This Is Not the End
This Is Not the End  mental illness stories
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mollyfaith9
mollyfaith9 Bit of a witch
Autoplay OFF   •   a year ago

This Is Not the End

I open my eyes to blue sky. An endless stretch of it, cloudless and wide. I blink, then squint, my eyes instinctively shying away from the glare of the sun.

My lips are cracked, my throat dry, my eyes tacky. I feel like I've been lay here for days, baking in the scorch of the sun.

Shakily, I push to my feet, my uncertain legs trembling beneath me. I glance around, lifting a hand to my forehead to block the sun.

My heart stutters.

There is nothing to be seen in any direction, nothing save for an open expanse of dead land and the discarded skeletons of cars. The field I stand in is barren, the ground brown and cracked.

"What happened here?" I murmur. It is a question that goes unanswered.

I stagger toward the endless horizon.

For days, I walk. And when I can no longer walk, I crawl. Nothing changes, not the dead ground nor the unforgiving white-hot blaze of the sun. I see no one, hear nothing.

The abandoned cars remain.

I should be dead by now--from dehydration if from nothing else. Still, my body keeps moving. Still, my heart endures.

I don't know how much longer I stagger onward for--hours? Days? Weeks?--but, inevitably, my limbs slow. I am on my hands and knees, my palms pressed into the scorched ground.

I tilt my head up to the empty sky. "Is this some sort of test?" I cry. My arms buckle; I collapse into a boneless heap.

I tilt my head up to the empty sky. "Is this some sort of test?" I cry. My arms buckle; I collapse into a boneless heap. Finally, I think to myself. The end.

I blink slowly, blearily, waiting for death to claim me. There is nothing, no one. Just me, only me, and I have never been enough. My vision blurs. My heart gives a little gasp.

And then I see it:

And then I see it: A sunflower, growing through the cracks.

I blink. Blink again. At first, I'm sure I must be imagining it. It's my oasis in the desert, this flower. It doesn't really exist. It can't.

There's nothing left here, nothing but dead ground and dead cars and my own sad, dying heart.

There's nothing left here, nothing but dead ground and dead cars and my own sad, dying heart. Nothing nothing nothing.

Nothing but this:

Nothing but this: Me, pulling both arms out from beneath my body, then dragging myself, inch by painful inch, toward the flower; My skeletal hand, with nails bloody and skin chapped, closing around the stem.

A sob scorches my dry throat.

Something in the crack glints. I heave myself toward it, my hand still curled around the flower's stem. I don't let it go; I'm afraid that if I do it'll disappear.

I reach into the cracked earth with a feeble hand. My fingers close around something cold and metallic. I fish it out.

I reach into the cracked earth with a feeble hand. My fingers close around something cold and metallic. I fish it out. Keys. Car keys.

Gasping and shuddering and sobbing, I fold the keys into my fist. I stare at the buttery gold petals of the sunflower. This flower is an impossibility, of course.

Gasping and shuddering and sobbing, I fold the keys into my fist. I stare at the buttery gold petals of the sunflower. This flower is an impossibility, of course. There is no water and far too much sun. There is no other life in sight.

And yet.

And yet. And yet.

I grit my teeth, then drag my legs beneath me. My arms wobble, but I order them to steady. I order them to keep going, keep moving, keep trying.

I grit my teeth, then drag my legs beneath me. My arms wobble, but I order them to steady. I order them to keep going, keep moving, keep trying. I will not give up, I will not give in. I will not.

I tug the flower out of the crack and tuck it behind my ear.

It takes me days, months, years, but finally I make it to my feet. My soft limbs harden. My dying heart gives a mighty roar.

I stagger over to the nearest car, the keys clenched tight in my palm. Turning back only once, I stare out over the barren expanse of land, the cracked terrain of my mind.

In my head, I tell it goodbye.

I open the car door, shove the keys into the ignition, and drive away.

I leave the demons behind.

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