Gone Lawn
a journal of literature
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Gone Lawn 6
Winter, 2011

Featured painting, ©2004 by Chris Mars : Parasites of Necessity.

by Alana I Capria, guest editor for Gone Lawn 6

Featured Excerpt

New Works

Kristen Julia Anderson

(an excerpt from a series in progress)

She stood up from her bed and walked over to the full-length mirror, examining herself. Dull gray eyes looked back at her from above puffy red cheeks. Her skin, other than her cheeks, colorless and pale. Blue veins sneaking to the surface of her arms and legs. She stared at herself, frowning at the brown and peach floral dress concealing her flesh.
"I Hate You!" she suddenly screamed, smashing her fists against the image in the mirror, inviting the rage to come and surge through her marrow and veins, to carry the red hue of her cheeks throughout her body. She tugged at her ratty brown hair, pulling it down hard, harder, and harder, clumps coming out in to her hands. Her head ached from the pain, but she didn't stop. She pulled harder, wanting the fire to come. Pain was the key; rage was the key. She welcomed them. She wanted them. She bit down on her lower lip, hard, warm blood trickling down her chin. Her heart raced and she could feel the burning coming. The feeling she got when the pain filled her up and then . . . release. Release from everything; release from herself; pure pleasurable release.
She ran her hands underneath her dress and scratched, her long nails digging into her flesh, making the burning more intense. Blood dripped underneath her dress, down her legs, striping her feet red. Dead skin filling the space between finger and nail. Rose's eyes danced red; the fire filling her up . . . almost. Almost. She was so close. She just needed . . . something . . . some way to increase the pain and rage so the burning could fully consume. She reached her hand inside, twisting, kneading her innards, blood pouring down her legs . . . so close, so close, so close and nothing..NOTHING! She needed something she could not give herself.
She closed her eyes, silence for a second, letting herself listen. She could hear a voice in the background, a faint voice. Her sister's voice? She lunged toward it, grabbing the source of the voice, throwing it at the adjacent corner. She could smell blood on her hands; someone's blood mixed with her own. Blood that smelled familiar. Her sister's blood? She breathed in, letting the rage and pain fill her up . . . curling around her stomach and heart, blood blinding her eyes.
She ran toward the image; tears mixing with blood. Her tears? Her sister's tears? She couldn't tell. A weak voice pleaded from somewhere for her to stop. She bent down, tears falling faster, and grabbed the image around the neck, slamming her head against the wall again, and again, and again as the burning boiled inside more and more, blood spilling through her hands and dripping down her legs and arms. Someone's blood stained the wall, painting it crimson, as the burning danced inside, consuming her.

A recent graduate from a Masters in English program, Kris currently teaches college composition both in a classroom and one-on-one setting. She actively tries to find the time to write creatively, while also leaving ample time for writing essay prompts and providing student feedback.