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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Don't Cut off Your Nose to Spite Your Face" (without using the actual phrase or litera (02/14/08)

TITLE: Good and Cold
By JoAnne Potter


Anna was pretty sure she had figured out most of the details until she realized that she needed to decide what to wear. In none of the hours she spent in phone conversations or shopping trips or restroom conferences had she ever heard it discussed. What exactly did a girl wear to die?

Black, the obvious choice, she wanted to save for her mourners. White wouldn’t work either. It reminded her too much of angels and she had little confidence she’d go to heaven. Red appealed to her, but then the color of her clothes would compete with the horror of all the blood. In the end, she just pulled on the jeans she wore the day before and over them, a white t-shirt that said, “It really is all about me.”

She laid a green bottle of Sominex and a new single edge razor blade on the edge of the tub, climbed in, and turned on the water. It felt weird when her clothes got wet, but her mom or dad finding her naked would be too gross. As the warm water covered her, she relaxed. Mom and Dad. She wished she could be there when they found her, hear their scream, see their tears. They deserved this. They’d made her miserable; now she could return the favor.

Anna shut the water off and took two of the sleeping pills. While she waited for them to kick in, she visualized her funeral. Mom and Dad would stumble and sway, shell-shocked, powerless to erase the echo of her last note, “You won’t let me have Kyle and I can’t live without him. Why couldn’t you listen to me?” Granny would linger behind them, glaring, blaming them for not understanding her. Brittany and Kelli would stand bravely at the side of the grave, best friends to the end, sad but not surprised. Kyle, sweet Kyle would watch apart, and alone.

Her eyes felt heavy and she picked up the blade. She gave her wrist an experimental prick. Ow. She didn’t think that would hurt so much. She steeled herself, then drew the blade across her wrist, making a slow, neat red line. Blood flowed in bright drops into the warm water and bloomed there into beautiful red clouds. Anna smiled and slipped down into the tub until the water covered her to the chin. She shut her eyes and summoned up the visions she’d saved as a last gift to herself: Kyle’s wide eyes just before a kiss, Kyle’s mouth shaping “I love you”, Kyle’s sobs dropping into his damp pillow.

Hours later, the bath had cooled to a cruel room temperature. Anna’s skin had wrinkled and bleached white, her shirt dyed pink. The water vibrated her eardrums and its vain pulsing murmur became a conscious sound just before she realized she was holding her breath. She opened her lungs, but kept her thickened eyelids shut and waited in the still dark. Her first thought wondered how she could be dead and still feel cold. Her second knew.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Beth LaBuff 02/22/08
Wow! You've come at the topic from a very different angle. It's sad that some do go into suicide with thoughts of revenge like you've written. Your writing skills are good.
Sara Harricharan 02/22/08
This gave me the chills. It is very deep and so dark. I think you nailed the topic here, but it must have taken quite a bit to write something like this. A lot of talent here. Amazing. ^_^
Jan Ackerson 02/24/08
Superb writing--sparse, just like Anna's spirit.