A Story by Alexis Raine

An attempt at a haibun. Written in 45 minutes at a literature club meeting after a photo prompt.


        The world snaps into crystal clearness before plunging down into dark again. Some days, the moment lasts longer; other days, my head is immediately reacquainted with the ceramic floor.
        I'm not entirely sure how long I've been here. I can't see the clock; it's too far out of view, the very edge of it teasing my peripheral vision. Sometimes I try to bolt upwards in a panic, an attempt to escape, but my legs and arms are tied to the floor by the same devils that pull black curtains over my eyes. Sometimes I feel them dancing over my hands, my feet; other times I see them skittering and scrambling, conducting tribal ceremonies on my ceiling.
        They laugh at me; they tell me they're going to swaddle me up tight, like Baby Jesus, and stick a rubber stamp on my forehead and FedEx me, only I'll get lost in the mail and no one will know who I was or where I was going.
        I scream at them to stop, but one, a little fellow, settles between my eyes and starts to pound, pound, and pound until I shut my eyes the draw the dark curtain myself. When I open my eyes I see they've called their friends, the ones with flashing lights and a screaming war cry that could shatter glass. They claw at me and pick me up, setting me on their rolling cart and tucking blankets so tightly around me, I can barely breathe.  I think, 'those devils kept their promise' and now I'm on the way to the Post Office, with stamps plastered on my pulse points and a label securing my head down, so it will not break in transit.
       I hear them yelling to each other, saying things like 'stroke' and 'burglary.' Their noises hit my ears like a rock through the glass of my kitchen window and I try to thrash, but they've got my limbs weighed down with packing peanuts and strapped tight to my body. 
       The siren devils lift me into the belly of their war-steed and as they do, I become aware of the beep, beep, beeping of the scale weighing my soul for shipping. It gets louder and more frantic and I think, 'my God, my sins weigh a lot.'
        One of the devils leans over me and starts screaming 'sir!' but I ignore him and focus on the scale; I can see the little green line bouncing weakly up and down until it settles into a straight line, sending a steady sound into my ears.
        The world snaps into crystal clearness one last time before my head becomes reacquainted with darkness.

On April 24th
A robbery on Pine Street
Becomes a murder

© 2010 Alexis Raine

Author's Note

Alexis Raine
This is pretty rough and mostly unedited. Thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

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swaddled up like baby jesus is a really good line. It gives a lot to the story in terms of the symbolism. Also beginning and ending with snapping into crystal clearness is really great.

Posted 14 Years Ago

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1 Review
Added on May 25, 2010
Last Updated on June 9, 2010
Tags: haibun, eastern, psychological


Alexis Raine
Alexis Raine

You can call me Roo, or any variation upon my name. I live in a land of trees, where it is possible to drown by just looking at the sky. I enjoy writing, mostly prose, and some screenplays. I al.. more..