In the black light, the girl looks fey enough, shaven-headed and sharp featured with teeth glinting bright and blue. She dances with the line of light, deftly manipulating the electroluminescent coil with the lightest touch, keeping it aloft with subtle gyrations as it leaps over her head and through her legs to coil around her, a gyre under her absolute control.
Many shadows are her audience, one hulking, some tall, others tiny, all quiet and rapt. A ghetto blaster in the corner shakes the air with electronic promises, and smoke dragons writhe in time with nearly imperceptible currents. When a voice finally makes itself heard above the muted din, it sounds as though it is coming from a long distance away.
“Breathe. Take a breath. Kris. Breathe.”
I cannot breathe.
I remember what it was like - no, that’s a lie, or if I remembered, the memory has now gone from me. I believe in breathing - I have a concept of it, I feel that I knew once what it was. Rhythmic, regular, a core part of living - but also peripheral. Something that you don’t notice until you have to focus on it.
A core part of living.
If I’m not breathing now, then...