Someone has already pulled a knife across my chest, and the rope has already gripped our wrists drawing blood. I am naked, and I cannot be sure if you are as well. In the room, the men come and go, yelling blood bath, half-blood, blood-bitch. We never hear the word trueblood. In my dreams I am dying all the time. We are bound and gagged, blindfolded, but still I know you must be the one lying there, the cool anodized steel table beneath us, the two of us side by side. Lying there, my shoulder blades ache, and there is blood collecting in the corners of my mouth. But then it happens, just as it always happens: your fingers suddenly twist into tiny shoots, your arms break free as you accept the shape of a tree, the leaves sprouting, the delicate bark rising up from your skin's surface. Try as I might, I never seem able. On the telephone this morning, I again keep the dream to myself. Half-blood becomes half-breed. Blood-bitch becomes blood-sister. But blood never lies, does it? Blood carries so many secrets one can only hear its murmurs in our arteries, its incessant monologue, in the quiet night's bed just before sleep. Blood says You are more and, sometimes, You are less.
Copyright © 2011 by C. Dale Young. Reprinted from Torn with the permission of Four Way Books.