Olivia Morse – Dead Birds
I was standing in the middle of a modern decorated living room, minimal furniture, white walls and shiny black leather couches. There were a few family photos scattered around, formal looking people. There was loud music playing from what sounded like above me, metal with a big bass that I could feel rumble underneath my feet. I walked out into a similarly minimal hallway that lead to the staircase. As I began to ascend I held on to the handrail, vibrating from the pounding sound. It was pretty obvious from which room the music was coming from, I slowly stepped towards the door covered in various band posters and left slightly agar. I pushed the door open enough for me to see a wall also covered in band posters, and the culprit of the noise, 2 huge speakers booming on top of a dresser. I pushed the door a little more to see a large window looking out over a busy city night sky, some large buildings and a lot of bright lights illuminating the city in the darkness. I could make out a silhouette standing in front of the window, the bedroom was dimly lit but I could see from the light coming in from the window that it was a girl. I could see her from nearly half side view, she seemed to be looking out on to the streets below. She lifted something up to her mouth, tipped her head back and drank something from a large glass bottle.
I edged in the room slightly further and could see that it was some kind of alcohol. As she lowered the bottle back to her side, the street lights lit up her face again and glinted on the tears streaming down her cheeks. After a few seconds she took another long swig from the bottle before setting it down on the windowsill. This girl was obviously dealing with some shit to be drinking home alone like this, and clearly upset. I took a few steps closer until I noticed my own reflection emerging behind her among the buildings outside on the window. Her glazed eyes seemed to be searching for something outside, what was she looking for? Her gaze finally set and focused on me, I thought she might be shocked or turn to look at me, but she didn’t. Instead, she looked down to the bedside table on her left and reached to pick up something from it. She opened whatever it was and did the same motion as if she was taking another long drink from her bottle, but this was a different kind of bottle. Pills.
She took the alcohol back from the windowsill and washed the pills down before taking more, and more. Once the pill bottle was empty she dropped it to the floor. She looked back at my reflection, I didn’t know what to feel. I wanted to help this girl but I knew I couldn’t. I tried to speak but I knew she couldn’t hear me, and not just because of the loud volume of the music. More tears came and I noticed how beautiful she was, the tears washed black makeup down her face to make her look like a Victoria Frances painting. Her eyes started to roll to the back of her head and she slumped down on to her knees. My reaction was to try and catch her, help her, but my touch did nothing. I knelt down beside her, my own tears starting to flow. Blood dripped from her nose on to the floor, she swayed for a few seconds before falling backwards. As she laid there like a crumpled forgotten about porcelain doll, she looked like an angel. Her long black hair spread out poetically across the floor above her head. Eyes bloodshot and staring at me, black and red painted over her face. One arm above her, the other across her stomach.
I stared at her for a while, silently crying, what a tragic beauty. She can’t be any older than 18. Her body started to shake violently and foam seeped from the corners of her mouth, but she still made no sound. She just kept looking at me, knowingly, like she wanted to tell me something. Strange but, she didn’t seem so sad any more. Did she finally get what she wanted? Her eyes told me she knew she would be free soon. On the arm above her, I noticed what seemed to be self harm markings. They looked pretty recent, what made this child want to hurt herself so badly? I wanted to tell her that everything would be ok now, that she was going to a better place. I really wanted to believe she was. I suddenly realised I knew this song, “Scars” by Papa Roach filled every corner of the room. I reached out and held the hand that lay across her as I waited to wake up from this latest nightmare, we were both lulled to sleep by the lyrics.
The song came to an end and I woke up in my own bed again, my head feeling fuzzy as usual.
Did I try hard enough this time? Could I really have no effect on the outcome of these poor people? I didn’t think it was possible to feel this useless. What was even the point in being here if I couldn’t help them?
Image credit – Victoria Francis