Nina V. Rye

On the Floor

All I can see from where I am lying on the floor is dirt and gore. The blood is quickly cooling, becoming even sticker, like a raspberry jam that went bad. His hand is in the line of my vision, but only barely. He doesn’t move. I am not sure if he is alive.

I am not sure I am.

There is a gun a foot or so away from me. Things look different when you are on the floor, broken into small pieces and bleeding. The concrete is dirty, dusty, disgusting. It hurts to breathe.

The curtains that separate this room from another move slightly, and I see a pair of shoes appear underneath. They are black and shiny. They are not friendly.

I will the gun to move closer. It doesn’t. Neither do I.

I want to shed my skin, break my bones, spit out my teeth, and transform into something that I am not. A grizzly bear, an alligator, a bird of prey.

I want to spread my wings, rip the flesh of our enemies with my talons, peck their eyes out.

‘Shiny shoes’ has brought a machine gun. It goes off, shredding the curtain and echoing in the room with the force of a thunderstorm. Bullets sail over my head, and I am momentarily relieved by the stupidity of the shooter, as I slowly crawl, an inch after an inch, towards the gun.

I grab it the moment the rain of bullets stops. ‘Shiny shoes’ is dead in a second, falls like a sack of potatoes behind the remains of the curtain. I wonder if he has brought friends. I do not care.

My angle has changed now and I can see more things from my position on the floor. There are shredded pieces of curtain, dust floating in the air. ‘Shiny shoes’ is size eleven. Big feet.

There are bird droppings on the floor here too. Perhaps, a family of pigeons used to nest under the roof. I wish I could turn my head to look up. I wish I could move again. I wish I could morph into a wolf and howl for help. Or lick my wounds and heal again.

I can’t see my partner any more. He is somewhere behind me, but now I can hear him breathe. It is laboured and a bit panicky, but it is the best sound in the whole world.

I close my eyes. Perhaps, this is not the end.


Nina V. Rye is an aspiring writer, who focuses on writing short fiction with a twist. An avid theatregoer, a bookworm and a restless traveller, Nina finds inspiration in things that surround her, building a portfolio of works with the aim of publishing an anthology one day. Nina currently lives in Canada.