Warm-Up Wednesday | Untitled #1 | 12/21/2022

A stream of consciousness thing today, very shower thoughts-y.

Warning for discussion of unintentional self-harm.

Every surface in the mines is jagged with crystals. Their sharp edges cut her hands and feet and knees. Sometimes, when she’s particularly neglectful, she will back into the walls, slicing her elbows and back and calves, too. Pain is something so familiar by now she doesn’t notice. It might be more noteworthy if it disappeared.

As it stands, she spares some thought towards whether or not the blood will stain her clothes. Mostly it gets on the crystals and the wicker basket she carries them in. The sweet blood tang can’t compete with the scent of damp earth, but it tries. It attempts to let her know what she’s done just like the pain. Both go ignored.

If she were smart, she would remember to bring shoes and gloves and padding. But she is equal parts careless and foolish. She’s come to accept that about herself. When she wrenches the crystals free from the walls, it is with careless chopping and prying motions. Kitchen utensils and paintbrushes serve as her tools. They wouldn’t wind up used otherwise.

She sells the crystals at the market. If the buyers care about the blood and dirt in the crevices, they don’t say. They are raw crystals. It is to be expected. She doesn’t have the artistry or patience for polishing them.

When she runs out of crystals, she returns to the cave. Superstition keeps many from plundering it, but she’s too stupid to be afraid of that, either.

She keeps hurting herself. What will it take? When will it stop?

A smile is a poor answer to either of those questions, but it is all she has to offer.

She is sorry that this keeps happening, but being sorry isn’t the same as changing. When she’s in the dark place behind her eyes, darker than the cave, darker than deep down in the earth, she forgets all else.

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