TITLE: LE CIRQUE DU LITERATI
GENRE: YA Magical Realism
Grandmother’s book lies open on her nightstand to a passage more familiar to me than the ragged heart thrashing in my chest. So scared I can barely breathe, I stare at the words through a film of tears, trying to ignore the drops of blood on the page.
Some, frozen by inertia or caged by fear, choose to remain in their brown-boxes of routine, even if their worlds are hell. Even if their dreams perish on the tips of their tongues, preferring this to the unimaginable “what might be.”
I snap the book shut. The knife I don’t recall picking up falls without a sound, silenced by the million brass bells ringing in my ears. I slide the book into my bag. My fingers come away bloody, but no matter how much I wipe them the red stains will not go.
This house is no longer a home, but a prison drowning in poisonous wounds.
I need to hurry up and get gone.
Without looking back, I walk out of my grandmother’s door and close it gently behind me. I think of Artimus Finch, the character in the book. How he left everything that he loved behind when magic opened a window—a window rimmed in white shimmer, its frame hung midair, leading to a world without fear.
My heart and feet thump as I run down the staircase avoiding the photographs on the walls. Instead, I focus on Nikolai, and leaving this hell behind.