Blood Stained

Blood Stained

A Story by Gianna Anaya

A nightmare on paper and memory


The worn record spins as music notes waver into the air. Before me there lays an empty ballroom that I know, my feet will never dance on. A woman steps out of the punch bowl clothed in the black dress I wore to my father’s funeral; Her long white fingers dance across my forearm as she asks me what I will do for the rest of my life. Cuts line my wrists as her white nails now drip red, the memories I couldn’t bear the weight of, bleed out in front of me, coating the flawless white floor with my flawed heart. I feel the eyes of strangers and ex-lovers bear into my back but when I look up from the pool of tears and blood, there’s not a soul in the room. The woman fades into the burgundy wallpaper until the only remnant of her is a whisper of a voice asking me on repeat “What do you plan to do with the rest of your life?...” I know what she wants me to say, and I know that with three words she would hold my hand and take the pain away doing the job my veins would never let me muster. I hold my bloodied hand out to her, asking her to grab ahold of me before I utter the words that will give her the consent to freely take me away.

As she begins to emerge once more, the chandelier above my head begins to glisten with the memories of those I’ve loved. My mother spins me around in a bright pink dress. My sister giggles as we ride the train to California. My grandfather holds me as the thunder strikes, whispering to me that it’ll be okay. My grandmother helps me pick roses in her own Garden of Eden. My best friends from years past all tell me the jokes that once gave me the strength to smile. I shake my head as the weight from my shoulders begins to lift, my hand closing inside of itself as the bleeding stops.

“I want to live”

I tell her, the spell broken with the strength I knew was inside of me, but often too felt deep to reach. Triumph swells in my chest, and when I get the strength to finally look at her,  pitch black eyes kill the triumph as she reflects the real truth to me. “For now”...“For now” these are the words that replace the laughter in the air and one by one the balcony begins to fill with the faces of my chandelier saviors.

I clasp my hands in front of my chest the feeling of dread slowly consuming me as my grandfather steps to the rail of the balcony.

“The thunder is coming”

he says with a smile before hurling himself off of the balcony, falling into a lifeless heap on the floor. I scream, the sound only resonating in my chest as the next person steps to the balcony, this time my best friend.

“Knock, Knock?”

she giggles through her teeth before following my grandfather, blood mixing with childhood advice and innocent jokes. The red nailed monster in the corner begins to laugh as I stand there, unable to stop the performance I didn’t pay to see.

“Dance with me”

“I wanna play conductor. Choo Choo”

“This rose matches your eyes”

“Don’t let go of my hand”

One-by-One-by-One they fall, blood coating every crevice until only the tile encircling me is white, preserved by my tears.  My soul, as broken as their bones, shatters to the point of no repair. My eyes scan my loved ones for a sign of life, a flicker of a laugh, the memory of a smile, I’m greeted with wide eyes frozen in an eternal scream of impact. Collapsing to the ground, my sobs finally make their way out of my throat as I perform to my audience of no one, the pain of every tragedy to date.  My body, drowning from the inside out as every part of my being begs to leave, begs to unsee, begs to make it stop. With the cold laughter of a woman hiding in the cracks of worn wallpaper, I am ushered to sleep, another heap on the floor. Finally at rest, asleep amongst my lovelies of horrors in a performance I didn’t want to be a part of.

© 2017 Gianna Anaya

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Added on November 25, 2017
Last Updated on November 25, 2017
Tags: nightmare, dream, yellow wallpaper, family


Gianna Anaya
Gianna Anaya

I write the world that exists around me; I write the world I wish existed around me; I write the world I hope no one ever has to witness; above all I write the corners of my brain that I simple can't .. more..

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