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Around the Rosie MAG
I take a deep breath and inhale the humid, summer air. My sweaty palms hang at my sides as my fingers play with the laces of my dress. My heart pounds against my chest, and my brain pulsates rapidly. I hear my sister speak, but her words are lost to me. They are unable to surpass the ringing sound that encompasses my lobes.
I do not need to hear her to understand what she's saying. We had run it over and over again as we made our trek to the solitary tree behind our house. A lone swing hangs from its dry branches – put there by our father once upon a dream. The cicadas that cling to the tree's bark fill my ears alongside the ringing sound. I gaze at the dry grass encroaching across the earth; another normal summer day in the blazing heat of July.
My sister clears her throat to get my attention. I turn to face her and take in her form. The white Sunday dress Mother bought her not a week ago. A small red stain at its hem threatens to wrench apart its purity. I've always been jealous of her; I'm not even a shadow when scrutinized beside her. I'd humbly stand beside her as the grown-ups remarked on her posture or how well she was learned. Her golden hair comes down in subtle ringlets to her bosom, which has already begun to develop; the boys adore her, maybe a little too much. Her lips are always the perfect shade of pink, and her nose complements her with its perfection. What really catches everyone's attention though are her deep blue eyes; profound chasms that enlighten others with a strange euphoria.
Jealousy is a fickle thing, though, for however much I envied her beauty as I stood for hours criticizing my own plain form, I would never wish to be her, always striving to perfect her already-perfect world, always maintaining a perfect visage. For who would allow her even the slightest slip of the tongue? Mother drills lessons into her every day from dawn 'til dusk. Father eyes her in a not-so-fatherly manner. No, my sister could keep her perfect world; I would continue to be the dreamer.
She hands me a pile of berries – Solanum dulcamara, or bittersweet nightshade, as it is commonly known. They are small, bright red. How could a berry so beautiful be so powerful?
“One,” she whispers. I take a deep breath.
“Two,” I reply, my heart pounding rapidly.
“Three,” we say together. I swallow the berries and feel them tumble down my throat and into my stomach. Qu'a fait est fait. What's done is done.
Time passes as we take turns on the rickety swing. The wood creaks and the rope sways. My head throbs more and more. As my sister swings I see her white dress glow. A bright ethereal light blurs my eyes. Her skin becomes translucent.
My turn on the swing. She gently pushes my spine. My stomach lurches as the swing goes back and forth. I feel like all the food I'd ever eaten in my life is ready to come back up, that it wants to escape its dungeon and be set free. The symptoms are just as the book had said.
“Rowan?” my sister breathes. She too has come to realize her fate. Her breathing is labored, “Can we play Ring Around the Rosie? Like when we were little?”
Just like her, always wanting to make light of the moment, but I smile. Of course I'll play. There is nothing I'd like more. We interlock fingers, our hands closing around each other. We spin slowly, around and around, picking up speed. Then we sing, our voices becoming one, without distinction:
Ring around the rosie – It's getting hotter the more we spin – Pockets full of posies – My heart has begun to slow, almost to a stop – Ashes – My eyes sting as they fill with tears – Ashes – My head spins – We all fall down – I close my eyes.
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
This article has 12 comments.
12 articles 0 photos 6 comments
"a life you love," sydney carton to lucie manette, a tale of two cities
72 articles 0 photos 860 comments
"Never fear shadows. They simply mean there's a light shining somewhere nearby." - Unknown
1 article 3 photos 150 comments
Impossible is not a word, just a reason not to try.~Kutless
I'm going to smile and make you think I'm happy, I'm going to laugh, so you don't see me cry, I'm going to let you go in style, and even if it kills me - I'm going to smile.~Anonymous
When my family moved from California to Oregon, where we live now, one of my older brothers ate nightshade. I think he was about six. He only had a bit and he was sick, he was fine though. That was a long time before I was born.
I love the writing style, and the story. It's very...pretty. Even though they are comitting suicide it is beautiful.
38 articles 0 photos 53 comments
If you love something, let it go. If it comes back it was always yours, if it doesn't it never was.
24 articles 0 photos 29 comments
Life is like music - You can make mistakes so you try again. But when the piece can't be helped you try again another time.
34 articles 2 photos 658 comments
"Don't punish yourself," she heard her say again, but there would be punishment and pain, and there would be happiness too. That was writing."
--Markus Zusak, "The Book Thief"
14 articles 1 photo 278 comments
Worry is simply a misuse of the imagination.
3 articles 0 photos 9 comments
"Im smiling, that alone should scare you."
"I'm not evil..I'm good with a twist."
"Sometimes you just have to stop and smell the crayons."
"Good friends don't let you do stupid things..alone."
"I dream of a better world where chickens can cross roads without having their motives questioned."
"It's all fun and games till someone gets hurt.. Then it's hilarious."
"Team Jacob. I like my guys with a pulse thank you."
"I never got my letter from Hogwarts so I'm packing up and moving to Forks to live with the Cullen's."
"No camera could catch the look in her eyes and the feeling in her heart when she looks at him."
"I love how you make me laugh when I don't even want to smile."
"If I had to chose between you and breathing, I would chose you and then I would use my last breath to tell you "I love you."
"And he asked “Is everything okay?” and she blinked away the tears and said, “Yeah, I’m totally happy for you.”
"In Kindergarten we learned about cooties, in middle school we learned about relationships, and in high school we learned the definition of heartbreak."
"Sometimes when I say “oh I’m fine” I just want you to look me in the eyes and say “tell the truth.”
“He looked at me and said “do you ever feel like you’re working for something you’re never going to get? A shoot + miss kind of deal. Like no matter what, you just can’t have it, but that makes you fight for it just a little bit more?” I looked at him, stared at him for just a second and said “everyday.”
"Never say I love you if you don’t really care. Never talk about feelings if they aren’t really there. Never touch a life if you mean to break a heart. Never say you’re going to if you’re not planning to start. Never look me in the eye when all you do is lie. Never say hello is all you mean is good-bye."
"We don’t talk anymore and I don’t understand why. It’s like you gave me wings and told me it was illegal to fly."
"My friends and I are the kind when a house burns down; we’re roasting marshmallows and crushing on the firemen."
2 articles 0 photos 69 comments
Absence sharpens love, presence strengthens it.
I love how Ring Around the Rosie matches the action and how it has the same meaning as what is happening at the end.
3 articles 21 photos 79 comments