Broken Half

There was light – that meant they were near an exit.

She reaches a trembling hand, held back by the barrier of her own terror. The blood is no longer pulsing, rather it seeps from his face, his eyes, out of his ear.

“He’s dead.”

Not so much an announcement as a question.

The boy beside her nods, uncertainly.

She chokes, falls back and scrambles away from the body.

“We’ve got to keep moving…”

He crouches beside the body, leans next to the face.

Sees a broken object.

The pounding begins on the other side of the wall, a horrible clawing.

The girl leaps up and takes off down the tunnel, urging him to follow.

He reaches out for the object.


My weak hands find it the same time his do.

“Leave it…”

His eyes grow wide, but he is determined – and he pulls it from my grasp.

It’s hard to see through the blood.

His fingers caress the shape and curve of it.

In a jerky, sudden motion he drives it into his face.

Through a haze of red I see him run off.

The remainder of my mask has accepted him.

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