Nancy Machlis Rechtman: Help
Image: Unsplash, downloaded (https://unsplash.com/photos/4e9eeHdiBi0) 03.07.2022.
She awoke to find herself
In the back alleys of the city
With no idea of where she was
Or how she had gotten there
Or how to find her way home.
The buildings seemed oddly familiar
Although she had no memory of why
But the smells
Sparked her synapses
With snippets of a life
That made no sense.
The labyrinth got denser
And her steps reverberated through the empty streets
And she trembled with apprehension
As she searched for the exit.
Her mind raced through the jumble
How did she know this place
And where were all the people?
In a city this size
The silence emanating from the structures was deafening.
She tried to run
To keep up with her mind
As the echoes grew louder
And the paths narrowed
To the point where there was barely room enough for her
To squeeze between the looming edifices.
She wanted to cry for help
But how could anyone hear her
When no one was there?
The walls closed in
And her breaths came in short gasps
Until she had to stop running
And she could no longer see the sky.
The colors began to morph
Into silver liquid that streamed down her face
And it felt like hot tears
But she wasn’t sure
Since nothing made sense
And if she could only return
To the world she knew
Maybe she could understand what was happening.
But she was so alone
And the ache in her heart was everywhere
No longer contained in her body
Spreading throughout the streets of the city
Pulsating with pain.
The beat grew so loud that she had to cover her ears
And she sank to her knees
As the ground crumbled beneath her
And the facades closed around her
And she wondered if it was possible that
In a world filled with people
Everyone had died of loneliness
While screaming silently for help.
About the Author: Nancy Machlis Rechtman has had poetry and short stories published in Paper Dragon, Page & Spine, Quail Bell, Blue Lake Review, Goat’s Milk, The Writing Disorder, Discretionary Love, and more. She wrote freelance Lifestyle stories for a local newspaper, and she was the copy editor for another paper. She writes a blog called Inanities at https://nancywriteon.wordpress.com.