This is the battle of my mind, and this is how I come out of it: scorched but dripping with resolve. I’ll be the gap-toothed champion of the southeast, and men will never dare lay their hands on me again. And I will hear the pretty-eyed boy scream my name as I jump off the dock, and I will find him in the shipwreck. I’ll kiss him hard before the doctor pulls me out of the water. This is what they call a flashback. Can you hear me? You’re okay. You’re here. He pulls me back into the water. He deepens the kiss. His hands at my hips. It’s too much, I say, but I swallow lake water, and his nails lunge into my ribs. I reach out, but I can’t find anything but that old doctor’s hand.
Don’t go back there. We suffer enough in the present—why suffer the past all over again?
I go back, and I drown those two confused lovers forever. Their faces peer up, toothless, from the sand. The dock has never felt higher. And the world has never felt more warm.
Art Contest of Battle Royale alternative posters.
by GRACE DENIS