Stones

She carries the stones in her mouth. They match the ones in her shoes. Sharp pointed uncomfortable grit and pebble clashing and rolling and making her conscious of every bad thing she ever said or did.

This one (sharp pointed) is the glance she gave. These (grit and pebble clashing), the words she spoke. That one (uncomfortable), the silence that fell. And here (rolling) is the look that fell around the room, never landing where it ought, for fear the silence would shift.

She is bad, and the stones carry the evidence of her misdemeanours. Insolence. Self-determination. Lies. Impatience. They shift and rattle in her mouth. They shift and rattle in her shoes.

She tries sitting still. She tries not to move her tongue, her feet, but freedom itches in her veins, trace electricity seeking release, laughter bubbling, and not the beneficial kind. There is madness in her isolation. If she laughs the stones will spray, sharp pointed and uncomfortable, from her mouth, flaying her lips like tiny flints embedded in a whip.

The smart of a whip, another of her misdemeanours. But she can’t stay silent, and she can’t sit still. The stones in mouth and shoes impel her.