All Stories, General Fiction

Whiplash by Bryn Ledlie

This is it. I have nothing left to say. I have no new thoughts. The words “Stop, Stop it, Please Stop Please Stop” ring out in my brain blaring again and again every time something new enters my mind. An alarm I cannot silence, a desperate prayer I cry out endlessly. I don’t think I’m talking to him; I think I’m talking to me. Violently begging my brain to stop firing, misfiring the way that it does. 

I have nothing left to say except that I am exhausted. I am overwhelmed emotionally and physically in my entirety. Every fiber that was once me, is and is not and is fighting to stop. My muscles are drained from shaking day in day out. They jump without provocation at imagined touches and they are too tired to move when I want them too. My mind is on a never-ending alert and it is both too tired to care and unable to stop. I hear myself begging me to stop and I want to give in but I am not the boss. I don’t know who is. 

I have nothing left to say except everything. I have things that I think, I do, but before I have time to turn them from feelings into thoughts into sentences the alarm rings and I forget. I lose myself in the black hole in my head and disappear into my body. Disappearing into one’s own self is not something I had ever imagined possible, not something I would have thought made sense in the slightest. All I can say is that it does. I can say that when there is nothing left to distract me and keep myself at bay, whatever parts of me make up myself shrink. They become smaller and smaller until my body itself begins to shrivel, imploding in slow motion, a water balloon left out in the sun, a grape becoming a raisin. What was once me is gone inside of the shell of myself. Sometimes I beg it stop, most of the time I know my own futility. I tear at the walls of my being with my gnawed down nails and smash at the bricks who hold up my cheeks but somehow, my shell remains and I do not. 

I have nothing left to say except every old memory that has sprung up in my brain, that continues to spring out because I cannot make them stop. I have nothing left to say because how do I explain the way that the hair on his arm felt brushing my hip as he pushed down on the mattress next to me. The way the mattress dipped around me dancing to the rhythm of his movements while I lay flat. A child on a backyard trampoline playing popcorn, forget that I was not laughing. I have nothing left to say because I can feel the weight of his body on my own and my only thoughts are of trying to move. I have nothing left to say because despite myself I am still stuck, my arms and legs paralyzed while I plead with them, negotiating and making deals I cannot keep. I have nothing left to say because who would it benefit to describe the bright purple walls and cheap white shelving, every article of clothing in every stack or the rain boots in the corner underneath the blue mesh laundry bag. These patterns that I memorized to keep myself focused when I was terrified to fall asleep. I have nothing left to say because I feel him sitting on my chest. I smell the tequila sweat seeping from his pores on my own skin and I can see it forming droplets on his forehead wetting his hair. The regrowth of his not so recently shaven pubes is so sharp I could cut my tongue and the insides of my cheeks as they drag up and down again and again. I can taste him and I don’t want to breathe in because I couldn’t then and I’m there now, because I don’t want to bring him any deeper into my throat. I am frozen when I feel him, his body his parts in mine, his hands pulling my hair and slapping my cheeks. I have nothing left to say because I still need to say my cheeks rather than me, even when I’m only typing, even when I’m alone, because I need to distance myself from the body where I was when it happened. I have nothing left to say because when I unfreeze I am so ashamed, and angry at myself and embarrassed and ashamed again. I am confused and terrified and full of sorrow and everything all at once and all the time. I am exhausted and nauseous and sick to my stomach, dizzied from merely existing second after second, minute after minute in an undying loop. And so that’s it. That’s why I have nothing left to say. Because why, and how would I even go about it if I did?

Bryn Ledlie


5 thoughts on “Whiplash by Bryn Ledlie”

  1. Hi Bryn,
    The one thing I wasn’t sure of is the one thing that makes this so strong and that is there being very little reference to pain.
    I considered that a flaw but then why should I say that? These memories of the MC are theirs and there will be aspects that they will have blocked out. So this makes this a bit more real.
    Very powerful!!


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