The worst thing you can say about her is that she was once your friend.

Perceiving that you stood side-by-side, you courted battle fighting the giants, while she secretly cheered for them to win.

On the last night you invited her into your home, you welcomed her to sit at your table, to eat, to talk of life. Recounting your adventures together would make for a feast, but she would only taste bitterness.

On that last night as the conversation dwindled in the air until there was only the sound of forks and knives clinking on empty plates, she began to tell you the story of the frog and the scorpion. The Great Adventure of the Scorpion and the Frog, she called it. You felt something there, in between the words.

Her voice carried on as you cleared the empty plates. Stopping short of the ending, right as the two are about to reach the riverbank together, she paused with an air of great satisfaction. Placing the dishes in the sink, your back turned, “Well, what happened next?” you asked. But you knew what happened.

It was for only a moment that it stung; the knife piercing flesh, scraping bone, a finite point in the unraveling.

The worst of it would come as you lay on the floor. Consuming you, the inevitability of reality, the world for what it was swirling in emotions of shock and disbelief and giants that were nothing more than windmills, adventures that were charades, friendship and loyalty, and belief in things that could be and should have been breaking before actuality and frogs and scorpions. You always knew that scorpions existed. 


by Michelle Hanlon


Listed at Duotrope
Listed with Poets & Writers
CLMP Member
List with Art Deadline
Follow us on MagCloud