"Origin" (sample)

(Published under Debra McKellan by Cactus Heart Press, "The Speculative Issue", March 2015)

Were we like the gods now? Did we have to walk?

I stood and fell again and again until my feet adjusted to being without you. I stepped forward once, and the world moved without me. I closed my eyes and pulled my other foot forward. The blood on my lids made it hard to open my eyes again, but when I did, there you were. You had blood on your face. Water in your eyes cut through it down your cheeks. My chest was tight as I gasped for air. You had a knot in your belly, too. Why did we have these now? A piece of flame ignited my veins when I touched mine. The water in my eyes stung but cleared away the blood. Your hand was hot on my cheek, and I wanted to be one with you again. I pulled your face to mine. I pressed my lips to yours over and over, and we wrapped our arms around each other. We sobbed and pressed our lips and bodies together despite the pain, despite our bleeding skin.

But the breath of the gods ripped us apart. I reached for you, and you reached for me, but they blew hard on us until we were scattered away to wherever, as long as we weren’t together.

I need to find you. My legs are so tired of this walking. I want to sit with you and touch as we used to, your back to my back. Find me so you can tell me all you’ve seen. I need you. I am incomplete. We must be made whole again. Find me.