I grab you and you turn with your red hair following you like a child.
Or a lover.
And I grab you and you turn and you seem surprised of course you do.
I cannot explain I have no breath so I pull you to me and you fall to your knees and I stand and I hold you and I hold you tight and then you have your hands on me and you grip me.
Your hands become claws on my skin and I have to stop you doing that.
You are hurting me.
I push you away to the floor I must make you stop screaming you have started screaming again.
Please stop screaming.
I am here.
I am here.
Just you and me all alone out here ignore the others searching for me they will be here soon so I must soothe you quickly I must make you stop screaming quickly.
I am on top of you and you are pushing at me with your limbs your hands are on my shoulders and your knees are pushing at me.
So I push at you with my hands shh.
Your neck is warm and my hands are not is that why you are struggling I am trying to get you to stop screaming why must you scream more. It is not okay I must stop you.
You push at my face so I push at yours and then there is red on your lip at first I think it’s your hair but it’s your blood your blood is coming out of your nose onto your lips your lips are red with your blood now will you stop screaming.
Stop screaming shh.
My hand hurts.
Do you see what you’ve done to me?
How am I to help you if you remove the things that allow me to help you?
I will fight through the pain for you.
My hand hurts but I ignore it.
I still have one on your neck holding it tight so you will be still soon.
The other hurts.
Why must you be so hard?
So I grab your hair because it is soft and mud is on it making it brown instead and it is not orange anymore I liked it orange why did you change it why did you stroke mud through it? We can make it red again.
So I pull and your screaming gets louder I am trying to help you stop screaming be quiet shut up I am helping I am helping I tug and you push at me but I will not go until I quieten you down I must help you shh shh I am helping I am turning your hair red again I thought you liked it red clearly you didn’t or you wouldn’t have made it brown but I like it red so I will make it red your nose will help I take the blood with my hand and put it on your hair but there is not enough I must recreate you as you were silent and orange and twirling always twirling in my eyes in front of me in my mind you will be must be should be twirling lost and vulnerable but then I know I can help you are you turning now no you are on your back and I am trying to help you but still you push against me leave it stop I am helping you I am helping you stop screaming.
I hear Ema and Ira and Caelan and they are coming around the corner.
They won’t understand what I am trying to do, that I am trying to help I must still help you.
I get off you and I hold your hair with my hands and you try to sit up but I am pulling you away. You must come with me you must stop screaming you are making my ears buzz and if you break them how will I tell if you are screaming so how will I help you stop
Your screams change pitch and become harsh and your voice is hurting isn’t it?
You’re hurting me and you. If you would just stop screaming then we could be okay and you would be fine you must stop.
I move backwards with your muddy hair between my fingers and you try to stand but I drag you and drag you and drag you and I see Caelan and I drag you faster and he begins running.
He is on me in an instant and I will not let go of you you try to get away I will not let you go until I help you stop screaming Caelan is grabbing me and trying to pull my hand away from you but I won’t let you go I must keep you with me I am keeping you and your blood and your hair.
I push Caelan away and I am surprised I managed it but then I am on you again to stop you from running from me and I see I am slowly making your hair red again your scalp is bleeding I am glad your hair is red again I missed the red I rake my hands through hair and I spread the blood and the blood is too red and I am upset but at least it is red. And it must be redder still so I drag you and I drag you and I pull blood through your hair and I laugh because it is red but still you scream I am making you back into you why do you keep making that noise I pull you away out of the way of Caelan and suddenly we are feet and feet away and he is on the ground and he is holding his head and he looks up at me but he was looking down and he cries out as he looks up at me and he looks up at me and I see his nose pumping blood and I look down at you as he looks up at me and I see that your face is starting to stain red at least it is red and it is going in your mouth and you are coughing and blood comes down your chin and I look up when I see this and Caelan is getting up and you are screaming and struggling against me again and it is far too loud and Caelan is looking at me and his eyes are hell and then I look round behind me and I hear others and I see others and I see Ema and Ira and they are my enemies I hiss at them and pull you up and into my arms where you will be safe from them you are surprised and you can’t react and you can’t push me away and I know you won’t because you know I am trying to help you to save you and Caelan is getting up and he is nothing but a red monster and blood is on his skin and his clothes are red and his hands are red and he is yelling my name and Ema is yelling my name and Ira is yelling my name and I can feel them closing in on me on us on me and I run away so fast they can’t catch me I am faster than the wind I am faster and I am stronger and you are with me I am going to help you and for a second you stop screaming but your hands are at your head and you are crying loudly and your face is getting wet with your tears and your blood is on your hands and in your hair making it red so red I like it red why did you try and make it brown but I hear them behind me again so I run faster and suddenly you are heavy but they are miles away and I
over a stone
and for a second I stumble but I think I regain myself only when I look down you are not there so I have to turn and look for you and the sky is opaque when I turn and I cannot see my hands when I turn for a second I am blind I think but I see the moon somewhere and it shines on me and I know I am watched over and then I turn and there you are on the ground why are you on the ground I jump on you and you try and struggle but I keep you still can’t you see I will help you I raise my hand because I want to stroke your lips to get the blood off so you can breathe
but I am roaring really loudly and it is not you screaming anymore it is
I am the one screaming now but that is okay I am The Screamer I scream I scream louder than a jet plane I scream louder than 100 baby howler monkeys at birth I am The Screamer and it is my job to scream not yours and you must not scream it makes me sad and it makes me angry and I want to take it from you
so I open your mouth and keep it open with a hand and then with both I push down on your jaw and you try to bite me but I keep doing it and I force your head back with one hand and push with the other until I feel the hinge straining against me.
I feel the strength of your jaw and it calms me. I know you are not screaming anymore and all I can hear is the sigh of the wind in the trees and the rustle of the leaves as they watch me.
The moon above shines light onto half of your face, illuminating it and the blood shimmers. It has got into your eye, and your eyes stare up at me.
They are like mine, I think. I suppose they are. They are definitely green.
Juxtaposed with the colour of the blood and hair around your face they stand out and shimmer at me in the darkness and I see fear in them.
I know I am helping you because why would you let me on top of you if I weren’t?
Your shoulders are taut, up by your jawline which is soft and smooth and I look at it now. The moon makes it silver through leaves which hang on trees as they watch me.
Your eyelashes are stuck together and tears like diamonds glitter at me so I lean down closer to you never moving my hands. I stretch out my tongue and I press it to your eyelashes and I taste the salt of your tears and I lick it up.
And the noise you make is not screaming but whimpering and it is quiet and it is what I want. You will be silent soon because I will soothe you.
Shh, and I push your jaw again, slowly. The leaves don’t move above me. Below you is the ground. Coming at me from the side are my three enemies, one red, one yellow and one brown and they have no shape because I am not looking at them.
I am looking at you and your red hair.
I am looking at you and your lighted cheeks.
I am looking at you and your green eyes.
I am looking at you and your silver jawline.
I am looking at your and my hands. One hand heel holding your upper jaw. One with soft fingers pushing your lower jaw down. And each finger. The ones in your mouth are wet. Your tongue is under them and I feel it pulsing gently against my fingers. There is blood on my wrist from your nose where it has run over your lip and onto me. I hold you slowly like this. My enemies are coming. But it is okay. You have stopped screaming.
You have stopped screaming.
You will never scream again as long as I stay here.
I must hold your jaw open forever.
I will do this.
You cannot scream then and you never should for I am here.
I am here not to protect you.
Not ever to love you.
But just to stop you from screaming.