The Frozen Shoulder

The room was dark and the floor, cold. I felt the bottom of both my feet adhering to the frost that coated the linoleum as my fingers reached out for stability. The air seemed to wrap around them and latch on to the very tips like leeches, suckling at the nerve endings I could no longer feel. My face felt wet. The tears stuck to my cheeks like tiny chunks of glass, stinging my skin as they flaked off and hit the floor. The tinkling drew my eyes through the pitch and to the ground, what I assumed was the ground, and I suddenly felt a presence around me.

It was all consuming and overwhelmed me in such a way that I forgot the freezing atmosphere, so still and severe that my very breath mimicked it. My lungs ached, but the warmth of the newness near me drew the air from my lungs and it bit at the inside of my chest and my throat and my tongue and cheeks and lips. Then without cause or origin, the pain stopped. All I felt was the sensation of sun on my skin and then hands on my shoulders, down my arms, across my abdomen, to my waist and hips. I felt desire well up inside me and I found stability.

I was laying down, without memory of moving. There was a glow coming from above me, and it shifted as I looked up. It moved around the room as I searched for it, and it comforted me. Then, from the same color as the glow produced, I saw her. She was beautiful and ethereal and mystifying in her sudden form, intangible and yet unavoidable. She smiled with straight, bright teeth. She looked at me with effervescent eyes. Her eyelashes swept open and closed, up and down, and I was lost in the beauty of such a minute motion. I was in love… with the moment, with the feeling, with the comfort, and the sudden daunting, overpowering, irresistible drive of her. She drew me in. I felt my legs start to shake against the sheets I hadn’t felt before.

I was in a bed, in the dark, but I could see more clearly than I had ever been able to. My skin exploded with tactile emotion. My brain was firing at such speeds I couldn’t imagine keeping up with its pace. My fingers reached for her as she floated above me and in front of me, just out of reach. I strained to see her more clearly. I exerted myself, my muscles blazing with the effort and my heart thundering in my chest. I couldn’t breathe, not from the same cold, but from fear. She seemed to drift away and the agony of such a thought absorbed me, though I wasn’t sure who or what she was… especially to me.

Then, without a moment’s notice, she was against me. She was touching me and pulling me closer and I could feel the wisps of her lips against my neck and I became an ocean. My arms and legs were waves and lapped again and again, over and across her form, now solid against me. My breath matched their rhythm, never tiring or slowing. I felt peace and excitement and everything but the pain from before. It was hours that passed, or what hours might feel like to someone lost in rapture, and I felt a change.

A definite, abrupt change in the feeling and the vibrancy of her. Her lips crashed against me with less ferocity. She gripped me in such a way that I might fall forever into the sheets that I hadn’t known I had slouched against. Her hips didn’t tremble anymore. But mine did. My body roared with the same intensity and the need inside of my shell shook me to my core. I begged her with my mouth and my rolling torso to come closer, to bring more of her to me, to hold steady. She gave me less.

I felt the warmth dimming in my center. I dove into her. My breathing had lost its steady surge and it clawed at my throat to get out. She had stolen the key to the cage in my middle that was racked with pain and confusion. My fingertips became cushions for a thousand sharp pins and it traveled up my arms so I tried to wrap them around her. I tried to bring her close. More of her began to fade, her edges drifting in and out of my sight. She blended with the darkness around us and the glow had became all but an atom of light in a direction I could not fix my eyes on.

My tears flowed freely again. I could could still see her face. I could still watch her smile but she couldn’t see me. Her limp arms hung lazily in my grasp. I felt my own light fading as she smiled in some far off direction, the blue tint of her ghostly form changed. It was purple now, the most subtle tinge of red nibbling at her edges. My pained breathing became less. It became slow and subtle and long bouts of time nestled between each inhale. My eyes were still. The cold started to creep over every inch of my skin and with the last of my inner cries, I begged her just for one touch. One single touch, to warm the most important parts of me. My head rattled with the vigor of my screams as soon that faded as well.

I was barely holding onto the delicate ends of her fingers now. The light was gone. The warmth had faded. I was still screaming. Around me, nothing emerged from the shadows and my tears stilled in a poised moment of agonizing tranquility. My skin was stretched tightly over my bones and I felt it stiffen as the frigid air around me escalated to an unbearable degree. As her touch slipped from me and her smile faded completely, my screams stopped and echoed in my husk. The cold encased me and I forgot the warmth, for the warmth had forgotten me.

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