Die Here by Natasha Arnold

Jan 10 2015

I want to die under Glencar Waterfall. My parents are taking pictures of it while my Grandpa starts telling us some fairy tale about a family of sidhe that haunt the waterfall behind the veil of their plane of existence and I want so badly to dive off the rising walkway. Onto the rocks. Crush my skull. Let the falling flow batter what’s left of me to meatshreds. I do not want to leave a beautiful corpse. There is no such thing.

“They say if you squint at the water, you can see the faces of the fairies,” Grandpa says.

Every word I have to listen to exhausts me more and more. I feel like I can barely stand by the time I ask him, “What even are fairies?” and before I finish asking, I wish I had no mouth.

Grandpa says, “They’re many things. Might be magic, might be spirits. Might be both.”

“So they’re ghosts,” I say. I’m thinking my parents either can’t hear or don’t care. I am always thinking this.

“They could be,” Grandpa replies.

So I straighten myself. All over, my body goes rigid. In the waterfall I look for faces, and I imagine someone, someday, gazing into it as well and making out the foam-white impression of my face. They call me a magic spirit. They don’t know anything about the beaten wisps of tissue I left behind, years or decades or centuries earlier. I bet my parents are looking at old suicides as they snap away at the image of the fall.

Grandpa takes a breath of the forest air and says, “It’s so peaceful here.”

And it is, I agree.

Natasha Arnold is a third-year student in Old Dominion University’s Creative Writing MFA program. Her work has been featured in Oblong Magazine, and will be featured in The New Guard’s fourth volume as a Machigonne Fiction Contest finalist. She currently lives in Norfolk, Virginia.

2 responses so far

  1. Elizabeth Tumilty

    Very well written, the darkness written here wraps itself around you and is as warm and familiar as a favorite sweater. Well done!

  2. I like it. Keep up the great work.

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