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I’m Not Happy (I’m Lost)

Written for the 3:00 AM challenge

By angela hepworthPublished about a month ago Updated about a month ago 4 min read
The New York Times

Elliot is nothing but a dead woman, each and every night.

Whenever her eyes fall shut, what appears in front of her is her own crumpled, lifeless body, abused and broken before her eyes. All she sees is the red stain of her own blood on the floor, the stench of it unbearably potent. There is always so much of it that it has soaked through the beige carpet, staining the frilly collar and the midsection of her ripped white dress, pooling under her head and drying in her hair, smeared across the sharp juts of her exposed hips and thighs.

Her pale, thin corpse is splayed out across the wooden floor of a strange, dark room she doesn’t quite recognize. Her perspective flickers between staring at herself and being in her own body, gazing up through dead eyes at the dusty ceiling fan above her, unable to feel its coolness on her cold, lifeless skin. Flies buzz loudly in and around her ears; others feast on the bloody expanse of her flesh. She exists there within herself past expiration and just waits, waits, waits for it to be over.

Someone has surely murdered and brutalized her, and they have left her there in that dark room to die. That much is clear. Someone had hated her so much that they would do this to her, expose her to this relentless, vicious violence before taking it upon themselves to end her own life.

Who has killed her, and where have they dumped her to rot? Who it is and where it was are questions worth asking; why it has occurred is not. A death this gruesome quite disturbs her, even after all this time. One cannot grow used to the sight of their own violated, limp body every night, forced to wonder about the reality of such a repeated sight, forced to ponder what it means. Yet, Elliot has realized over the years, if this depiction of herself truly is her future, it does not surprise her. Deaths like these are to be expected for girls like her. Girls who look like she does, who dress like her and act like her and express themselves in the ways that she herself chooses to, have always been in danger of fates such as this. Her womanhood is her pride and joy, and people will want to kill her for it. They will want to hurt her. They will hate her, like her father hated her. They will be repulsed by what she is, like her mother always was. Her authenticity, her courage and quiet ferocity to be herself and no one else, has always been more important to her than her own life. Because death is a more fulfilling choice than a life of lies.

But should those be the only choices she has in this world? Elliot doesn’t think they should be. She has always walked this world alone, and this is exactly why. There is no one to trust, no one to love her. She knows she can only exist like this for so long, or her own loneliness may kill her before these streets will, before any deranged, hateful man gets the chance to. But how does one know who is safe and who is dangerous? How can one tell who will love her and who will kill her? Everyone Elliot has ever loved ended up hurting her, leaving her behind without a care. She used to care about it, to fear it. But the fear is long gone now. Nowadays, she finds herself at a point of acceptance and desperation. She needs human contact. She needs somebody, anybody. She needs a soul to love her, or to pretend to.

She’s still so young, not a single strand of gray in her long dark hair. The sinking feeling in her chest tells her that she will never get to grow old. Girls like her never make it far in these parts, where the sun beats down on the land so fiercely the air becomes stifling and impossible to breathe.

A large white truck skids to a stop before her, and Elliot glances up, squinting in order to see through the sun’s rays.

A young man in a straw hat stares back at her from above his sunglasses, mild intrigue painted on his features.

“Need a ride, ma’am?” he asks.

Elliot straightens up, pale hands smoothing down the filthy white skirt of her dress.

“If you wouldn’t mind,” she says back, and a slow smile curls the man’s handsome face.

Elliot will be a dead woman one day, and one day soon. This much, as she climbs into the passenger's seat of the man’s truck, she knows.

Heavily inspired by the track Thoroughfare by Ethel Cain. Just generally inspired by Ethel Cain, really. I’m seeing her in ten days and am very ready to bawl my eyes out.

Anyway, happy Pride Month to all and trans lives matter. 🏳️‍⚧️

Hope you enjoyed! Looking forward to reading everyone’s contributions to the challenge, the ones I’ve read so far have been incredible.

thrillerPsychologicalHorror

About the Creator

angela hepworth

Hello! I’m Angela and I enjoy writing fiction, poetry, reviews, and more. I delve into the dark, the sad, the silly, the sexy, and the stupid. Come check me out!

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Comments (12)

  • Muhammad Safdarabout a month ago

    excellent story

  • Silver Serpent Booksabout a month ago

    This story rips right through me. You paint such a sad, painful picture. This is going to haunt me for a while.

  • D. J. Reddallabout a month ago

    A vivid and disturbing tale!

  • Ameer Bibiabout a month ago

    Very unique and loveable story

  • Esala Gunathilakeabout a month ago

    Congrats on your entry Angela! Keep hopes alive until the victory 😊!!!

  • D.K. Shepardabout a month ago

    Great sense of character in this! An excellent entry, Angela!

  • Kodahabout a month ago

    I felt connected to this, it felt very sentimental in a way. Incredibly done, Angela! Love your entry! Goodluck!! 💌

  • jameel Nawazabout a month ago

    nice

  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarranabout a month ago

    Elliot is being reckless and I like it. It's like since she knows that she's gonna die, she doesn't care how. As long as she gets it over with. Loved your take on the challenge!

  • CHRISTIAN Pabout a month ago

    Beautiful story Angela ❤️

  • Andrea Corwin about a month ago

    No, Elliott, stop the risky behavior!!! Eliott don't get in cars with strangers, did you learn that when a little kid? Loved your story, Angela!

  • shanmuga priyaabout a month ago

    I really liked it...Angela

angela hepworthWritten by angela hepworth

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