in some nondescript city, a version of myself from another world, covered in blood, pins down a
beating heart the size of her head. i watch on the other side of a screen. only a movie, i remind
other-me walks down a dark road by herself. is she by herself? later, her friends and her little
brother shake her with their eyes. you can't walk the ribbon alone, they admonish.
the ribbon is a place you should only go with other people from other worlds. it's a place you
should have a block party. a barbecue. you should sit around a folding table with your little
brother and your friends and laugh in the dark.
only a movie, i tell myself. i know about the mysterious presence, but the people at the folding
table don't. i know the mysterious presence walked with other-me down the ribbon. walked
with? walked behind. stalked.
little brother is the first to notice the mysterious presence. little brother sees dark scales, not
glimmering but shiny like oil, soaking in the shine from the street light. not soaking, sucking.
patches of scales, moving above an empty chair at the folding table.
having been noticed, pointed out by little brother, the mysterious presence makes itself solid in
the chair next to other-me. human-shaped, eyeless, sort of sheepish. everyone waits for its next
move. only a movie.
the mysterious presence has a mouth. it opens the mouth. it unhinges the jaw, reveals rows of
yellow teeth. the jaw stretches wider, yawning open, cavernous and sharp. it swallows the block
party. it plows down the ribbon.
the final shot.
on the other side of the screen, from the perspective of a drone or a hawk, i watch a ribbon of
churned soil rushing forward, toward the city, ready to swallow it all.
🎥 Hannah Lamb-Vines prays for a free Palestine from Berkeley, California. Find them on Instagram @embarrassed4evr.