Heavy by Amy Long (Lucent Dreaming Issue 5)

Voices roar around you. They scream for justice, peace, and vengeance, but you stay silent, not wishing to get involved in the bloodbath. Instead you lay back and attempt to relax amidst the madness. Occasionally, you’ll turn on the news to watch as monuments are erected, as wars are waged, as humanity becomes something alien. Every piece of new information fills you with dread but still, you sit and watch, waiting for the incentive to act.

With every shout, the world around you grows darker. Morphing before your eyes into your greatest fears, and yet it promises that this is just the beginning. You finally begin to consider using your voice, but choose to wait for ‘the right moment.’ Even though the opportunity presents itself with every encounter of friends, family, and strangers, you decide attacking people is not the right course of action. You sit and wait. Your thoughts are jumbled. Every tension-filled second makes matters worse.

One day, someone attacks you, mixing their beliefs with threats. The attacker gets more animated with each spew of insolence. His followers surround you, throwing their own beliefs at you; or worse, they just watch. Their fist pumps are uncoordinated. No single attacker truly agrees with another, but they strike together – unified for a moment. The heat of anger ignites within you. Adding flame to their fuel will only burn you. So you try to get away from the worsening altercation that you did nothing to incite except exist. You know there is no getting through to these people, even if you tried. Your only option is to leave, but as your attackers grow in numbers, your feet become heavier, stiffer, as if they are made of lead. Moving becomes an impossible feat and you’re left with no choice but to face the ever-growing mob.

As you lift your head in defiance, heaviness rushes to your legs, making them so uncomfortably stiff that it is borderline painful. You grit your teeth and stare into the first attacker’s eyes. The icy blue of his irises engulf his shrinking pupils. His malicious grin shows just how much he enjoys inciting peoples’ rage. Making them dance to his carefully choreographed encounter. His face dares you to speak, knowing that you will be unable to win the fight that will surely ensue. He’s already won. People like him have never lost, not really, and this will be no exception.

While you take the time to size up your opponent, the lead spreads from your legs to your torso, making it harder to breathe; to your arms, making it impossible to protect yourself if anyone were to raise their hand against you. The lead is beginning to take hold of your tongue. Within seconds, your last defence will be taken away completely. You open your lips with a sickening crack before they can be overtaken by the unrelenting metal multiplying within you. The metallic tang of blood drips from your ripped lips onto your barely working tongue, which refuses to move in your defence.

The lead finally latches onto your mind with an audible crunch while the mob decides they have talked enough, and begin to move in your direction. Their shouts echo through the cavern of the statue that was once you. Mercifully, by the time they reach you, feeling is a distant memory. You can only watch.

Browse issue 5 in full.
Lucent Dreaming is an independent creative writing magazine publishing beautiful, imaginative and surreal short stories, poetry and artwork from emerging authors and artists worldwide. Our aim is to encourage creativity and to help writers reach publication! Subscribe to Lucent Dreaming now, support us on Patreon and follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram

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