She gripped me with her hands.
Her nails, on my wrists, digging. She pulled me from the ground, my knees covered in dirt and sand. My weight caused me to sink back. I did not resist. My limbs were just like stone.
“Must you continue this?” She bowed her head.
“I hurt. You’re hurting me,” I winced.
“You only ever hurt yourself, girl. Now stand,” She spoke. I suppose I was meant to stand, but my knees, they felt so cool in the dirt. Close to the filth, to the waste. It was what I was accustomed to. I knew that if I let my knees dig even deeper into the earth, that the worms would find my skin, and burrow through to live inside my knee caps. The thought of worms inside me was more comforting than the thought of standing.
“But the ground?”
“It’ll still be under your feet…”
“And if it isn’t?”
She sighed heavily from my response, releasing my arms in the process.
“So. You plan to just sink then, is that it?”
“The ground is warmer than your grip, if I must say so myself,” I wiggled myself into the soil, a small smile on my lips. I was right. The filth under me suited my heart. I loved how it caked my skin. I loved how it was filled with millions of little lives, bacteria and insects, the worms I spoke of before. There was more life in one speck of soil than there was in me or the woman before me. She didn’t know that though. Or maybe she did, and she was trying to keep that knowledge from me. Good thing I already knew.
“I’ll put you in the ground if you keep behaving this way,”
“That is the opposite of standing. I like this ultimatum,” I sighed and laid back, letting my hair fold in waves around leaves, twigs, and tiny animal bones. I curled my fingers into the dirt under me, and felt its cool warmth in my palms.
“Fine. You’ll freeze to death out here, then,” She turned her back to me, her sheen black dress catching the light on our porch. I never liked wearing black myself. It hides you away from the color the world could paint you with.
“I shall freeze, and the ravens will find a lovely popsicle to peck at in the time being, hm?” I chuckled, knowing the ‘popsicle’ bit would eat away at her, like a mushroom decomposing a day-old carcass.
“I will make sure to collect your bones,” She stated coldly, and walked up the steps of the porch. She left me in the darkness, the trees standing over me, a web of bodies holding me with their roots, far under the surface.
I couldn’t help but laugh into the void, into the nothingness, the life I always wanted. Except I was the nothingness, surrounded by the life.
After a few minutes of lying down, I could have sworn I felt a worm wriggle through my fingers.