Send in the devourers of sadness. Let them creep from the shadows.
Hungrily and cautiously they circle. Clustered together. Whispering strategies. Planning their approach. Sizing up my wounds. Assessing my defences and my strength. Eyes flashing with excitement. Lips parted. Ready for a taste.
But what they don’t know is this. I have lured them with my tears. I know they are here. I am ready. I have set the trap.
I toss bait into the divide between myself and them. A single injury. A little scrap to start. A tasty one though. An offering that has been marinating for weeks. A morsel that is seasoned with betrayal and confusion. It should be enough to draw them closer.
I wait. Holding my breath.
I sense (more than see) the creature slink forward. Head and eyes darting left darting right. Staying close to the ground. Scrambling on all fours. All sinew and bone. Gaunt. It is starvation and desperation more than bravery that has made it the first to move. If it waits it might get nothing as the others will push it aside once the banquet truly begins. Plus this one has a special love for wounds of duplicity. It seizes the scrap that drips with the kind of poison that can only be administered by someone close enough to pour it down your throat. Someone in the inner circle. The creature swallows it whole without hesitation before sprinting back to the pack.
I sigh with relief and allow myself a single moment to feel the delicious absence of that particular toxin. I can already feel healthy cells flooding to reclaim that territory.
The beasts are now bordering on frenzy. They have crept closer and their circles around me are getting tighter and tighter. I offer them more. Carefully selecting appetizers to peak rather than sate their hunger. Building their excitement for the main course. Tiny piece by tiny piece. Scraps of heartbreak, fear, and loss. They are ready.
I am ready.
I close my eyes and feel their cold breath on my skin. They are hushed and waiting. I hear a single moan and I know it is time. I crack open my chest and expose my whole heart. For a moment everything is still. I hear the drip drip drip of my darkest grief landing on the dry unyielding earth. Swirling on the surface. Unabsorbed.
Then they move. All at once. Descending upon me in a swarm of blind desire and pure hunger. Vampirically draining the sadness from my veins. Drinking in the heaviness, the hate, the resentment, the denial. Filling themselves with my most awful memories and my most painful wounds. They drink until there is no darkness left in me. The exsanguination is complete.
One by one they move on. They do not look back as they depart. They feel strong and invincible once more.
I lie still and keep my eyes closed until I am sure they aren’t coming back. Until I know with absolute certainty that my dangerous plan has worked. I scan for scar tissue and open wounds. There are none.
I open my eyes and drag myself to hands and knees. Taking a moment to let my body recalibrate. My head is swirling. I am drunk on the sensation of light that has begun to infuse my body. There is space where there was once solidity and movement where there was once dormancy.
I push myself to stand and take a cautious step forward. Barely touching the ground. I do not look back as I depart. I feel strong and invincible once more.