The Kids Aren't All Right
rating: +15+x

It's not dangerous to spend time outside in the summer.

Clouds are always leering from the edge of the sky. Don't look at them. The sundown pond is so clean and white. The light slides cleanly across the surface, diffused and woozy. Reeds poke out around the lips of the earth, but we're paying no mind to them. Leaping into the water, a young man hurls himself from a mottled wooden dock. It craters underneath him and splashes hundreds of droplets into the air. He is my friend. Before he comes up, I'm leaping in myself.

I can see his body in the water.

Crashing through the surface, the bubbles feel like a bullet storm driving itself through my skin. Instantly numb, I open my eyes and for a moment I am blinded, the sheer cold compressing my shocked retinas. Dim light peeks from above me, distorted and swirling. Kicking upwards, there is a sheet of glass affixed before the surface.

I do not see any bodies in the water.

Ice is sharp and the wind is cold, struggling felt useless until it worked. Throat burning as cold air rushes in and hot puke boils out. If the dock wasn't here I would be sliding into the water, bloody reflective tile has no traction. Splintering wood digs into my skin. There's nobody breathing here with me. A motionless husk floats gently underneath some stained ice.

I do not recognize the body in the water.

Daylight has evaporated beneath a wave of clouds. The trees aren't growing anymore. Dead and rotting, there's snow piling up between them like barricades. Shivering is all that I know now. Closing my eyes so ice stops coming. It's being dead closer to me now. They all are.

I do not recognize the bodies in the water.

Even when the sun started shining again there was no getting out from under the cold. Crystals collect in my eyes every time I can't settle into my rest. Telling whether it's day or night isn't exercising thought. Knowing only what they know. Seeing through their eyes and wearing their skin squeezing out eyes and bones. There's holes water slows and flows through because it can't get more broken than this.

So many keep coming to look. They never recognize their bodies in the water.

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