and pulled.

Tiffany’s cuts and fractures burned. The gifts that just kept giving. Her suffering didn’t matter anymore. What did pain matter? She took another breath and held it. She shuffled on her elbow and one knee, her vision filling with fireworks from the pain. Her arm collapsed. Her head smacked the floor. The room filled with shadows. The black box with the magic button was only a foot and a half away.

Tiffany panted, waiting for a mite of strength to try again. Push that button and the pain will end. Pain now. Comfort later. She went back to pushing with her toes and pulling with her fingers.

Tiffany turned her head and thought only of the black box. She pushed out all other thoughts. She didn’t listen to her bones as they sung of weariness. She ignored the raking waves of nausea. She imagined the coolness of the button under her burning flesh, and how it would cool the sting of her pain.

Push.

Two inches. Pant.

Push.

Two more inches. Pant.

Tiffany reached out again willing herself into a snake or a worm just to reach the box. Her fingernail scraped the corner. She cried in joy. Tears blurred the room around her, giving it a sparkle and sheen as the light passed through her tears. She pushed with both sets of toes and howled. She raised her hand careful to keep from pushing the little box away. Her hand fell down hoping to hit the red button on the first try. Her hand shook and her control was nil. She raised her head until she could make out a red button amid the shadows of darkness that gathered around her vision. She locked on the red and prayed to a god that no one believed in anymore and hit the button with the heel of her hand. She gasped as the round shape press against the fleshy part of her hand. She felt it compress. She closed her eyes and surrendered to the dark shadows that waited. Writing Prompt: Crawl

Photo Credit: Al Ibrahim

About the author

Carley Hibbert

I just finished writing my first novel The Villain's Assistant. I'm preparing to submit it to an interested publisher.

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