Writer D: Will Hindmarch (Winner)

The Crowd's Words: P’tagh, Umlaut, Seersucker

Plunge your hands into the water. They will never be clean. Blood stains fingerprints and heart alike. It gets in your head, it gets in your veins, it gets in your mouth. When you finally spit it out, it will never be enough. Go forward, find the knife you left behind, and then take a pic to put on Instagram. This is the selfie that will convict you. This is the selfie that confirms your fame.

Ka. Boom. Ka. Boom. Your heart bursts and booms in your chest, thwumping and turning inside out, unfolding like the origami birds your mother made when you were young.

“Samantha, you are the paper and the bird. You are the fold and the folder.”

“I understand, Mama,” you said. “Simpatico.”

“Then go forth, my daughter,” she said to you, “board thine zeppelin and bring death to the capitalist plumbers who would bring down our freedom ships, our flight fleet, the airships that float high on the dreams and heliums of our hearts.”

“What does that mean, Mama?”

“When the time comes,” she told you, “you shall know.”

Hum to yourself, as you tread the boards above your victim. Turn the tune into a thrum in the throat. Break into song. Break into the chorus from “I Will Survive,” for you shall. And none other shall.

But he speaks from beneath the boards. “Poor me,” says your victim. “All my money could not protect me. My life is forfeit, and you are the master of my fate.”

This, this is why you fed his vital innards to your cat, letting them spill across the cosmos through windows of possibilities. As the future turned into the present, and vice versa, the truth of your fate revealed in the art of your crime. Your foe, a p’tagh of the worst sort, a shadow of his wrestling heroes, lays dead at your feet, his seersucker suit stained with seer’s blood. None shall forgive him, none shall remember him. The shirts of his famous band, Umlaut, shall rot and with them his memory.

Outside the window, what light could you see? No light shines in your eyes or skies, and your vision fades into time until you realize that you are hearing your own final heartbeats. Your fifth lies. Your fourth promises. Your third sweats. Your second hates. Your final heartbeat? It pines… for the one you loved…

And they, they pine for the beauty of your forgotten face. Lost in time.