|Literary Masters, Inc.
Publicists for Short Stories, Books, Poems and Songs
Long Island, New York 11971
|I’m afraid of myself. This fear had chased me for a very long time. It was a fear that would never
surrender. It was a fear that would never die, and hope remained bound and gagged. I cannot be this
person, this thing. I cannot be, but what if I am?
I was a joke, something to laugh at. They laughed hard and good at my expense. They played their
mind games, daring me to win. They tore me down, ripped me apart. I was nothing. I was theirs to play
with, but who is laughing now?
All I wanted was to dream. Why was that so hard to believe? The stars were right there, dressed in
would never find me here. Instead of a warm embrace, I am cold, alone for all time until time takes me.
The floor was hard beneath me. My fingers dug at steel, begging to draw blood. Tears should be a
blessing rain to cool my face, but my eyes remained dry. My tongue cruised over my lips, sliding in-
between porcelain teeth. My blond curls hung low, and I was too weak to push them aside. And
darkness was the pilot leading me to nowhere, nowhere that death awaits.
His body lay a short distance away. More bodies waited in the hall. Their necks were so easy to snap,
but I was not a monster. I was not created to be a monster. I cannot be this person, this thing, but what
if I am? What if my circuits just snapped? What if I am my own worst enemy, but I have no answers. I’
m just a broken doll lying across a steel floor, waiting to die, and the milky way flashed past the black,
glossy windows, stealing my dreams.
I’m afraid. This was who I was, but that fear didn’t strike where my heart should be. Nobody was
steering the ship. The floor was growing hotter, but fear kept me ice cold. My hand reached for him, but
he was gone. My dreams were gone, swallowed by the darkness within, and no stars could outshine the
sun. And my skin began to burn, but instead of pain, I laughed. I laughed in the face of fear because I
was not afraid anymore. I was free to be what I’ve always known myself to be, machine.
©2016 Melissa R. Mendelson [All Rights Reserved]
Normally I like all of Melissa's stories. This one is a little more over-the-top than usual. Still quite
creative, and I did enjoy her reading of her work. Not an easy task on camera. Good job, Melissa.
***__Barbara A. Sabo
I am not sure where this piece is leading us via Melissa's works. A little too contrived? Maybe. But
knowing Melissa, it is probably the beginnings of some much larger effort, which I look forward to
reading soon. Stay cool, Melissa. Your best works are yet to come. Oh, congratulations on having your
poetry included in "Names in a Jar: A Poetry Collection by 100 Contemporary American Poets."
By Melissa R. Mendelson
Sunday March 20, 2016
I look good as a blond!