demeter918: blue doraemon cat (Default)
[personal profile] demeter918
Title: The Other End

Author: [personal profile] demeter918

Disclaimer: No, not mine. Sadly. They belong to Neil Gaiman.

Series: American Gods

Pairing/Character: Laura

Rating: G

Notes: Rather random.



When she opens her eyes, there is a musty, dank darkness around her and Laura sighs.

Gentle. Somethings holding her dead ass together and she’d rather not have a novel new experience marred by panicking. But it's odd. She doesn't feel like panicking. She doesn't feel like much of anything, really.

Her hand comes up to trace cold fingers against colder wood and hears the dark shadows of a silence made incomplete by the weak scritch scratching of insects trying to burrow their way into her coffin. She doesn't think that will happen. Shadow is many things, but vindictive he is not. The marrow of her bones feel the strength of the wood.

Laura can’t see, but it doesn’t bother her. She might have been wary of the dark once, but now it seems inconsequential. A critical blue eye looks at the wood above her that she can’t see. She imagines it being hard and still fresh because she can’t have been dead for too long. Using her nose that no longer quite works, she sniffs, sniffs harder, and thinks that possibly the air is only musty with the lack of oxygen instead of the beginning of decomposition. She lifts an arm and presses a finger into it. The skin depresses and a little indent stays. She wonders what kind of preservatives has her blood been siphoned out for.

Then she pauses. If she's been embalmed then she couldn’t have started rotting yet. That's a good thing, she thinks.

She taps at the ceiling of her coffin and hears the sick sound of two-inch wood hitting six feet of solid dirt. She taps again and listens again. Maybe not six feet. It sounds more like four, maybe five feet. What does four feet of dirt sound like anyways? Laura just figures she knows.

The tapping becomes punching. The punching becomes shoving. Bits of dirt and dust rain down upon her. They work themselves into her mouth, nose, even her eyes, but nothing bothers her. She works methodically. The wood – she thinks its a nice cherry, maybe a solid oak, and it hardly matters – splinters bit by bit, piece by piece. The skin on her hands have long since rubbed away, they're not bleeding, they just look a bit raw. Bits of flesh are strewn across her chest like streusel.

Like meat, left on the side of the road after a run-in with a truck. Laura imagines the scene in her head and decides to pound harder. Nails are ripped away – no blood – and her hair becomes a bit sticky with flying pieces of flesh, but that quickly dries – no blood – and then a dusting of dirt becomes a pile as she tastes insect casings and the fossil of a thousand feces on her tongue.

Another hard shove, and she hears the faintest glimmer of hope; the bit of wood right above her chest cracks and the copious splinters fall to coat her body with memories and time. Laura ignores the sensation of bewilderment; she doesn't think she can be properly bewildered. It's not like there's anything she can compare this with. Except maybe shopping in four-inch heels. Maybe.

She smells life and fresh soil. Does her nose still work, then? Or is Laura dreaming this smell, as if she lies face-down in the earth?

Dirt cascades into her coffin and she breaks up and through and digs and digs and digs through the loosely packed detritus. It's easy; Laura thinks, hm, she probably hasn't been buried all that long. That's a bit disconcerting, or at least, it should be. Right? One hand claws through and she feels the chill nip at her new-mangled fingers and again, no pain. Laura shouldn't have much of a breath, but she can feel her lungs reflexively seize up. This is an odd feeling.

The air is cold and fresh as it greets her and she sees the twinkling stars and the ebullient roundness of the moon. The skin on her shoulder snags on a jagged piece of wood but she pays no heed as the flesh tears and remains perfectly dull and purple. No blood spots her funeral suit and for that, she's glad. It would have been hard enough to move around in her dress; blood-stains would make it impossible.

Laura takes in a deep breath and she feels the wrinkles in her lungs stay so still it's like the aftermath of an atomic bomb.

She looks west. Laura knows who she wants to find.

In this day and age it's hard to die and, she supposes while pulling a nail from her ribcage, ever harder to stay dead.

- fin -

January 2016

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