Dead Ringer

By: Elizabeth Baseley

She’s pushed off wood shoreline into molten water. It’s cold. She sinks past the waves, into the depth. She doesn’t forget to hold her breath in the blue depth below the waves she’s just sunk past. Royal blue ocean and golden waves, she looks up to see the wood is gone, “Oh well.” Golden chains around skin make descent easy– perfect for the woman clutching her ticket in her left hand. She wishes to not let go of the ticket; it cost 12,779 dollars. Golden City isn’t cheap. 

Currently, she sinks past them. Blue would’ve surrounded her, but she doesn’t notice it. Fish enlarge into whales. She spots one feasting. It sits upright, better posture than hers. He looks to her and nods, before returning to his feast; it’s made of a giant squid. The squid, like her to the blue, doesn’t notice the whale. He instead catches the girl’s intentions, intent on keeping them. The whale bites into its eye, completely forgoing the utensils that lie next to him. An uncivilized citizen; it’s part of her draw to him. Golden blood disperses as the eye explodes, melding with the blue, blue water. She can feel the gummy texture on her tongue; it renders her mute. She suspects that the squid now notices the event. It’s wide eyes narrow, she can feel the anger building. She is disappointed, but not surprised. Her golden hair, empathetic, coils around itself in a vain attempt to appear squid-like. Blue consumes them as the golden anchor-anklet carries her down. She looks down, ready for the next sight. 

Atlantis blew her blue away, as golden spires, golden rings, golden parasites, golden intestines, golden corpses and the lovers of them surrounded her and the ticket. Molten water conveniently makes her forget the frigid temperature. She hands her golden ticket to no one and takes her place among the other sinners. One reaches out and grabs her ticket. 

“How much did it cost you?” she asks. 

“Seven years.”

“I’m lucky then.”

“What was your price?”

“12,779 dollars.”

“12,779? That’s… eight years.” The sinner gathers the guts that keep floating away from its body. It is difficult to keep your golden intestines close when you have no skin.

“No, four. There was a ring.”

“A ring?” He snorts, “Wow.”

She gets bored of the mundane conversation and looks up. She hopes that the whale will come join her, but deep down in her depths, she knows that she will be alone in the golden city. The whale will not take the fall. The squid will not be caught. The whale will wait for her at the bar, wait until the golden sun sets and the blue night will take over. The whale will send out a search party for her. She, tied down by golden tentacles, will not be found. Her fiancé, with ink filled eyes, will be questioned but pardoned, and her lover will be broken. Blue cracks will eat him until he turns away from the golden-haired girl, 

“She just ran away. She left me. Side-men don’t get feelings.” 

She, a dead ringer for LeeAnn Rimes, looks down at her golden chains, they tie down her blue skin in a golden city. She sees her ring float down after her, a dead ring now. She releases the breath she’s held for too long, and waits for the blue to claim her.


Art Piece by Nanesko Watson