Girl in a Borrowed Cloak by Amanda Oosthuizen

She has fallen from the sky into this dark room where powdery graphite smudges her fingers, where the diamonds scattering the floor cut her feet. And outside the tide clock pounds.

She cannot see but she knows she wears a borrowed cloak in aquamarine. She clutches these velvet memories and sings loudly to drown the waves. The wind will catch her voice, rope her out into the sunlight, away from this terrible pounding.

But her tongue tastes bitter air that dries her throat. Her voice becomes lost amongst the booming waves. She shovels the diamonds this way and that, making heaps and patterns in which she glimpses other people’s worlds until eventually she forgets the patterns and her cloak dissolves. Instead, she paints her body with soft graphite and becomes part of the darkness.

One day, perhaps it is Christmas, it’s silent outside and she remembers how raindrops shiver leaves in a forest, how lavender peppers a breeze, how a chord of music tells a story, and even if there is not peace or asylum to be found, there is always hope and loyalty. And somewhere out there is her voice, and it will never tarnish.

Amanda Oosthuizen’s novels, short story collection, poetry collection and flash fiction collection will be posthumously self-published. Meanwhile, work is forthcoming in Cosmonauts Avenue, Storgy, LossLit, Riggwelter, Under the Radar, Prelude, Humanagerie and Ambit. She earns her living by writing and arranging music and teaching woodwind. @amandaoosty

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