How Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth

byAdrian Leverkuhn©

She felt as if she was choking on life, that the breath that sustained her was being cut off, and a wild panic filled her. She pushed herself up in the bed and felt her left leg sliding against the cool fabric of the sheets, and she remembered the rattlesnakes, remembered her right leg, and what it had felt like to walk unassisted across the scrabbled face of a mountain. She struggled to remember what it had felt like to not fear life.

She opened her eyes as the light in her room switched on, and she saw Jake running toward her, no running toward a dog on the bed next to her. He seemed angry at the dog, which she couldn't understand, but then she could see it all too clearly; Jake thought the dog was menacing her in some way. He was reaching for the dog, his anger was clearly there on his face, and she could see Scout there beside her, but looking back at Jake, confusion on her face.

"Jake, NO!" she screamed, and she watched as he froze in mid-stride, his reaching hand just inches away from the wounded dog's side.

Scout felt her world closing in on her, the trust she knew violated, but instinctually she knew the reason, too. She turned to look at the woman in the bed, and saw understanding in her eyes, felt the terror of the woman's dream in the air all around her. She moved forward, slowly, until her face was next to the woman's and she kissed her. Once, on the cheek, then again, and again, and she felt the woman's convulsive motion, the water that ran down her face, and she kept kissing the woman, willing her to feel the freedom that comes from acceptance.

Scout felt the woman holding her, and it felt good. The warmth of the woman's breath, the release that shuddered through both their bodies, it all felt so good. The woman lowered her self back to the bed, and Scout followed her, flowing into the space between the woman's body and her left arm, and she came to rest with her chin on the woman's shoulder. She felt the man sit on the edge of the bed, felt him rubbing her back, and then the bed shook as her friend jumped up on the bed, and she heard him licking the man, then moving over to her side, licking her face. She looked at the woman; she was laughing now, and there was hope.

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byAdrian Leverkuhn© 4 comments/ 21823 views/ 8 favorites

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