Knuckles arched, buck and catch the corner of the jawbone, sweeping across the osseous matter with a startling, almost blazing kind of precision. The ricochet thunders upwards, pulsating rapiers of shining, immaculate pain that vibrate athwart the mouth’s 28 delicate and varied piano keys, multiplying – nay amplifying – an oscillating wave of escalated paralysis, a crescendo of searing agony;
The heart seizes.
It stops for an elongated elastic second along with time itself . . .
. . . then beats again with the emergence of heavy, pulsating, background harmonies which lacerate, then swell in grandeur up the right cheekbone, encapsulating it entirely. The soft orbs of the eyes shuttle back and upwards – electric baby blues gone interstellar, under a chorus of a thousand invisible blows, each at perfect pitch. Upwards, upwards, upwards . . .
Leaden limbs drag themselves across the coarse carpet to the mirror. An impossibility presents itself – unblemished skin is reflected back from the guileless glass. No bruises, no torn lips bleeding copiously, no raw flesh exposed to the chill air. The sole indicator of trauma received only revealed by the very closest of inspections. A world of hurt nestled in the confines of the iris.
The letter falls, released from numb, bloodless fingers and drifts quietly to the threadbare floor.