Perfection (JL Spelbring)

Free Perfection (JL Spelbring) by JL Spelbring

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Authors: JL Spelbring
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Vertigo accompanied her rolling stomach.
    Sweat dripping into Ellyssa’s eyes, she evaluated the remaining distance. Two, maybe three meters. Hard to tell with tunnel vision. She took another step. The rotted wood creaked and popped under her weight, as if infuriated that she might make it to the other side. Ellyssa skipped to the next and continued.
    Safety mocking her a little over a meter away, dizziness spun Ellyssa’s head again. She stumbled forward, landing roughly on the board. It snapped, shooting her leg through like a piston. Time slowed as she fell; everything was detailed in lines and vivid colors.
    Fire burst in Ellyssa’s lower extremities as her shin scraped along the wood and her knee smacked into the edge. The next thing she knew, her chest hit the plank in front of her, stopping her descent. Pain reverberated in her bones as she clutched desperately to the weathered plank that bowed with added stress.
    Heart hammering, muscles twitching, Ellyssa pulled herself up and planted both feet as close to the girder as possible. She inhaled deeply, calming herself, as she calculated the remaining distance and hunkered down. Every part of her body screamed as she uncoiled and sprang.
    Short of the intended goal, wood splintered and broke away as soon as she landed, replaying the mess she’d just escaped. Gravity reached up and claimed its prize. Arms flailing, her fingers stretched, desperate to find purchase, but they only clutched air. Splinters raked through her clothing and tender skin. She lurched forward, her chest catching onto the very last plank, forcing air from her lungs, and her fingers laid claim to the edge of the crumbling asphalt.
    Her legs dangling, Ellyssa stilled, afraid to even breathe. A low moan grated across the rusted bolts holding the plank that served as her anchor. It popped and slipped. She kicked her feet, lunging forward up and over the weakening board and grabbing onto a tree root. With the last of her energy, she pulled herself onto the blacktop, and rolled over where the bridge remained ominously in her view.
    Ellyssa’s brain slammed against the inside of her skull; her muscles seized into screaming knots as the dizziness spiraled through her once again. She dragged in breaths of air as she rested on her side; her eyes locked on the wooden demon.
    Ellyssa wished she had a torch.
    As the sun fell, Ellyssa looked into the sky. Pinpoints of light filtered through the midnight blue of twilight while impending clouds rolled across the other portion of the heavens. A subtle hint of ozone thickened the air.
    Peaceful. Tranquil. Unlike the war raging inside her body.
    You are superior. You are the future. You are perfection .
    Her father’s words echoed in Ellyssa’s head. She wondered what he’d think of her now: sick, broken, imperfect…disposable.
    Needing to find refuge before it rained, Ellyssa adjusted the bag over her shoulder and crutched/lurched down what was becoming the never-ending road. It stretched in front of her and curved into darkness.
    Resignation whispered to her fevered brain, to give up and sit down and wait for sweet death to take her last breath.
    Ellyssa ignored the tempting mumbles and continued.
    She went around the bend and halted. Buildings of varying shapes and sizes stood eerily silhouetted against the light of the full moon, whitewashed like ghosts. Relief siphoned away the misery. She knew the town lay empty; the people moved long ago. No comforts of civilization, just shelter.
    On the outskirts, barely visible, a silvery reflection caught Ellyssa’s attention. She pushed away the overgrown vines. A faded sign claimed the town’s name in white paint—WELCOME TO DEEPWATER - POP 956.
    Welcome?
    Ellyssa’s mouth twitched upward into a partial smile. So surreal. The fever. She felt delusional.
    Stepping within the town limits, Ellyssa followed the crumbling street past dilapidated houses and buildings sporting faded storefront signs and broken

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