One. Two. Three. Four.
Are you running?

Then, count!

One. Two. Three. Four.
One. You saw a boy with purple eyes
and he offered you a gold coin in return
For a story.
Two, three birds flew in the sky, their feathers colourless and
you shot them down without a gun in your hand.
Three, there was a train. And it screamed.
Screamed of blood and bullet shots.
And you ran along with it.
Four. There was a well. It swirled golden with ambrosia
and told you to come closer.

Two. Metal and Mouth.
A hole, inside which a soul-sucking metal nestles.
A trigger, and a light touch of a finger rests on it.
A forehead. Yours. Yearns to be kissed by metal.

Three. Now you scream too.
You run. You scream.
The train has stopped at a station and you get on.
Bruised. Shivering. Forlorn.

Four. You want to dip your feet. They function no more.
Hard years they ran through.
Fast and frenzied as a deer being hunted, at first.
Then, paced and calculating like a panther in the shadows.

One. You told him a story of Four.
A politician and his wife.
A ballerina of three feet.
And a dreamer with a yellow satchel.
His purple eyes smiled. His fingers brushed yours and your palm held four gold coins instead.

Two. His fingers relaxed on the trigger.
The metal kiss never happened.
But three shots did.
Three birds died: a politician, his wife and a ballerina.
Their feathers did not have colour. Or life.
Guilt was all there was. You could have saved them.
The metal kiss was never meant for you.
Just like the kiss from the purple-eyed boy.
Who pulled the trigger.

Three. Each compartment holds a memory.
You walk through them all; some lit with sunlight, some with mild piano music.
But you take a seat only at the last carriage.
You watch: a boy with purple eyes barges into the room.
There was a gun, one long gleam of silver crafted to kill.
Three shots.
one, Daddy with his cigarette smoke breath.
two, Mummy with her dimpled smiles.

three, the ballerina with her red pigtails.

Four. The well beckons to you now.
You slide a toe in and the feeling is of heaven.
The abyss felt comforting and promised to heal.
Jump. One. Two. Three. Four.
one, the story you told your purple-eyed boy, died.
two, your family did too.
three, that day, at seventeen, three coins you earned for the story were spent.

four, you are a woman of twenty six, who hallucinates.

The abyss IS promising.
You shall no longer hear the train thudding along or
The three shots.
You can be a dreamer again.
Reunited with her family.
And you will immerse yourself into an oblivion with no purple eyes.

You Jump.

A nurse finds you.
She screams,
Just like you did when your family left you,
At the facility, in tears, unable to help you.
For you see, darling,
The Shadows are Whisperers and I am so sorry that you heard them and saw them.
It cannot be changed.
But, the next day,
The headlines read:
“The Schizophrenic Suicides.”


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