Stitch & Ditch
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I dreamt a dream of enclosure. Of no more slices in the yawning space. No more peril pouring itself from maws that bridge the fabrics of forsaken dimension.

Of fading.

Of the Holders shifting their weight as such that the clouds close, allowing not one more man or machination of ungodly design into our limbo.

My father bore the consequences of overpopulation through and through his frail form. He was a cultivator before home hollowed out. Sowed the seeds to feed needs. His every pore accommodated itself as fertile soil, as such that we would not starve. Ours was a withering world.

We made it out lucky.

But the lottery only pays out once. You strike big - then probability pummels you from then on.

Father was swooped up by the knights twelve breaths ago. Twelve times have the giants of ever exercised salvation gasped into the luminous blanket of fog. They said they needed him. That stocks of food were falling dangerously fragile. So he went.

Our family are ‘shifters. We become what others around us need. Our society served one-another every hour of every day. We are more flexible than any clay.

He went where he was needed most. Has certainly become what they require to endure.

I was left alone. I have no one to imprint off of.

Only myself to serve. My survival to situate.

That fact may save me.

When I woke, there was no bed beneath me. The pool of the below, the unseen foundation that the Holders rest their soles upon, stared at me hungrily. I jolted upright and stood, levitating above the abyss by some grace of gods.

Our small island had partially disintegrated while I slept.

In the same way an animal stares unavoidable death in the face in the moments before their brutalizing demise, I gazed onwards past my unfounded feet, bewildered. Expecting a high-velocity ticket to oblivion.

Eventually, breaking the mold of mesmerized fright, I notice that my right foot is halfway disseminated. My toes waft in the wind as a shaped blanket of particles. See-through. Like a patchwork of fleshy circles slowly ground into microscopic meals for annihilation itself.

I scramble back, seeking a solid surface to save me from the snapping teeth of nothing. I cartwheel backwards out of our door - a construction of wood and sheet metal - which is bleeding off splinters and alloy dust into the below.

My soles brush against grass as I topple over onto my rear. The wavy, fractured section of my foot dislodges and floats over the somehow serene blades of green. I curse and shudder violently at the sensation.

I clumsily get on hands and knees to retrieve it. The flakes of my extremity are bound to one-another still and give off the appearance of a meager swarm of insects. I handle it with as much care as I can muster in my shaking palms.

The largest vein at my wrist severs and forms a needle. The rest of it becomes a string.

My body knows what I need before I can comprehend what’s happening.

The cottage sags towards a high-velocity collapse into the clouds as I rearrange my pose, setting to work at once. I jab my unaffected flesh through and through with the needle and my teeth grind together in pain as they transition into a piece of bark to stifle what would otherwise be expressive screams.

I bring the pockmarked part to align with it and begin weaving the two halves together. No blood leaves my body. Likely because my biological structure temporarily altered to a photosynthetic metabolism to prevent letting any lifeblood.

Mass is means.

And lesser mass at this second is a means to escalate my entrance into nothingness.

As I’m finishing the terrific endeavor of stitching a faltering piece of my existence back into proper position, I notice my vision becoming misshapen. Once the thread is secured, I lift my finally-free hand to my cheek.

Half of my head at a diagonal direction is beginning to slide down, choosing gravity as its new ally.

Our house, that quaint structure, finally buckles and careens violently in a descending spiral. The roof clips our doomed island on the way out and causes the dissipating landmass to swivel on its axis.

The catastrophic motion threatens to launch my detached portion of noggin away. I barely keep hold.

It begins folding on itself - with me on top. In less than a fraction of a breath, I’d be free falling.

“Fuck, fuck, fuck…”

Rising to my feet rapidly, albeit clumsily, I make a last-ditch leap for our nearby junkjet. It’s a rickety assemblage of scrap that utilizes compacted humes to defy a certain law of physics. That law being the same one that would’ve easily ended me - if not for narrowly grappling onto the edge of the aforementioned vehicle.

I hoisted myself into the open-top cockpit and was elated to see that my makeshift stitches held. My foot stays with.

The island is now in a decaying spin, chunks beginning to separate, casting heavy projectiles into the surrounding sky. I key the junker for locomotion while feverishly squeezing the slices of my cranium against one-another, begging the powers that be to not let me lose myself.

It fails to revv. It chokes. A blob of sediment misses the chassis by an inch, hurtling itself against a signpost behind me.

My good foot and part of my leg become a crankshaft. I look under the dash to realize that the formerly intact component was consumed by the crucible of crumbling reality.

I jam my altered appendage into the housing and growl fiercely as the mechanism begins turning - twisting my immediately attached mass over and over as it achieves a prime rotation.

The agony is bloody palpable, akin to any semblance of hell. But it would save me from the latter.

My vessel of final opportunity for survival jolts forward and attains steady acceleration. The fringe of the breakneck broken island clips the rear housing and sends the junkjet soaring. My scrap of defiance somersaults high upon the winds of Last Place and abruptly resumes equilibrium, rocketing onwards and away from the teeming trauma of that diced abode.

The threatened side of my skull and associated skin came fully apart from their concretely cohesive counterpart and was harrowingly a mere heartbeat distant from leaving me forever.

If not for my body’s hasty adhesive reaction, I’d be missing that monumentally meaningful part of me. Prayers do get due attention when they’re so earnest, hm?

While the ‘jet maneuvers for the nearest friendly population center, I spend the most grueling minutes of my existence stitching up the rest of my cosmic injury.

But it is my existence

and I get to keep it.

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