Picnic with Death

*A translation of the previous post in addition to some editing*

It had been a while since she last walked in the park. Many good memories came to life here, and one very traumatizing. Monica walked along the slim path. A thousand times she had set her feet here, but it all seemed so new. As if everything had changed afterwards. Yet there were things that had kept themselves as usual. The packed plum-tree hung over the shiny lake. The burden must have been great for the simple branches. No one ever picked off any of its fruits, no matter how delicious they looked. No one offered to lift the burden.
              Monica had a bright future. Last year on High School and soon University. She was going to major in art. The schools she looked at didn’t require a high standard of grades, and she had what it took to get in. For her friends there was another story. Her best friend since middle school, Alice, had no future.
               It was rare to see her at school and the few hours she appeared went quickly until she got bored again. Then she would leave. Just like that. How easy it looked. To walk away from the things that bore you. But she wasn’t able to walk away from everything. She was in trouble, massive trouble. By the end of eighth grade she was regularly sticking needles through the once soft skin. Monica never knew what was in them. Neither did Alice. Lately it looked like heroin; it gave the great kick as they called it. Monica had stayed through the other types of kicks Alice had searched for, she was not going to stop now. She didn’t want to lose her.
               Monica stayed clear of the needles, she saw what it did to her friend. Her stories of how the world was so much better with the new vision never convinced her. Neither did Monica’s endless trials of describing what Alice really was doing to herself, where she was headed. None of them were convinced any more than they had started off with. Alice had stopped talking about her belief in her little magic liquid and Monica stopped describing the horrible scenarios that taunted her head. The images didn’t get better after she watched a movie with her class on drugs. In the beginning she tried to sleep, not let the moving pictures get in her. She didn’t need it. She knew. The volume was loud and the movie distracting. Unwillingly her eyes caught the screen and got fixed. There was only one thought in her mind. Alice. Can’t. Die. When it finished the borrowed it and went to Alice’s place.
               The credits came, and went. Not a sound could be heard in the messy cottage she called a room. The red eyes said everything, she was petrified. The future had never been further than the next dose.
               They never went to the rehab center. She was going to make it, with Monica. Together. She was getting better. From endless needles a day she managed to get it down to two at most. “It all beings in the small steps” she had said with a crocked smile on her face while the needle pressed through her skin. She was moving forward, steadily, to a certain point. The addiction forced her down, not even her friend could help her with this part.
                There were days were Alice would shine like the sun. One of those days she went to Monica’s home with a stuffed little basket. “Picnic?” Her happiness surrounded her with miles radius. It was impossible to say no.
               They ended up under a magnificent apple tree in the park. The spring had arrived and the fruits hung over their heads, tempting their hunger for every look. While the girls got themselves settled two of the apples disappeared and just a stone’s throw away one could see a pair of apple cores sun bathing.
                Alice was no master chef, but the chicken sandwiches went down quickly. When all the food was gone and the sodas with it the park went quite. The glittering lake laid silently and waited. The trees swayed with the wind, letting it play with their leaves. The juicy grass made their blanket wet. The silence was interrupted by the sound of a searching hand in the basket. Monica didn’t need to look to know what her companion was striving after. The kick. “Do you have to? We’re having such a good time. You’re so happy! Can’t you feel the peace?” Monica’s voice was pathetic. There was no force, no point. She was clearly ignored. Alice found what she was looking for, and grinned with desperate lust. Monica didn’t turn. The whole sequence had started to disgust her. The tip digging itself into the vein, the moan when the liquid streamed into her blood. There had always been a little problem with Alice’s needle. It squeaked while it was forcing the liquid inside her. This time it was longer than usual. Panic flew through Monica’s limbs, she had to turn.
                She looked awful. With her back against the tree she looked insignificantly small. Small and pale. The golden glow that shone on her only an hour ago had vanished and replaced by a grey and blue tint. Now that the smile was gone the bags under the eyes screamed in vain, made her eyeballs disappear. They were looking, faintly, gazing at the still water, absorbing the sun. The mouth was slightly open letting out the last air of the small lungs escape. Her hands had slid of her lap and touched the humid grass, not feeling the coldness of the drops. The nails had clearly been used to rip apart the many things she had encountered. Quicker than they should have as they still hadn’t recovered fully. The whole body had become a doll. A giant, lifeless doll that had been thrown in the park at random.  She couldn’t touch her. Not this time. Watching as the life had drained out of her, listening to her last breath flowing through the air was more than enough.
             Monica followed the stiff eyes’ gaze over the water. It was really a beautiful day. She deserved to die on such a day. The sun hadn’t gone far down from the sky, but there was almost no one in the park. It felt like the world understood, it felt that Death was near. Wandering among the living bodies, collecting souls. He had been here, picking up what was left of her best friend. The air was still chill, He hadn’t left yet. There was still one more soul to get.
         Monica wasn’t sure she was ready. She could feel Him coming. His lust for the drive that kept her going. She could sense it leaving, but she had to give it up. The wind swirled around him, making the trees lean away, they had too much to live for. What did she have? Alice’s glorious liquid was gone. She might have suspected Monica’s actions.  She didn’t want anyone else to experience its devilish work. Monica’s eyes looked around and fixed your eyes on the shining water. Flat and silently reflecting the waves from the sun. It was a nice day to die.

The water had gone calm once again. The ripples were vanished and the sound of the last bubbles had passed on. The lake didn’t shine any longer. Grey, huge clouds had covered up the sun. Death had passed, satisfied. A nice day to collect days, He thought while wandering out of the park to other destinations.

Source: http://www.waynebrittlephotography.com/photo_4328495.html 



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