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descent -- hybrid by Milla Slaughter

i. every day. every hour. every minute. every second. all dedicated to traversing cracked stone steps. over and over. there’s a beautiful tragedy to it

ii. lightning strikes the tower, a reverse fork in an electrical socket. walls rattle, reverberate, collapse onto each other, then spring apart

iii. familiarity brings comfort, but also insanity. drives her mad, but it’s habit. she is numb

iv. her shoes never wear down. air seeps into the deepest recesses of her lungs. no pain creeps into her legs. she bleeds into the depths, reaches the bottom. temperature plunges, an envelope of musty air

v. the statues, likenesses of her. crafted from sticky amber wax. deformed. a twisted arm. a melted and featureless face. crumpled legs

vi. she can’t take it. steps a hint more frantic, time sliced into ribbons. the landing

vii. back down. heaviness in her thighs, in her head, in her soul

viii. the snake. a thick length of rope, coated in a slick coat of emerald green, the shade of deep, murky water. its eyes, shining and black, evil. eating the statues, its slack jaw slipping over them. curves and dips in its middle

ix. it pauses. a tense, achy pause. it swivels to face her. in its eyes. two things pierce through

x. her reflection and... hunger


Milla Slaughter is a freshman hailing from sunny Southern California. She is constantly reading and writing, they're her lifeforce. She has been published in Jack and Jill Magazine and Cricket Magazine. In the small sliver of time not devoted to her favorite hobbies, she can be found doing homework, knitting hats, and watching anime. Her ultimate goal is to get a novel published (preferably soon!).

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