mabel hasn’t even pretended to try and read for what must have been hours now--the familiar crease of the book sits at her paws, not so much forgotten as swallowed, its heavy weight an anchor in her stomach, and she drifts above, bobbing like the tired grass that tickles its pages.
the world moves much slower with only one pair of eyes. she always forgets what it’s like, until she dissolves her second form, watches the spin of feathers into nothingness and closes her eyes, a muted breath in sleep.
the sky seems so far away. and she looks up, at the clouds that idly wander by, the drowsy gaze of the sun, and she feels the breez
it’s strange. she doesn’t feel them snap off, exactly--no, that’s too violent, too abrupt--but rather release, accompanied by the light-headed sensation of loss. mabel cranes her neck and watches the gentle curtsey of yet another flower departing from her back, floating upwards as if buoyed by an invisible current.
that’s four of them now.
sunflower--no, ahku--stops and looks back, her head tilted quizzically. i— mabel pauses, feels the breeze that passes through her face, and imagines that it is a grounding breath. feels bad.
it always does, even for me. and then, a hesitant nudge of warmth.
she is being choked.
she can feel them, the phantom fists that dig into her neck, the tendrils of blood that leak out and wisp into the air, and the bile, steaming and acidic, that rises in her throat and leaks from finger-shaped cavities, melting her fur in a sneering sizzle and the grass where she leaves it in a trail of pooling, deadened pawsteps.
she wants to throw up--maybe, then, it would finally be done with, in a puddle of dissolved teeth and singed flowers, and the other would reemerge, finally, to explain what had been done to her. she has seen glimpses--glanced back, paws trapped in a cycle of motion, and seen a flash of orange