I wrote this last year for this wonderful anthology as part of creative writing society, and given that uni is starting back up and I am not going back, :(, I thought I would post it, because this is also one of my favourite things that I have ever written.
The moment the seemingly innocent fruity and slightly pink liquid passes your lips you can tell something isn’t quite right. The cranberry juice is tart as usual and there’s the fruity tang of peach schnapps that is always reassuring. The vodka is sharp and clean and just the right side of too strong. But there is something else as well.
It taints the rest of the drink and invades the taste buds. Burns the throat more than the pleasant buzz that usually accompanies the first sip of a cocktail, on its way down into your bloodstream.
You look into the glass and don’t notice anything untoward or different about the colour of the drink or the glass itself. You sniff it and the pleasant combination of cranberry and peach greets your senses. Then you notice that your heart is beating faster and your hands are getting clammy and you can’t decide if it is because of the terror coursing through your veins or the singular sip you have had of the drink slowly slipping out of your hands as panic overtakes you.
The glass eventually breaks free from your grasp and crashes to the floor. Glass splinters and the cocktail spills onto the floor and trickles off down into the room and the throngs of people it is currently inhabiting. A stark contrast of pink on the clean white marble floor.
The sound of the glass shattering causes people to notice you. Some roll their eyes, thinking that you are just being clumsy or have had one too many. But you feel like your heart is going to pound its way out of your chest and your skin is prickling in goosebumps. Your hands are shaking and you can feel yourself sweating.
Liquid beads at your hair line. Matts black hair to pale skin. Slowly drips its way down smooth skin and pools in the natural dips of your body.
Your legs start to tremble and you feel like you can’t stand anymore. You can’t feel anything below your hips and your yellow midi skirt feels so restricting. You can’t get away.
But your heart is slowing down so maybe the worst is over.
No, instead you start to feel overly cold. The blood in your veins starts to pump cold. You’ve definitely lost feeling in your toes. And you can feel your hands tingling with numbness.
Your knees buckle and you hit the floor trying to breathe. Your lungs feel like they aren’t working properly. Every inhale is choked off and not enough. Strangled. You are scared to breathe out because you’re not getting enough oxygen.
You are hunched over and gasping desperately. People are starting to notice you in a more serious manner. They are huddling around you and you want to tell them that they should move away. Give you space so that you can get the air that you crucially need.
Your arms are getting weaker and you slowly fall to the floor. Your fingers have gone numb completely and you can’t even notice your heart beat anymore.
You close your eyes and take one last strangled breath and then lie still.
Those around you start to panic. They don’t know what to do. One touches your skin and feels that it is rapidly cooling, they check for your pulse frantically and find nothing.
There are shouts to call an ambulance. To put you in the recovery position. To save you.
One person frantically pushes through the crowd. The picture of a worried mother. She throws herself over your body. Feebly tries to do CPR on your dying body. Then cries out in defeat. She slowly stands up and turns to address the hundreds of people. With worried looks on their faces, all scared for your fate.
The woman snivels dramatically and faux chokes back a sob before clearing her throat.
Grimhilde announces to the crowd, ‘I regret to inform you that it appears that Snow White is dead’.
There’s a gasp around the room, hushed murmurs and disbelief evident in the room. Grimhilde turns back and huddles over your body, touching your pale white cheek and gently caressing your black, slightly damp, hair off your head, smiling.
If she hadn’t been so focused on the fact that her plan to poison you had worked she may have noticed that your lips were still rose red.
A characteristic not typical of a cold, dead body.
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