by Lee Hayden

She stood with her hands out in front of her, trying to calm the animal. As if to say, It’s okay. The possum hissed and darted towards her hands. It bit her seven times. She counted each time the tiny animal bit into the soft of her palms. Its teeth raked between her fingers and gnawed at the bones of her hands. She screamed each time.
On her back in an empty space fused with red, she drifted. Her hands hurt so badly and she could still feel the sharp little teeth piercing her flesh.
Seven doors slammed shut one right after the other. There was a three-minute pause and it would begin again. Slam, slam, slam, slam, slam, slam, slam.
With every door that closed another opened. It was tireless and grating.
She couldn’t go anywhere. She couldn’t get up and leave. She was stuck. She could only count in a succession of seven as each door opened and closed.
Tears filled her eyes. Her hands hurt and she couldn’t stop counting. It was necessary at this point. She lifted her bloody torn fingers to her mouth and finished what the possum had started.

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