It’s a Zoo Out There


Looking in her eyes, he cupped her face between his hands, “I wish you would stay.” He searched her face for mutual entreaty.

“I can’t.” She replied. “We’ve talked about this enough already.” Sometimes, it’s easier to give yourself to everyone rather than a singular someone. The intimacy of one can at times be too much of a responsibility; a blessing while yet a burden. “I’m gonna miss you,” he said while pressing his lips against hers.

Being intimate with the crowd, many peoples at one time strips the emotion and vulnerability required to trust a single person to know and accept the demons of the other. “I will miss you too.” She said. She would miss him, but not really – on some level, yeah, maybe. She had already begun the process of separation.

The judgement of millions won’t be able to reach her and her demons, like his opinion could. She thought he was too small town in ambition; that he lacked a zest for the “better” things in life. “You’re gonna call me when you get there, right?” He reached for her hands with heart pangs wrapping themselves around his words.

She turned and reached for the door handle. The future was waiting and her ’85 Honda was going to deliver her there. He grasped her hand more forcefully, “Please, please, stay with…me.”

She jerked her hand free, annoyed with his insistence. “I have to leave this city!” The light darkened around her eyes. “I wanna be a star! I’m gonna be a star. I gotta be a star!” And with that last statement, she was gone.

Her car sped off.  She didn’t make it three blocks before she crashed, headlong, into the invisible barrier. She was dead on impact. Becoming a star was the last fantasy; the last hope; a metaphor of sorts to free herself from this invisible cage; this human zoo. She had retreated to that last corner of her mind in the hope of salvation. In a way she was finally free of the wall. Free to take her place among the constellations, among the stars.

The city had claimed the lives of others before her.  He thought he could save her.  And yet on some level he knew he could no longer shield her from her compulsive desire to be outside the wall.  That damn wall.  It’s just… she was his last hope for survival.  She was his last hold on sanity.

He looked at the smoke rising from the wreck.  Focused intently on what it held inside. Images of her raced through his mind. Her smile. Her laugh. Her brown. Her curls. Her face.  Each one wrapped in it’s original emotion.  He began to sob uncontrollably as he dropped to his knees.

And then silence.  His eyes began to slowly dilate as he vacated his mind.

By malakhai jones
(C) copyright 2016

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  1. Great piece Malakhai, i always enjoy your writing, and the honda badge gave me the added urge to click.
    I llove the dichotomy of her need for more, his need for the same and then the tragedy of neither having what they want is really sad and the story is spun so fine to get to that point.

      1. Ok, so the story reminds me of this old movie where the town is cut off by an invisible dome (not Under the Dome, it was older…I spent a few hours trying to search for the name…idk). Does your female character know she can’t leave? Are they really trapped like a human zoo because of the wall? If she is trying to get out, why to fame and the madness (zoo) of stardom? The zoo would be outside right? OR…she lost it and killed herself b/c she’s trapped. Gentleman soon to follow?

      2. She’s aware of the dome, just like everyone else. They are inside a human zoo. Moving into stardom is a metaphor where people are trapped inside small town and want to get out. She’s living inside a fantasy inside her head to cope with the imprisonment against her will (think prison and what that must do to break down a person’s humanity. And the guy just lost his tether to reality as well – looking after and loving her.